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Garfunkel & Oates by Chad Nicholson

Over a late night phone call, I had the pleasure to interview Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci of Garfunkel & Oates. However, the recorder didn’t record, and I was left cussing a lot. These ladies are busy. They both have acting careers, just released their first full-length album “All Over Your Face” in February, put Garfunkel & Oates shows on a weekly basis, and you probably recognize them from multiple appearances “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. Luckily, they are as sweet and nice as you would think, and they quickly emailed me back answers to a much shorter interview.

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It’s interesting how they met. I remember being such a fan of Kate’s, not really knowing who she was, but every time she appeared on “Scrubs” singing and playing her ukulele it was pure delight. I always wanted to see more of her. And Riki, she was appearing in things such as “Million Dollar Baby”, “Gilmore Girls”, Nip/Tuck and more, and she always left a strong impression of who is that? So for them both to end up meeting, and the chemistry being perfect, it makes you think that somehow Garfunkel & Oates was going to exist one day one way or another. Fate brought them together, their shows created a loyal fan base, and the Internet blew them up. They probably get sick of being called “cute” and “adorable”, but that’s what makes their videos so great. As an example, my Mom called after watching “I Don’t Understand Job”, which is a hilarious and seriously good song about hand jobs, laughing almost to tears but saying “they are soooo cute and seem soooo sweet!” If you can pull off that response from middle-aged women in a rap song about hand jobs, then in my book, you’ve officially made it.

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Photo by Seth Olenick

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SO: Where and how did you all meet?

Kate Micucci: Riki and I met in the lobby of the Upright Citizens Brigade in LA.

SO: Why do the two of you put together fit so well? What makes Garfunkel and Oates work?

Riki Lindhome: I think it’s the combo of our musical and comedic tastes being the same and our strengths and delivery being different.

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Rad Album Cover

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SO: “All Over Your Face” was released in Feb. Was that your first full album?

Kate: Yes. We had an EP called music songs but All Over Your Face was our first full-length album. We hope to have another album out by the end of the year.

SO: Do you all have a deal with HBO for a new pilot? I’ve been told it’s like “Flight of the Conchords” but a west coast female version.

Riki: Yes, and that’s a pretty accurate description. It’s like FOTC, except that it’s more crass and decidedly female.

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SO: When you both were say, 18, or going off to college, what was it that you wanted to be at that point? Actresses? Artists? Musicians? Comedians?

Kate: I wanted to be a toy designer and went to school for art. Although deep down, I really wanted to be a performer.

Riki: I think I always wanted to be an actress. I started writing music in college but had no idea that it would be part of my career.

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Photo by Chad Nicholson

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SO: Did you know comedy would play a role?

Kate: No. Not at all. This has been a surprise journey for both of us.

SO: How did you all end up at UCB with the Garfunkel & Oates Hour? What had you all been doing leading up to that?

Riki: We had been performing shows all over town (including at UCB) and when we had enough material to do an hour, we approached Neil Campbell, the artistic director at UCB, and he gave us a shot. He took a chance on us and we’re really grateful.

SO: Could Garfunkel & Oates be what it is without the Internet?

Kate: Not at all. YouTube is the reason we have a career.

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SO: In your eyes, do feel as if Garfunkel & Oates have blown up rather quickly, or that it has been a long struggle? I can see the acting part being long, but Garfunkel & Oates is just exploding all over everyone like a Jackson Pollock!

Riki: It feels very quick, actually. Kate and I have been extremely lucky as far as the people we’ve gotten to work with and the venues we’ve gotten to play. We’re very fortunate.

SO: What does a typical Garfunkel & Oates show look/sound like?

Kate: It depends. We try to do different things for every show. The last show, we had interpretive dancers and a set by Har Mar Superstar. But mostly, it’s an hour of songs, stories and jokes.

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SO: Do you ever find yourself Googling random stuff like “who played the kid on family ties?”

Riki: Yes, our Google searches are so random. Last night I was Googling fish diseases.

SO: “I Don’t Understand Job” seriously insanely good lyrically, and as a song, but I mean the actual rap and words are so good! How long does it take you to write a song like that? “Other girls were dripping like a Jackson Pollack” is ridiculous!

Riki: It took us months to write that song. I’m a total perfectionist so we work on every lyric until it’s perfect.

SO: Thanks so much, hugs!

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SO Note: Check out garfunkelandoates.com, get “All Over Your Face” on iTunes, and follow them on Twitter @garfunkeloates, @rikilindhome, and @katemicucci.

*Photos by Chad Nicholson and Seth Olenick.