Life Story

Taken from The Apiary, November 2005

Life Stories: It's Good to Know Who You are Replacing

Rob Gorden of The Rob & Mark Show has a Life Story to share. Several months ago, he and Mark were enjoying an evening at Bobby Tisdale & Eugene Mirman's weekly comedy showcase, Invite Them Up...

One night we were hanging out at Invite Them Up. We were at the bar when Bobby Tisdale comes tearing out of the show saying that the music act isn't showing up. He was as panicked as Bobby Tisdale can get if Bobby actually can get panicked. He saw us and asked if we would like to close out the show with a song. Of course we did. We needed a guitar and lucked out. The lovely and talented musical comedian Shayna Ferm had already done a set that night and was still there. Mark asked if he could borrow her guitar, she said ok. True story.

BUT! It doesn't end there. Oh no my friends. It certainly doesn't end there. We were very excited to perform at the show. It was packed and who knows? Maybe David Cross's look alike may have been in the audience. We were replacing some music act and felt like we could be heroes of the day. Just like Nirvana filling in when Pearl Jam refused to show up for the MTV concert. We could be Nirvana! There was one problem. Usually, if we can't make it to a gig the replacement is Bayne Gibby, or The Knuckleheads, or God's Pottery and there isn't a public outrage over the talented replacement. But God's Pottery wasn't replacing The Rob and Mark Show. The Rob and Mark Show was replacing... FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS!

To be honest, I didn't really know who they were. When I saw the ad for when they played the UCB I thought they were a couple UCB guys that made the fourth popular folk duo in New Zealand thing up. I didn't know that most of the audience was there to see the fourth popular folk duo in New Zealand.

So, Bobby gets on stage and tells the audience they are not showing up. I didn't recognize the outrage at first, but probably should have.

There was a crowd dissent that I failed to recognize. He announces us and I treat it like a normal gig. I have a lot of energy. I'm kind of loud. I like to yell. Not the three things you need to do when you are replacing the band the crowd has waited all night to see. It was like Bobby said "Hey! Are you guys ready for Radiohead? Yeah? Well, they called in sick so here's David Lee Roth!"

People were pissed. I didn't realize exactly how pissed people were until we did one of our tunes that almost always goes over well. Deafening silence. A lot of arms crossed. Definitely some disapproving shakes of the hipster heads. Maybe some pockets of uncomfortable giggling. Not good.

I got to know Flight of the Conchords pretty well after that. Like, immediately after the show. In the bar after the gig most of the audience wanted to adamantly tell me how awesome Flight of the Conchords was.
Later that week we got to perform a really cool show at the Village Lantern the very same night Flight of the Conchords was performing a really cool HBO Special down the street. I guess the lesson I learned is it's good to know who you are replacing in a show, especially when the comedians you are replacing have rabid fans who get really mad when their boys don't show up and don't even a little bit want to laugh at you. Like defiantly not laugh at you. Like, rather eat dog poop then laugh at you.

Luckily, we were asked to perform at Invite Them Up again and this time the audience was expecting us and that was nice. We did well and they weren't angry. However, next time Flight of the Conchords bails out of Invite Them Up, I'm calling Tenacious D.

Taken from The Apiary, November 2005


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