Oscar-winner Bret McKenzie speaks in depth about the writing of ‘Man Or Muppet’

'Flight of the Conchords' star discusses Muppet smash

Flight of the Conchords‘ Bret McKenzie has spoken at length about the process behind writing ‘Man or Muppet’, the track from The Muppets which won Best Original Song at the Oscars earlier this week.

In an interview before the ceremony, McKenzie discussed the writing of the song with American radio station NPR. There were some unusual lyrical obstacles to overcome, he explained. For example, Muppets are not allowed to be referred to as ‘puppets’.

McKenzie commented:

Early on, I was going to get ‘puppet’ in there, but you can’t do that. Muppets are real. So then I was riffing as to how I could get that melody and those lyrics to flip back and forth, so that’s why I ended up rhyming Muppet with Muppet and man with man.

When the time came for actor Jason Segel to perform the tracks, McKenzie acted them out for him as a guide.
He continued: “I would sing a line and he’d watch me through the studio window. And I’d sing it quite dramatically. And he would copy, and that’s how we got the performance going.”

Listen to the interview in full here.