Taika Waititi is a multi-talented individual who has worked as an actor, stand-up comedian, director, and writer. While studying drama at the Victoria University in Wellington, Waititi toured his native New Zealand with a university comedy ensemble group known as So You're the Man, gaining crucial stage experience. Waititi then teamed up with ensemble leader Jemaine Clement to form a comedy duo, The Humourbeasts, taking on tour a show called "The Untold Tales of Maui," a reworking of traditional Maori legends. During these engagements, Waititi often billed himself as Taika Cohen, to honor his mother's Jewish background. In 1999, the Humourbeasts received New Zealand's highest comic accolade, the Billy T Award. That same year Waititi made his feature film debut in the New Zealand independent production "Scarfies." In 2001, Waititi appeared in a short film, "A New Way Home," and a feature, "Snakeskin," before committing to two seasons on the comedy-drama television series "The Strip." During this period, Waititi also wrote and directed his first short film, "John & Pogo." Only two years later, his next short film, "Two Cars, One Night" succeeded stunningly when it received an Academy Award nomination. This achievement led Waititi to write and direct his first feature film, "Eagle vs. Shark" in 2007, co-starring long-time collaborator Clement. That same year he contributed as writer, director, and co-star in the comedy-music series "The Flight of the Conchords." In 2011, Waititi directed episodes of "Super City" as well as "The Inbetweeners."