Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

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Aritzia features Garfunkel & Oates

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Aritzia December 4, 2013
Good Humour
by Danielle Bacher

Move over Kristin Wiig. Meet six new female comedians who are killing it on stage, on screen, and online.

Rising to prominence in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry isn’t easy. But, over the past few years, female comedians have been slowly but surely taking control of comedy in every form. Thanks to pioneers like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who’ve proven that gender has nothing to do with how hilarious you are, funny girls are really starting to overshadow the guys. Not only are SNL’s standout players all female (can you even name a new male cast member?) but, on the opposite coast, the new comedy mecca of Los Angeles is churning out a seemingly endless supply of witty ladies. We set out to find the next troupe of Tinas and Amys and Kristins in L.A.: Here, meet six young and uber-talented comedians—Beth Stelling, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (a.k.a. Garfunkel and Oates), Shelby Fero, Megan Amram, and Alice Wetterlund—and laugh it up as you read about their hilarious stories and struggles in this crazy business.

RIKI LINDHOME AND KATE MICUCCI
(GARFUNKEL AND OATES)


Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, a.k.a. comedy act Garfunkel and Oates, are running into the kitchen of a downtown Los Angeles apartment, rushing to make their call time for the shoot after spending the weekend in Palm Springs at a friend’s wedding. “Sorry, I jumped in the pool with my clothes on last night!” Micucci says, laughing, clutching her still-wet bra. The duo originally met at a youth band camp at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania when they were 10, but reconnected when they both moved to Los Angeles years later. They became close friends, then songwriting partners, and began posting their funny tunes on YouTube as Garfunkel and Oates. The blogosphere dubbed them “the female Flight of the Concords,” but they are much more than a copy: Together, they lit on a glorious mashup of folk-pop and dirty jokes, best articulated in songs like “Only You,” “Fuck You,” and “Silver Lining.” (These tracks also appear on their 2009 album Music Songs.) The ladies—who count “Weird” Al Yankovic, Tenacious D, Adam Sandler, and Gilda Radner as influences— are currently penning a Garfunkel & Oates series for IFC about their own “weird and crazy” experiences, as well as a new album of original material.

So you two were at a wedding last night that ended when you jumped in a pool with all your clothes on?

LINDHOME: Yeah, Jack Black did [it first]. And then everyone else there was like, “Fuck it!”
MICUCCI: Yeah, then Zooey Deschanel had to do it. She jumped in, and then it was like, “The famous people are in the pool!” So then we all did it.

What happened the first time you decided to write and play together?

MICUCCI: I remember Riki calling me up and asking if I wanted to write some songs. We wrote two-and-a-half songs in two hours, and we were on cloud nine about it. We desperately wanted to play them for someone, so we called friends until someone answered, and then we sang to our friend Wendy. Two people forcing themselves into your apartment to sing is kind of a funny thing when you think about it! After that, Riki wanted to show her friends and family the songs, so we recorded them and she put them on YouTube. Very soon after that, I was cast on Scrubs. Bill Lawrence saw our videos and asked to use our song “Fuck You” in an episode, so we turned it into “Screw You.” That led people to our videos.

You two performed with Weird Al in 2011. What was that like?

MICUCCI: He’s the nicest guy! We practiced with him and his accordion. We were so excited. We couldn’t believe it was real. And he showed us all of his Hawaiian shirts.

You both appeared on The Big Bang Theory. Are you as nerdy as the characters you portray?

LINDHOME: Uh, no. I wish I were that smart. My character was so smart. I had to look up every single term [in the script]!
MICUCCI: I don’t think I’m as nerdy, but I was as shy as my character. I think a switch flipped at one point, and I wasn’t shy anymore at, like, 20 years old. When I came out to L.A. and transferred to Loyola Marymount, I came out of my shell. But because I was shy, I think I understood the character more. I thought I was going to be a puppeteer, so no one would have to see me. That, or a voiceover artist.

Were you a dork in high school?

MICUCCI: Oh yeah, I think it’s safe to say that [Laughs]. I had a train set and puppets.
LINDHOME: My town was so small. I wasn’t a dork, but I guess I could have been one in a different environment.
MICUCCI: You were popular at camp!
LINDHOME: I think band camp popularity is different….

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