Bret McKenzie’s ‘Man or Muppet’ is up against ‘Real in Rio’ for Best Original Song.
By Kara Warner
There are always plenty of shocks, snubs and surprises when it comes to the unveiling of Oscar nominees each year. Tuesday’s (January 24) announcement was met with all of the above, but overall there were more pleasant surprises than not.
One of our favorite nominees is “Flight of the Conchords” actor-turned-“Muppets” music supervisor Bret McKenzie, who scored a Best Original Song nod for his “Man or Muppet.”
MTV News was lucky enough to get a few minutes on the phone with the still-in-shock McKenzie, who called in from his home in New Zealand.
“We’re celebrating with breakfast,” McKenzie said. “I woke up to the phone ringing nonstop, so then I picked up my phone and saw the news. I was very excited. I don’t sound it, but I am very excited. It’s a great day.”
The multitalented New Zealander revealed that while “Man or Muppet” is his favorite song in “The Muppets” and that he is very proud of the earnest ballad, he never expected it to be recognized for anything.
“I really wanted it to be hilarious and beautiful, and I feel like we got that combination. It’s sincere but ridiculous,” he said. “The idea of children singing the song at school cracks me up.”
McKenzie said that the nomination surprised almost the entire “Muppets” team, except perhaps writer/star Jason Segel, who made an outlandish prediction during production about the earnest tune’s award potential.
“The night we recorded ‘Man or Muppet,’ we had a few drinks and Jason Segel was predicting we’d get together at the Oscars, but he was joking,” McKenzie recalled. “[Maybe] that guy can see the future.”
Once the actor/musician gets over the shock of his nomination, he’ll have to start preparations for how the song will be performed during the 84th annual awards ceremony.
“I was thinking we’ll definitely need a man and a Muppet,” McKenzie joked. “Yeah, that’s what we need.”
When asked about his chances, McKenzie marveled at the fact that there are only two nominees, “Man or Muppet” and “Real in Rio” from “Rio.”
“I was amazed there were only two nominees; I was surprised. It seems unusual, but it’s great because the odds are 50-50,” he said. “The only thing I guess would be better if there was only one nomination.”
What song should win the Oscar for Best Original Song? Sound off in the comments section!
See the complete list of Academy Awards Nominations.