Five things we learned at Rhys Darby's New York Comedy Festival show

The Flight of the Conchords comic brings tales of dressage, fist bumping and New Zealand life during a weekend of shows at Gotham Comedy Club

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There was a bit of an antipodean vibe at this year's New York Comedy Festival, with both Aussie Jim Jefferies and Kiwi Rhys Darby headlining shows during the fest. Darby is best known stateside as Murray Hewitt, Bret and Jemaine’s useless manager on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, but he’s also an accomplished stand-up back in New Zealand. His weekend at Gotham Comedy Club gave New Yorkers a taste of his energetic style; here are a few things we learned at his show:


Michelle Buteau isn’t afraid to bring her Best Week Ever segments onstage. Darby's opener, Buteau—the only returning member of the BWE cast when the show was revamped earlier this year—tagged her jokes and crowd work with panties on/panties off, her regular technique for assessing pop-culture news.


Rhys Darby is too physical for a regular microphone. Darby’s stand-up involves a ton of movement and accompanying sound effects, and there’s no way a traditional mike could keep up. So as he talked about his disdain for the fist bump and how he (purportedly) met his wife on the dance floor of a nightclub, he needed to wear a microphone that allowed him to bounce around Gotham’s tiny stage.


New Zealand’s main Olympic sport is the dressage. Or maybe it’s just the only NZ sport Darby could get tickets to when he visited London during the 2012 Olympic Games. As much as he loves horses, he wasn’t crazy about watching the event; lucky for the audience, his horse impressions are very fun to watch.


Rhys Darby hates his giggle. He’ll even fake a deeper laugh if he needs to.


Doing the robot is a great way to cover a check drop. Whether or not he planned it, Darby was midway through an excellent robot impression when the checks were distributed for the night. Since even great robot impressions don’t require complete attention, it worked perfectly to his advantage; funny for those not dealing with bills, and easy to catch up on for anyone who got distracted.



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