Bret McKenzie practised Oscar speech in the shower
Bret McKenzie poses on the red carpet (Reuters)
Oscar-winner Bret McKenzie spent days practising his acceptance speech in the shower but was still a bundle of nerves before collecting his first golden statue.
McKenzie, one half of comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, took the Oscar for best original song at the 84th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon.
The 36-year-old Wellingtonian wrote Man or Muppet for the film The Muppets, which headed off Real in Rio from Rio, the only other song nominated in the category, for the award.
"I knew that if I didn't prepare something I would have been a total mess," he told Radio New Zealand.
McKenzie, who admitted not having had a decent night's sleep since his nomination a month a ago, endured an uncomfortable wait at the Kodak Theatre.
"I was terrified. The song award was halfway through show so I spent an hour jittering, trying to relax."
He paid tribute to his family and Muppets creator Jim Henson in his speech.
The statuette is earmarked for his piano at home in Wellington but before then he joked that he may take it around the town's bars to show it off.
The night of the awards ceremony was marked rubbing shoulders with celebrities at post-award parties.
"It was a pretty amazing night - there's nothing quite like partying with an Oscar in your hand."
He had yet to catch up with Conchords cohort Jemaine Clement but was determined to raise his Oscar if the two collaborators encountered creative differences.
McKenzie, due back home later this week, had no set plans for his immediate future and did not know what the award would mean for his career.
Fellow New Zealander Fran Walsh won the Oscar for best original song alongside Howard Shore and Annie Lennox in 2003, for Into the West, which featured in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.