We’ve all been there: You’re packing for a road trip, and you can’t make up your mind.
Should I bring the birdcage or the giant foam mattress?
“Maybe I’ll bring some kitchen supplies,” said comic Kristen Schaal, whose unique brand of theatrical comedy makes good use of such eccentric props.
Schaal, a native of Longmont, Colo., and a graduate of Northwestern University, plays scene-stealing stalker Mel on “Flight of the Conchords,” HBO’s delirious sitcom about a New Zealand folk-parody duo (Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) who come to New York looking for fame, only to wind up with a manager who can only book gigs in libraries and elevators, and a single, obsessed fan (that’d be Mel).
The show’s blend of absurdist deadpan humor and over-the-top musical fantasy numbers has turned its unassuming stars into alt-comedy heroes and legit, Grammy-winning musical sensations. On Monday, two weeks after the show’s second-season finale, they’ll kick off a national tour at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
Schaal, who’s also a performer on “The Daily Show” and former contributor to “South Park,” will open the show. While packing for her two-week stint on the road, she called from her home in Brooklyn to chat about the Conchords, The Daily Show and her own stalker fantasy.
Q: You’re strictly a performer on “Flight of the Conchords.” Do you ever get to see the creative process between Bret, Jemaine and (co-creator) James Bobin?
A: Yeah, a little bit. I get to see the scripts in their earliest stages. But then they kind of shoo us away as they’re writing. (laughs) I’ve never gotten to see them write together, or even figure out a song in the studio together. But I bet you the emotions are high.