Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his work on The Muppets back in 2011, and we caught up with the music man on the red carpet at the premiere of his latest collaboration with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the gang in Muppets Most Wanted.
Even before he got to team up with the Muppets, McKenzie says he’s always been a fan. “I grew up in New Zealand and we only had two TV channels. So, it was either the Muppets or The Dog Show, which was a TV show about dogs herding sheep, so The Muppets was very popular.”
Why does McKenzie think writing for the gang come so naturally to him? According to Conchords collaborator and Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin, it’s because he is very much Muppet like. Does McKenzie agree? “I feel like that’s absolutely true. I think Kermit is probably the Murray of the Muppets, he’s kind of like the band manager and he tries to wrangle these lunatics. I think there’s a real similarity of the use of comedy and music together that not many people do so there’s a lot of similarities.”
Between Kermit and Piggy and The Great Gonzo, was one member of the Muppets best to work with? McKenzie says, “At the moment, it’s Swedish Chef, because in the studio working on these songs on the film the Swedish Chef is just guaranteed good times. You know, he says things like, ‘Sherp de derp der der!’ and, you know, as a songwriter, if I can’t find a rhyme for a lyric, just throw the Swedish Chef in and make up a word that rhymes.”
Muppets Most Wanted starring Kermit The Frog, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey opens in theaters this Friday. Read Witney’s review here.