2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival Review:
Garfunkel & Oates Deserve Better

Posted on 04 April 2011

Garfunkel & Oates are musical comedy duo Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome. They are performing as part of Headliners (USA). Their set was impeccably delivered, even facing the odd technical glitch.

Lindhome and Micucci showed skill in their playing and tightly blended voices. The vocal clarity and articulation were excellent. This is important. Some people think that with comedy they can forego skill in certain performance elements, because doing something badly is funny. However, most comedians who have received the biggest laughs for this sort of gag, do so out of genuine ability and understanding in how to make something hilariously bad. Victor Borge was famous for this. Micucci and Lindhome do not take this approach. Instead they ensure they deliver their material with such competence that nothing gets in the way of the jokes. It’s a very smooth package.

Of particular note are their songs Sex with a Duck, You Me & Steve, and Weed Card. Lindhome and Micucci use their sweet girlishness as a comedic launching ground for saucy and politically astute lyrics. Many people find this a surprising contrast (I don’t, because I live it everyday) and it serves well to intensify the laughs.

I loved their Motown approach to costuming, where their outfits emphasised the character of their comedy and subtly communicated the fact that they are a team. From matching black patent leather shoes and grey stockings to equally short girly skirts, they created a clear identity for themselves. Such an identity is brandable, as it has been for Lano & Woodley and The Scared Weird Little Guys.

My biggest complaint of the night was: Why weren’t Garfunkel & Oates given their own full show? They would have been an easy sell to Melbourne audiences who are familiar with Micucci in Scrubs and Raising Hope. Some people may remember Lindhome for her performance in Million Dollar Baby. Even without that familiarity, the Melbourne Comedy Festival demographic leans toward their style of humour. The other American comedians in Headliners were certainly polished performers and worth seeing, but only fifteen minutes of Garfunkel & Oates was hardly enough.

Here’s a sample of Garfunkel & Oates:
Sex with Ducks

And this song by Kate Micucci is one of my all time favourite videos:
Dear Deer

I hear Garfunkel & Oates may soon have their own HBO television series. Some are speculating that it may be something of a new Flight of the Conchords. I hope they have one episode where Rowan Atkinson turns up as Micucci’s nutty British uncle. And I ESPECIALLY hope we get to see this in Australia.

Peace and kindness,


1 Response to 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival Review:
Garfunkel & Oates Deserve Better

  • […] P.S. Here’s a review of one of their performances from Katherine Phelps, in search of LOLitanium […]

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