Jemaine Clement: Exploring the Genius Behind 'What We Do in the Shadows'

Jemaine Clement: Exploring the Genius Behind ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

The Genius Behind ‘What We Do in the Shadows’: Jemaine Clement

With its unique blend of mockumentary-style storytelling and supernatural comedy, ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ has captivated audiences worldwide. But behind the hilarious antics of the vampire flatmates lies the genius of Jemaine Clement, one half of the dynamic duo known as Flight of the Conchords. In this article, we delve into the creative mind of Clement and explore his contributions to the success of this hit TV show.

An Unlikely Journey to Comedy Stardom

Born and raised in New Zealand, Jemaine Clement initially pursued a career in music before finding success in comedy. Alongside his musical partner, Bret McKenzie, Clement formed Flight of the Conchords, a comedy duo known for their unique blend of humor and music.

After gaining a loyal following in New Zealand and Australia, Clement and McKenzie took their act to the United States, where they starred in their own HBO television series, ‘Flight of the Conchords.’ The show received critical acclaim and further showcased Clement’s comedic talents.

Bringing Vampires to Life: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

When ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ was first released as a film in 2014, it garnered widespread praise for its fresh take on vampire lore. Jemaine Clement not only co-wrote and co-directed the film but also starred in it as the vampire Vladislav. His portrayal of the ancient and slightly eccentric vampire became one of the movie’s most memorable aspects.

Building on the success of the film, Clement collaborated with Taika Waititi to adapt ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ into a television series. Clement served as both writer and executive producer of the show, ensuring that its unique blend of humor and supernatural elements remained intact.

The Brilliance of Clement’s Writing

One of the key elements that sets ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ apart from other comedies is Clement’s exceptional writing. His comedic timing and wit shine through in every episode, creating a seamless blend of slapstick humor and clever wordplay.

Clement’s ability to infuse each character with their own distinct quirks and comedic moments adds depth and richness to the show. From the uptight and traditional Nandor to the lovable human familiar, Guillermo, every character feels fully developed and contributes to the overall comedic dynamic.

A Master of Improvisation

While much of the show’s brilliance can be attributed to Clement’s writing, his skills as an improvisational comedian cannot be overlooked. Many of the show’s funniest moments are the result of the cast’s ability to improvise and play off each other’s comedic instincts.

Clement himself has stated in interviews that he encourages improvisation on set, allowing the actors to explore different comedic avenues. This approach not only adds spontaneity to the show but also showcases the creativity and talent of the cast.

The Impact of ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ has not only achieved critical acclaim but has also gained a dedicated fan base worldwide. The show’s unique blend of comedy and supernatural elements has resonated with audiences, attracting viewers from a wide range of backgrounds.

Clement’s contributions to the show have undoubtedly played a significant role in its success. His comedic genius, both in writing and on-screen performances, has helped create a show that stands out in a crowded television landscape.

In Conclusion

Jemaine Clement’s creative contributions to ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ cannot be overstated. From his role as Vladislav in the original film to his involvement as a writer and executive producer of the television series, Clement’s comedic genius shines through in every aspect of the show. With his unique blend of wit, improvisation, and distinctive characterizations, Clement has cemented his place as a comedic genius in the world of supernatural comedy.


1. Who is Jemaine Clement?

Jemaine Clement is a New Zealand actor, comedian, musician, and filmmaker.

2. What is “What We Do in the Shadows”?

“What We Do in the Shadows” is a mockumentary horror-comedy film co-written and co-directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. It was released in 2014.

3. What is the premise of “What We Do in the Shadows”?

The film follows a group of vampire roommates who are trying to navigate modern life in Wellington, New Zealand. It showcases their interactions with each other, the challenges they face, and their attempt to adapt to the ever-changing society.

4. How did Jemaine Clement contribute to the success of the film?

Jemaine Clement not only co-wrote and co-directed the film but also starred in it as one of the main characters, Vladislav. His comedic timing and improvisation skills were crucial in bringing the hilarious scenes to life.

5. How did Jemaine Clement’s background in comedy influence the film?

Jemaine Clement’s background in comedy, particularly as one-half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, brought a unique comedic sensibility to the film. His wit and comedic style added depth and humor to the characters and the overall narrative.

6. What are some other notable projects Jemaine Clement has been involved in?

Apart from “What We Do in the Shadows,” Jemaine Clement has appeared in various films and TV shows such as “Men in Black 3,” “Moana,” and the TV series “Legion.” He has also contributed his musical talents to numerous projects.

7. How has “What We Do in the Shadows” been received critically?

The film has received widespread critical acclaim for its unique blend of horror and comedy. It has been praised for its clever writing, great performances, and its ability to subvert traditional vampire tropes while still paying homage to the genre.

8. Has “What We Do in the Shadows” been adapted into a TV series?

Yes, “What We Do in the Shadows” has been adapted into a television series of the same name. The series premiered in 2019 and has been well-received by both critics and audiences.

9. What other creative projects has Jemaine Clement been involved in?

In addition to his work in film and television, Jemaine Clement has released several albums and has been involved in various musical and comedic endeavors. He continues to explore different creative avenues, showcasing his versatility as an artist.

10. What makes Jemaine Clement a genius in his craft?

Jemaine Clement’s genius lies in his ability to seamlessly blend various comedic styles, his knack for satire and parody, and his incredible range as an actor, musician, and filmmaker. His contributions to “What We Do in the Shadows” and other projects highlight his unique talent and immense creativity.