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'Too Wellington' - Footage surfaces of Flight of the Conchords' rejected TVNZ pilot

Footage from Flight of the Conchords' 2004 pilot episode with TVNZ is now seeing the light of day for the first time. 

The original project, commissioned by TVNZ, involved a nine-minute teaser called Folk the World - which Kiwi comedy-music duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement hoped to expand into a 90-minute special, had they been given funding and air time.

Sadly, they weren't successful with the pitch on home soil, being told they were "a bit Wellington."

But they seemed to bounce back just fine - going on to sucessfully pitch the idea to American cable network HBO, where the show became an international hit. 

The footage has now surfaced as comedy docu-series Funny As, The New Zealand Story of Comedy airs on TVNZ. The five-part series opens the archives of New Zealand entertainment to explore how we have used comedy to navigate decades of profound cultural change.

“A TV exec said Bret and I were a bit Wellington when they didn’t want to do our show,” Clement explained on the documentary. “And when our DVD came out in America it was the top-selling DVD. I took a screen grab of it, sent it to the studio executive in New Zealand saying, ‘A Bit Wellington?’”

Watch the full Seven Sharp story in the video above. 

Funny As, The Story Of New Zealand Comedy airs Sundays at 8.30pm and on TVNZ OnDemand.

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Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement did alright for themselves despite the rejection, taking the show to America instead. Source: Seven Sharp