Comedy Forging the Future: Beyond the Punch Line

Funny people finding new and more bizarre ways to make us laugh

DON'T MIND THEM. THEY'RE MUSICAL THE GENTLE COMICS

In the comedy jungle, where Robin Williams is a big silverback ape and Jon Stewart a sneaky hyena, Flight of the Conchords are tiny fawns. Their whimsical acoustic-guitar songs and gentle banter totter out on spindly legs to nibble at funny bones. The duo, who claim to be the "fourth most popular folk parodists in New Zealand," sing about the usual stuff--mistaken identity, killer robots, racist dragons--but with an earnest, blinking naiveté. It's a hemisphere away from the witty social commentary that reigns on America's comedy circuit. "I guess we're kind of...

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