Garfunkel and Oates' Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome on Making Funny and Beautiful Music Together
Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome make up the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.
Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, the comedians who make up the musical comedy powerhouse of Garfunkel and Oates, are living the dream of every guitar-ukulele musical comedy duo.
They have three top-selling raunchy comedy duets. They have their own TV show on IFC that Lindhome describes as a "millennial Laverne & Shirley." Most important, they have a huge base of fans to drive the energy of a national tour that lands in Dallas at 8 p.m. tonight at the House of Blues.
"I feel like we've kind of reached it," Lindhome says.
The duo first met at (where else?) a comedy club through mutual friend and comedian Doug Benson. It happened at the Upright Citizens Brigade's LA hub, according to a recent feature in the Wall Street Journal. Both came from musical backgrounds but sought comedy as a vehicle for their talent. The two struck up a friendship and started writing songs that they posted on Lindhome's YouTube channel including some of their future classics such as "Pregnant Women are Smug" with Micucci on piano and a self affirming look at life with Silver Lining with Lindhome on the flute she trained on for most of her musical life.
"Most of our songs take something from our lives as a jumping off point," Micucci says. "It's nice where there's honesty in comedy. I know that sounds so cheesy, but you know."
They started to gain a following in the LA comedy club scene as they also scored roles on TV shows such as Micucci's short stint as Ted's love interest on Scrubs and Lindhome's five episode role as Juliet on Gilmore Girls. That followed with some successful albums with originally suggestive names such as All Over Your Face and Slippery When Moist and a comedy club tour including a stop at the Addison Improv.
These days, they get to play bigger theaters but still do a mix of comedy clubs and larger venues, Lindhome says.
"There is a difference, but it's not necessarily worse or better," Lindhome says. "It is different. It feels different in a comedy club versus a theater, but I like doing a mixture. I think for music, it transitions more easily between the two."
The pair started working on a TV show for awhile and even did shorts for HBO that looked like they might lead to a TV deal thanks to the success of another music duo, Flight of the Conchords.
"When we started out, a lot of people think in terms of entertainment in TV and movies and a lot of people were saying you've got to make this a TV show," Micucci says. "I thought that was maybe in the back our minds a little bit after awhile because so many people said something about it, but I feel like, I don't know, we had something we wanted to say that was a little different. So we were excited to make it into a TV show."
Eventually, that led to their own self-titled series on IFC that premiered this season.
"It's great to get to make something in your own voice," Lindhome says.
They said they also avoided the trap that limited Flight of the Conchords to two seasons by dipping into their backlog of songs to drive their TV adventures rather than write a brand new one for each episode.
"We had heard that as well [about Flight of the Conchords] and we're like how do we maybe use less songs and not get burned out?" Lindhome says. "We use all old songs. We have some songs that we haven't released yet so they were old to us but were ones that no one else had heard."
Their TV-14 rating also limited what songs they could use from their arsenal that were a bit dirtier but Micucci says it allowed them to explore more poignant and touching areas of their music.
"That limited us as far as what we could say because of content and the language," she says. "We found some cool stuff. I don't think we would have ended up using our Rainbow Connection song because we would have used something a little bit dirtier but instead we found this really cool thing with that and the things we arrived at because of the situation. I think that's really cool and wouldn't have found it otherwise."
As for what's next, well, that's kind of hard to ask. It's hard to get higher than they are right now because they are living the dream they set out to achieve when they first picked up a guitar and a ukulele and recorded a video for their YouTube channel more than five years ago.
"We've got a TV show. We're touring the country. We've got three albums," Lindhome says. "It all feels pretty great. We're not totally sure what we're going to do next but we feel pretty fortunate."
Get the Arts+Culture Newsletter
Receive exclusive announcements and discounts from the Dallas Art Scene directly to your inbox!