Photo w/ permission from katemicucci.com
This past Saturday you got a taste of Garfunkel and Oates.
As part of the duo, Micucci is well known on the West Coast for shows at the Steve Allen Theater and if you're a Scrubs fan, she was goofy lawyer Ted's girlfriend, Stephanie Gooch, this season. You can see her around town playing her ukulele or on the beach building sand sculptures (they're quite spectacular). I'm pleased to sit down and talk (via email) with Kate "Oates" Micucci.
LP: How does Garfunkel & Oates come up with the fun, true diddies, like Present Face?
Kate: Oftentimes Riki (Lindhome) says, "We should write a song about this." Then from there we sit with the piano and guitar and a tape recorder and just go.
LP: Do you consider yourself (or your duo) socially conscious humor?
Kate: I never think of my solo songs as socially conscious. I think my songs have pretty simple subject matter. But with Garfunkel and Oates, we touch on some social ideas. Our latest song is a pro gay marriage song called Sex With Ducks. With G and O, it is nice to be able to be more bold with both subject matter and melodies.
LP: What's your favorite experience or moment as a comedian?
Kate: I've only been performing for a little less than two years. But in that time I have a lot of favorite moments. Last month's Playin' With Micucci at the Steve Allen Theater was pretty special. It was the first time my mom and dad were seeing me perform. It was 420. And it also happened to be my mom's birthday. So it was the "Let's Get High With My Mom Birthday Show." Over 100 people sang happy birthday to my mom. It was pretty special. I'm not sure how many of those people then got high.
LP: Where did building sand castles come from? What's your inspiration behind this very cool hobby?
Kate: I studied sculpture in college and I always enjoyed sculpting in the sand. Then my brother told me that a fancy hotel in Santa Monica was looking for a sand castle building instructor. I got the job and spent every Sunday evening teaching kids how to build in the sand. The best part was, most of the time, nobody showed up for class so I got paid to go to the beach. I don't teach classes anymore but I do still go to the beach to sculpt when I have the time.
LP: Do you consider G&O the female version of Flight of the Conchords? Do you get that a lot?
Kate: We've been getting that a lot. I've actually never seen Flight of the Conchords although people tell me all of the time that I should check it out. That is the popular comedy band right now, so that is the automatic comparison. If it were ten years ago, we'd be the female Tenacious D. But it is all very flattering. I think as girls, we are able to get away with saying things that guys could never say. I don't think a guy could get away with singing Pregnant Women Are Smug. So I think it is new hearing songs like this from a female perspective.
LP: and lastly, do you think humor can be used as a tool for social change?
Kate: Absolutely. I wouldn't doubt Tina Fey's portrayal of Palin swung some votes Obama's way.
Hopefully she and her partner-in-crime, Riki Lindhome, will be able to swing some votes to overturn the Prop 8 decision in California with this:
If you're looking for Kate to come your way, she's thinking about it and would love to take her show on the road. Kate loves Chicago - maybe a Wisecrack event? I'm crossing my fingers.