Garfunkel & Oates is a comedic folk duo that will make you blush as much as you laugh. Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, whose band name is inspired by famous musical “second bananas,” meld saccharine melodies with lyrics about Googling strangers, one-night stands and accidental masturbation. Last year saw them ink a sitcom deal with IFC. While the show will not return, Garfunkel & Oates remain busy working on new material and touring—stopping at the Venetian’s Sands Showroom on March 21.
What is the writing process like for you two?
Micucci: We brainstorm on a subject for a while. We can take months to plan out what we want to say in a song. Now we’ve refined it to where Riki will take that giant document and form it into [lyrics.] Then I’ll take it and form a melody around the words. But we trade off.
Is there anything you butt heads on?
Lindhome: I don’t think so. We constantly go, “We can do better. We can do better.” We’re super honest with each other and constantly trying to make things better.
Micucci: We don’t settle until we think it’s right. If one thinks it’s right and the other doesn’t, we make sure we don’t end until we both feel good about it.
How did the TV-14 rating on your IFC show affect your creativity?
Lindhome: It was hard because we couldn’t swear. We couldn’t have anything too sexual. So, you know, we could only use about half of our songs.
Were ideas shut down for being too risqué?
Lindhome: There were ideas that the network didn’t like. It was more like they were too weird for a TV show. We had ideas that were so weird. So out there. Those were the ones that usually got turned down.
Has the candor of your songs affected your dating life?
Micucci: We both experienced things where we were the second or third date in with a guy, and after they came to a show, it was just completely over.
Lindhome: We’ve also had it happen where it was lukewarm and the guy was like, “Ooh, interesting! I like that.” It goes both ways.
It seems like a good test then, to see if a guy can hang.
Lindhome: Yeah! Although it doesn’t really happen anymore though because …
You guys are famous.
Lindhome: People are not surprised. They don’t go on dates with us and go, “You’re in a comedy band?” At least not lately.
That’s like Taylor Swift. For a while, guys would get up in arms when she wrote a song about them. You should just know. That’s what she does.
Lindhome: [Laughs.] Exactly.
Do you ever hear ridiculous songs on the radio and think they might be a joke, but they’re totally serious?
Micucci: Are you asking if songs were written seriously that we thought were comedy songs?
Yeah. Songs that are serious but so ridiculous you can’t take them seriously.
Lindhome: I don’t think that’s ever happened to me, no.
Micucci: No, I don’t think so.
No? OK. One I was thinking of lately was the “body like a benz” song [“The Body” by Wale featuring Jeremih.] Have you heard it?
Lindhome: No. What is it?
It’s a rap song. They’re trying to woo this woman by describing her as a Mercedes-Benz, which I thought was an interesting technique.
Lindhome: No, I’ve never heard that.
Oh, OK. Maybe I just asked it, but … I feel like women in comedy are asked some pretty dumb questions. What’s the stupidest question you’ve ever been asked?
Lindhome: I think it was something to do with the “body like a benz” song.
I set myself up for that!
Lindhome: [Laughs.] No, I think the dumbest question we’ve ever been asked was when this girl opened by asking “Why comedy?” We were like, “What? I don’t know!” It wasn’t even that it was a dumb question; it was that was a hard question.
Micucci: It was right after one of our shows. We just did a two-hour long show and she comes back and says, “Why comedy?
That’s pretty deep for question one. So you guys are working on your next album. Will you perform new material in Las Vegas?
Micucci: I’d say about half of our set is new material.
And this is your first time playing Vegas, correct?
Lindhome: Yes! I’ve only been to Vegas once before and that was like 10 or 11 years ago, so it’s going to be a totally different experience.
Micucci: I played Vegas when I first started. My third show ever was where I sat in a box and made-out with bird puppets. I don’t know if you call that playing Vegas, but … I was at Caesars Palace making out with some bird puppets.
Garfunkel & Oates
9:30 p.m. March 21, Sands Showroom in the Venetian, $45 and up, 702-414-9000, Venetian.com.
Five Must-Watch Videos by Garfunkel & Oates
Micucci and Lindhome play the same woman, two years apart. And 24 months makes a huge difference in how she feels about love, opportunity and life in general. This is the duo’s favorite to perform live.
“Pregnant Women Are Smug”
No one wants to say it, but it’s kind of true. The finale features a giant, cartoony birth canal from which Micucci and Lindhome emerge.
“Sports Go Sports”
The theme song for anyone who has ever sat cluelessly through a sports match. This song caused “by far the most negative reaction we’ve gotten to any of our songs,” Micucci told Rolling Stone. “[People] took it so personally,” Lindhome added.
“This Party Took a Turn for the Douche”
It always happens when you stay too long. This one includes such rap video staples as stacks of money, wind machines and bottle service.
A little ditty about sidestepping Biblical principles by going through the backdoor. Thank you for making me holy. And thank you for giving me holes to choose from.