Wellington-Made Jemaine Clement Comedy Explained
New Zealand-born comedian Jemaine Clement breaks down Wellington Paranormal for Vanity Fair and gives the Americans a crash course in New Zealand humo(u)r.
The series will also introduce American audiences to the Māori language, Brian Ng reports for the magazine. When Clement and co-creator Taika Waititi, who both have Māori ancestry, first toured the US, Clement says Americans didn’t believe that language was real – they thought the words Clement and Waititi were speaking were made up.
“I just love sneaking Māori in,” Clement says, which is why it’s heard frequently on Wellington Paranormal – thanks in part to translations by actor Maaka Pohatu, who plays Sergeant Ruawai Maaka on the series.
Clement thinks the accent may take some getting used to, but that international audiences won’t have a problem with the characters’ intrinsically Kiwi nature: “New Zealanders,” he says, “are so embarrassed about expressing most emotions, [from] fear [to] love.”
Original article by Brian Ng, Vanity Fair, July 16, 2021.