“They’re Thoroughbreds!” Says John Hodgman of Daily Show Writers; Barack, Watch Your Back!

john hodgman Theyre Thoroughbreds! Says John Hodgman of Daily Show Writers; Barack, Watch Your Back!At the Lower East Side’s Angel Orensanz Center on Monday night for their show’s second season premiere, Flight of the Conchords stars Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie seemed prepared to weather the dour economy. "If any show’s going to survive, it’s going to be us," said Mr. McKenzie, referring to the Conchords‘ low budget. (Two guitars, several pairs of corduroy pants …)

"Ours might be the only one left," said Mr. Clement.

Are the Internet sensations more popular here or back home in New Zealand, the Daily Transom wondered?

"We’re famous in New Zealand for being famous in the States," said Mr. Clement. "We’re known as the guys who are famous over here."

Like good New Zealanders, they boycotted the Australia movie, and hatched their own plans for a follow-up: New Zealand. "It’ll be an epic love story set [there]," said executive producer James Bobin.

"I’ve heard of angry Australians being mistaken for New Zealanders. And that’s entirely due to our show," said Mr. Clement. He was dressed for a recession in a vintage brown suit, and a striped blue and white shirt with bulky brown buttons. "This was 10 American dollars," he said, tugging at the suit, "and this was $10 as well"-indicating the shirt-"so I’ve got on $20 here."

Daily Show correspondent and "I’m a PC" star John Hodgman was equally casual in a blazer and New Balance tennis shoes. How would the Daily Show handle Barack Obama‘s presidency, we asked?

"There certainly is a question mark in terms of what sort of jokes they’re going to be, and what the tenor of times are going to be, and where the humor is, but as trained comedy professionals, they’re thoroughbreds, they want to run," said Mr. Hodgman of the show’s writers. "They’re eager to try out some new stuff. I think it’s an unbalanced time for everybody. While they try to figure out what kind of jokes to make, I’m trying to figure out-maybe I should start showering in the evenings? It’s time to change up the routine."

Would Mr. Hodgman ever revive his popular Williamsburg reading series, the Little Gray Books Lectures? "Right now, the Daily Show and the work I’m doing for Apple absorb most of the time I would have spent putting on variety shows in bars," said Mr. Hodgman. "But who knows? Very soon, I could be going back to bars, tapping on the mike, saying, ‘Is this thing on?’"