Taika Waititi's debut appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show is being dubbed "awkward" due to the audience's apparent inability to understand his accent or trademark deadpan sense of humour.
Waititi brought along his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar trophy and JoJo Rabbit star Roman Griffin Davis along for the interview, but for many viewers the focus was the crowd's lack of enthusiasm.
"The audience has never been this quiet. Probably couldn't understand them!" one YouTube commenter wrote, while another dubbed the crowd "dead as doorknob".
Waititi's irreverent conversation style was in full swing from the get-go, replying to Ellen's "Hello, you two!" with a dry "Hello, you one".
That quip was applauded by one commenter as "typical Māori humour".
"Taika is hilarious," another comment read. "The audience did not get his jokes at all lol."
Other viewers were perturbed that the Kiwi filmmaker didn't receive enough applause when DeGeneres congratulated him on his Academy Award, or when he announced he'd be moving to Australia to work on the new Thor movie with Chris Hemsworth.
"He said he was making another Thor movie and no one clapped? I think the audience was not able to understand his accent," one comment read.
Another said Waititi talked like a "drunk pirate" and that they needed subtitles to follow along.
DeGeneres appeared to miss a couple of Waititi's gags, too. When asked about playing the role of Hitler, Waititi said it "didn't make any sense to him".
"Because, look at me," he continued.
"...I'm way too good looking to play Hitler," he added after a brief, silent pause.
Some YouTube users commented that the most enthusiastic the crowd got was when they were told they'd be receiving a free copy of JoJo Rabbit, which DeGeneres said was one of her favourite films ever.