Rhys Montague Darby (born 21 March 1974) is an actor and comedian from New Zealand, known for his energetic physical comedy routines, telling stories accompanied with mime and sound effects of things such as machinery and animals. Darby was nominated for the Billy T Award in 2001 and 2002. He also won the 2012 Fred (Dagg) award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, for Best NZ show.
Darby is best known for playing Murray Hewitt, the band manager of Flight of the Conchords in the television series, a role he originally played in the BBC radio series under the name Brian Nesbit.
Life and career:
Darby was brought up in Pakuranga, Auckland and attended Edgewater College. A former soldier (signaller trained in morse code), he left the New Zealand Army in 1994 and began studies at the University of Canterbury. In 1996 he formed a comedy duo, Rhysently Granted, with Grant Lobban. After winning an open mic contest at Southern Blues Bar in Christchurch they began performing at local venues. Rhysently Granted performed at two international comedy festivals which led to Darby moving back to Auckland to seek more solo stand-up experience. After performing his first solo show at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Darby moved to the UK to pursue his career further. At the same time, fellow Kiwis and friends Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement were dipping their toes in the waters at the Edinburgh Fringe.
In 2004 he appeared in the Flight of the Conchords BBC radio series as the band's manager Brian Nesbit alongside comedy stars such as Rob Brydon, Andy Parsons and Jimmy Carr.
Darby plays Murray, the band's manager, on Flight of the Conchords TV show. He also provided vocals for the track Leggy Blonde on their self-titled first album and also in the second series of the show on the track "Rejected" during the episode "A Good Opportunity" along with tenor Andrew Drost.
Darby played the role of Norman, the boss of Jim Carrey's character in the film Yes Man. In July 2008 he appeared in a Nike advertisement featuring Roger Federer, he played an impostor posing as Federer's coach.
He appeared on a British children's television program The Slammer during the first season of the show. He is also doing several advertisements for the mobile phone company 2degrees. He appeared on Soccer AM on 18 October 2008 and on Never Mind The Buzzcocks on the 23rd.
The DVD of his live performance Imagine That! has gone platinum in New Zealand.
Rhys Darby's hair colour is self-described as Electric Copper in the episode of Flight of the Conchords entitled Murray Takes It to the Next Level. He also refers to this in his stand-up show It's Rhys Darby Night which he performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 6-15 August 2009, The Bloomsbury Theatre in London from 27 July - 1 August and toured around New Zealand with in October and November that year.
Darby played the role of Angus in the Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked released in the UK on 1 April 2009. This film was released in some countries in November 2009 under the name Pirate Radio.
In 2009 whilst home in New Zealand he began filming T.V. ads for NZ's new mobile network 2degrees and appearing in NZ shows Rocked the Nation 2, Jaquie Brown Diaries and Intrepid Journeys. He has also branched out into producing live comedy with his wife and their company Awesomeness International. At the NZ International Comedy Festival they produced shows for local comedians Brendhan Lovegrove, Jeremy Corbett and Paul Ego. He became a climate ambassador for Greenpeace in its Sign On climate campaign and published a poem on Youtube in support of the campaign.
In 2009 Darby became a part of the New Zealand TV ONE series Intrepid Journeys Season 5, touring the African country of Rwanda.
Darby cohosts a popular podcast on Cryptozoology called the Cryptid Factor with journalist David Farrier and their hapless producer Buttons.
In January 2010, Rosie announced the birth of their second son, Theo.
In 2010, Darby appeared as a recurring character role as an enthusiastic interviewer in a series of ads by Hewlett-Packard Company.
On 10 August 2010, Entertainment Weekly claimed that Darby was in consideration to have a part in the television series The Office replacing Steve Carell's character when the actor left at the end of the 2011 season. Darby confirmed on The Kevin and Bean Show that NBC did not negotiate further for the role and he is now involved in a pilot for CBS. In May 2011, he also filmed a pilot for a Channel 4 sitcom in the UK, The Fun Police. The pilot was broadcast on 16 September.
In 2011, Darby and family moved back to the US from NZ for Darby to take a role in the CBS sitcom How to be a Gentleman with David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon, Mary-Lynn Rasjkub.
Darby's second DVD "It's Rhys Darby Night!" was released in NZ on 12 December 2011. It is available via iTunes or his Facebook page.
Darby has also written a self-described "autobiographical space novel" entitled "This Way to Spaceship", which was released on 12 April 2012. On 20 May 2012, Darby was awarded the Fred Award by the New Zealand International Comedy Festival for his show of the same name as his book.
His show This Way To Spaceship was released on DVD in late 2012, and is also available on iTunes.
Also in 2012 Darby did an extensive tour of the UK ending at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He then returned home to NZ to write, star in and produce his own 8 part sitcom Short Poppies for TVNZ.
In 2013 he was responsible for flying 'Cornish rappers' hedluv + passman to New Zealand for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, this was followed by an appearance on Seven Sharp where he introduced 'his rappers' to the New Zealand public.
Darby summited Mt Kilimanjaro in July 2013 as part of a World Vision team of celebrities that included Olympian Mahé Drysdale and musician Boh Runga.
On Friday, 8 November 2013, Darby made an appearance and performed some standup comedy in his capacity as second guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.
As of July 2014, Darby and his family live in Los Angeles, California.
Who's Ya Mate?
The Boat That Rocked
Coming & Going
Mayor Dennis Gob
Keep Calm and Karey On
What We Do in the Shadows
Flight of the Conchords
The Jaquie Brown Diaries
Comedy Showcase: The Amazing Dermot
Gavin Hoode, First Officer Rangi
How to Be a Gentleman
Comedy Showcase: The Fun Police
Jake and the Never Land Pirates
How I Met Your Mother
Watsky's Releasing an Album
The Aquabats! Super Show!
The Shark Fighter
Jake and the Never Land Pirates
Percy the Penguin
Billy T Award
Mighty Truck Of Stuff
Sounds Like a Laugh
Yo Gabba Gabba!
The Comedy Store Live
Rocked the Nation 2: 100 NZ Pop Culture Moments
Spicks and Specks
Thank God You're Here
The Qantas TV and Film Awards
A Quiet Word With ...
The Rob Brydon Show
Mad Mad World
The Comedy Marathon Spectacular
How I Met Your Mother
Hamish (Desk Clerk)
Late Show with David Letterman