Don’t be fooled by the twee.
Oh sure, they look doe-eyed and sweet, but Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, the two actress/singer/comedians who comprise Garfunkel and Oates (Lindhome is Garfunkel and Micucci is Oates), are anything but.
These are after all, the women who wrote “The Loophole,” a raunchy little ode to doing an end-run around losing your virginity while still keeping your hormonal high school boyfriend happy. Many have been introduced to the duo through sex columnist Dan Savage’s podcast, “Savage Love.” Their work is reminiscent of the impish, subversive wit of Nellie McKay’s “Mother of Pearl,” but with a more foul-mouthed edge.
Their music mainly consists of satirical ditties like “29/31,” which examines a single woman’s outlook on dating when she’s 29 and again when she’s 31. In the space of two years, you’ve gone from being a wellspring of optimism who’s everyone’s favorite age to witnessing your youth and desirability evaporate without warning like your favorite item unexpectedly vanishing from the shelves at Trader Joe’s, never to return. And suddenly, there you are, dolefully whiling away your days with Sad.FM, easy listening for the over-30s, and feeling pitiful when you can’t even drown your sorrows in Trader Joe’s korma sauce because it no longer exists.
So of course, there’s only one thing left to do besides get a jump on that burgeoning collection of cats that will soon find its way to your door: PANIC.
On Thursday night, their eponymous new comedy series debuted on IFC. It’s directed by Fred Savage — yes, Fred Savage of “The Wonder Years.” The premiere was injected with Lindhome and Micucci’s trademark commentary on gender, interspersed with kissing scenes with an impossibly cute comedian and references to their existing catalog of songs such as “This Party Took a Turn for the Douche.” Like “Portlandia,” the show’s strength lies at the intersection of awkward and hilarious.
Recently, Lindhome told a crowd at Comic-Con that Garfunkel and Oates was born as a result of the 2007-08 writers’ strike. “It went on forever and we just wanted to make stuff,” she said. “I kind of had a feeling my acting career would be over when the writers’ strike was over and that I better figure out what else I was good at.”
Part of what makes Garfunkel and Oates appealing, especially to the “This American Life” set, is their ability to inject the most unexpected, seemingly incongruous references into their songs. Take “This Party Took a Turn for the Douche,” which features cameos from Sarah Silverman and Tig Notaro. In a song that blasts people who wear Ed Hardy, spray tans, and Axe body spray, Garfunkel and Oates manage to sneak in references to Truman Capote, Norman Mailer and Margaret Sanger.
IFC made an episode of “Garfunkel and Oates,” which airs Thursdays at 10 PM, available on YouTube in advance of the premiere. You can watch it here:
The duo also starts a new tour Aug. 22. Dates below:
Aug. 22 — House Of Blues — Dallas, Texas
Aug. 23 — House Of Blues — Houston, Texas
Aug. 30 — Irving Plaza — New York
Sept. 5 — The Varsity — Minneapolis, Minn.
Sept. 6 — House Of Blues — Chicago
Sept. 27 — Cobbs Comedy Club — San Francisco
Oct. 4 — The Neptune — Seattle
Oct. 16 — Avalon — Los Angeles
Oct. 18 — The Barrymore — Madison, Wis.
Nov. 14 — Bogart’s — Cincinnati
Nov. 15 — The Egyptian — Indianapolis
Nov. 21 — The Straz Center — Tampa, Fla.
Nov. 22 — House Of Blues — New Orleans
Dec. 6 — Wilbur Theater — Boston