A few months ago, there was an article I wrote concentrating on comedy’s significance in the music world. I still love listening to Asshole and I’m On a Boat just as much as the next guy but I feel there was a glaring omission from from that write-up. Notice how in that article, no women got any shine from me. That admittedly was a mistake. It was really hard to rack my brain for a credible musical-comedy act featuring females. Yeah, there was Judy Tenuta and her raunchy stage persona which was ahead of its time but I couldn’t really name someone whose material I was really familiar with. Right after that article was submitted, I was embarrassed that one had slipped my mind. One whose like-ability and catchiness I always admired. The novelty music duo known as Garfunkel & Oates.
Garfunkel & Oates is comprised of actresses, Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome. You may remember Micucci as Stephanie, the offbeat ukulele player that falls for Sacred Heart Hospital lawyer, Ted Buckland on Scrubs or more recently as Lucy, a love interest of Raj, on The Big Bang Theory.
Lindhome portrayed the sister of Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) in the Oscar winning picture, Million Dollar Baby. She was also featured in a few episodes of Gilmore Girls and now stars as Beatrice Downsy on the Comedy Central series, Another Period.
The women initially formed their pact after working with each other on a short film Lindhome directed named Imaginary Larry. After deciding to adapt it into a musical, the girls started writing music together. Just like that, equipped with an acoustic guitar and ukulele, Garfunkel & Oates was born in 2007. Their name is taken from the two lesser known musicians of the most famous twosomes in musical history, John Oates from Hall & Oates and of course, Art Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel.
Combining unpleasant real life experiences with crafty, humours lyrics, they released their first recording in 2009, an EP appropriately entitled Music Songs. It opens with one of their most beloved tunes, the painstakingly accurate Pregnant Women Are Smug which details how many couples act when they’re expecting. Problems such as working the fact into every single conversation and comparing the life event to other people’s accomplishments are just two of the pet peeves profiled in the track and it’s as hilarious as you’d expect. I also think the majority of the pregnant couples I encounter are annoying as hell too so bravo, ladies!
Another highlight of this extended play is Fuck You, a song about sexual desires. This song, edited as Screw You, was actually performed in a season eight episode of Scrubs by Micucci’s character, Stephanie and Ted in an attempt to serenade each other.
That same year, the duo released the single Present Face describing the look of disappointment when someone buys you a gift you didn’t want but you have to try and maintain a happy exterior as to not hurt their feelings. A situation I know all too well. I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of that for Christmas this year!
2011 saw the release of my favorite work of theirs, their first full-length album, All Over Your Face. In addition to containing a re-release of Pregnant Women Are Smug, it also spoofs the ridiculous club partying scene with the hip-hop parody, This Party Just Took A Turn For The Douche. The song makes many references to different mediums like history, movies, television, pop groups, and famous scandals. If you ever wanted to hear something that makes references from the likes of Savage Garden all the way to Margaret Sanger then this one’s for you. In fact, a plethora of G&O songs have many weird references. The accompanying video compliments the song perfectly and shows just how silly a lot of party animals are. Tanned bros and bling galore. The video for Sex with Ducks finds T.J. Miller (in one of his earlier roles) romancing a grown adult in a duck costume. If that doesn’t have you on the floor rolling then I don’t know what to tell you. It also uses Ducktales as metaphors for sexual intercourse. Can’t say that happens everyday.
Next, Slippery When Moist, lampooning the famous Bon Jovi record, Slippery When Wet, hit stores in 2012. Micucci and Lindhome show off their rapping ability once again by spewing off furious rhymes in Handjob, Blowjob, I Don’t Understand Job. I have to say, I think this might be the first and only time anyone will ever hear Mayim Bialik’s name in a hip-hop song. I also get a kick out of the brutally honest I Will Never (Have Sex With You), which is pretty self-explanatory. Been friendzoned lately?
Eventually, Garfunkel & Oates garnered a large cult following due to touring and humorous music video clips, enough for the IFC network to take notice. Believe it or not, this wasn’t the first time that the idea of the musicians having their own television show came into fruition. In 2011, the ladies shot episodes for a sitcom for HBO but the network ultimately decided not to move forward with the idea and it was ultimately nixed. The filmed footage was later added to HBO Go where they could be viewed online. The eponymous Garfunkel & Oates debuted on IFC in 2014. Eight episodes aired, all of which were directed by Fred Savage. The show chronicled the lives of Lindhome and Micucci living in Los Angeles while maintaining their music careers. Many of their songs are performed on the program with some of the stories detailed in their music being adapted into episodes such as Weed Card, where they discuss the benefits of medicinal marijuana, appearing in episode six. That same episode packs an appearance by fellow musical funnyman, “Weird” Al Yankovic who has joined the girls onstage during live performances on several occasions. It also tackles some of the real life events that both girls went through such as the seventh episode, Eggs, where Riki realizes it’ll be harder for her to become impregnated as she gets older so she undergoes medical treatment. This was actually a process she had done in real life as she stated in an interview that she’s frozen her eggs for later use if she decides to have children. Despite favorable reviews, the show was cancelled after its first season. I happened to love the show and the adorableness of the characters, especially Micucci. A lot of young women in Hollywood play the “nerd” card but these girls are two of the only ones I actually believe are apart of that culture.
In 2015, they released their third album, Secretions. The record’s best track in my opinion is Sports Go Sports where they throw shade at obsessive sports fans. Since I don’t follow most sports, I come into contact with these sorts of people daily. I’m sure we’ve also been in situations where we have to pretend to like a particular sport or team to fit in. They know how that feels and nail it with perfection.
The duo still likes to tour when they’re not acting so if they creep into your town, I would go see them and show your support if you love to laugh. Also, stay tuned because a special Garfunkel & Oates concert presentation will soon premiere on television.