There are a lot of people out there who are adept at mixing comedy and music, but no one does it quite like Garfunkel and Oates, the duo comprised of actresses Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome.
No strangers to comedy, their humorous songwriting partnership happened quite by accident.
“We were friends for a while,” Lindome explains. “We talked about our creative interests and we both wrote songs. It was just sort of a flow of things.”
Lindhome was working on a film short she had written and directed called Imaginary Larry and needed some songs for it.
“When I went and saw [Micucci] play her songs, we had already talked about this short and I said, ‘Why don’t we write some songs for this?’ ”
“We wrote two-and-a-half songs in two hours,” Micucci adds. “We were like, ‘Wow, this is so much fun.’ We knew that night that there was something special.”
On a lark, they put a few of the songs on YouTube and then left Los Angeles to do movies — Lindhome in Africa, Micucci in New York. They returned to find that they had accumulated thousands of hits.
“We had both been writing funny songs for years,” Micucci explains. “When we came together we weren’t too aware of what was going to happen, we just wrote some songs for the short that Riki was making and they turned out to be pretty funny. We put them on YouTube for our friends and family to see and that was it.”
Their individual songwriting styles complemented each other right from the start.
“I think the content of Kate’s solo songs was very different than the content of Garfunkel and Oates,” says Lindhome, “but I don’t think the melodies were that different.”
“I had three songs about my dog and two songs called the ‘The Happy Song,’ ” Micucci adds. “They were real light and not very dirty, so I think Garfunkel and Oates was a little bit of a departure for me.”
Separately, the two had always been interested in music but concentrated on their acting careers in Los Angeles.
“I wanted to be Indiana Jones,” says Micucci. “I wanted to be a lot of different things. I don’t know if being an actress was my main thing. I guess by the time I was in college I wanted to do it.”
Lindhome adds, “I think I always wanted to be an actress. I always did plays and all that kind of stuff and then I also played music so it was kind of a combo, I guess.”
On the acting side, both have been on loads of TV series, with Micucci having appeared on Raising Hope and The Big Bang Theory, while Lindhome did spots on Enlightened and Super Fun Night.
Indeed, with a canon that includes hilarious and catchy songs like, “I Would Never (Have Sex with You),” “Pregnant Women are Smug” and “Sex with Ducks,” Garfunkel and Oates belie their appearance as two sweet, young, singer/songwriters. That’s just one reason it works so well.
On stage, the two present their music more in the form of a comedy show as opposed to a funny concert.
“We do a lot of banter,” Lindhome says, “and we do jokes and we talk about whatever is going on that day. We want every show to be different, not just for the audience but for ourselves. We play all the songs, but we like to have different things happen each show.”
“We never quite know what’s going to happen,” Micucci says. “A lot of times we’ll surprise each other with what we’re talking about and it’s fun to watch it unfold and see what’s going to happen on stage. We definitely have our set list, but the stuff that happens in between can get pretty crazy and fun.”
As for the name, they settled on that after Linhome attended a Hall & Oates concert and noticed that the Jumbotron showed a lot of the former and not so much of the latter.
“I actually had to be convinced on the name,” Micucci says, “but now I really like it.”
Actually, John Oates is a fan. “He’s a great supporter of ours,” Micucci says. “He’s so sweet and he totally gets the joke. But we haven’t heard from Art Garfunkel.”
Oates, in fact, wound up doing a cameo on the duo’s TV series, which debuted this past August on IFC.
GARFUNKEL & OATES perform at Bogart’s Friday. More info: 513-872-8801 or bogarts.com