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Garfunkel and Oates: Naughty, but nice and funny, too

By Courtney Devores
Correspondent
74741811
Mark Davis - Getty Images for YouTube
CULVER CITY, CA - MAY 19: Actresses/songwriters Kate Micucci (L) and Riki Lindhome of Garfunkel and Oates perform during "The Big Live Comedy Show" presented by YouTube Comedy Week held at Culver Studios on May 19, 2013 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for YouTube)

More Information

  • PREVIEW

    Garfunkel and Oates

    WHEN: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

    WHERE: The Comedy Zone, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd.

    TICKETS: $20.

    DETAILS: 980-321-4702; www.cltcomedyzone.com.



If Art Garfunkel and John Oates were to join forces as a musical duo, few would expect the pair to be cute, funny, racy or feminist. But the folk comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates – which adopts the monikers of the two more subdued figures from their respective legendary musical twosomes – is all of that and more.

The duo brings folk songs about the audacity of expectant mothers (“Pregnant Women Are Smug”), uncomfortable sexual situations (“The College Try”), gay marriage (“Sex With Ducks”), medical marijuana (“Weed Card”) and other awkward situations (“Present Face”) to The Comedy Zone Saturday.

Kate Micucci is the shorter, darker-haired Oates. Like Daryl Hall’s mustached other half, Micucci grew up in an Italian-American family in Pennsylvania. Riki Lindhome is the taller, blonder Garfunkel. Like Micucci, she hails from the same state as her namesake: New York.

Both actresses have appeared on the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Micucci is known for folk-singing characters on Fox’s “Raising Hope” and retired sitcom “Scrubs,” where – as Gooch – she performed G&O’s “Screw You.” Lindhome has had roles in movies including “Changeling,” “The Last House on the Left,” “Million Dollar Baby” and, most recently, “Much Ado About Nothing” as well as in guest roles on TV comedies.

The pair met in the lobby at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in L.A., while avoiding their respective bad dates.

“Riki and I were both doing music on our own,” Micucci says. “We were fans of similar types of music – Broadway, ’80s and singer-songwriter. Our sensibilities kind of matched. Riki was writing a short movie that she wanted to turn into a musical. In the short, I play Riki’s imaginary best friend. We wrote two and a half songs in two hours, and it was the easiest thing ever.”

Their comedic folk songs began catching fire online thanks to the “Scrubs” spot. They’ve since appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Comedy Central, and on the album fellow actor/comedian/musician Donald Glover released as his alter-ego, Childish Gambino. They’re awaiting word on the pilot they wrote and starred in for IFC, which is fictional but based loosely on their lives and act.

Musically, G&O comes off as a conversational Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, delivering frank observations on modern womanhood with the lightning lyrical speed of Bone Thugs n’ Harmony. Its brazen levity and seeming innocence can catch a listener off-guard with its frank quips and foul language.

Garfunkel and Oates say things the real Garfunkel and Oates would never say. Micucci, for one, famously didn’t even use profanity before the venture. Now she utters things in songs that make mouths fall agape.

“I don’t think there was a venue for us to be that frank before this,” says Lindhome. “I don’t think in our conversations we were. I think singing about it and talking about it opened it up to everyday conversations.”

“I was really scared to sing (‘College Try’) at first, and the minute we did, I saw the reaction,” adds Micucci. “Now it’s one of my favorites.” They hear comments like “I thought it was just me” from fans who thank them for addressing taboo subjects.

The pair is currently writing and recording a new album between acting gigs and tours.

“It’s kind of about the state of women today,” Lindhome says. “It’s an interesting time for women, and we’re fascinated by it.”

“It’s a lot about being a woman today – the kind of conversations we’re having, talking about our friends and what they’re going through,” adds Micucci.

Just because they often sing from a female perspective doesn’t mean men don’t laugh with them. G&O doesn’t give off an exclusive, women-only feel.

“That’s the weirdest part,” says Lindhome.

“Our audience is half and half – college kids, couples in their 80s, a great range,” says Micucci. “And men like to laugh as much as women do.”

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