When Riki Lindhome first uploaded her whimsical duets with Kate Micucci to YouTube, she wasn’t expecting an audience larger than her parents. Needless to say, the pair didn’t foresee John Oates acting as a porn shop owner on their very own TV show, either.
Since singer-songwriter pair Garfunkel and Oates made their casual debut on the grainy YouTube screen in 2007, the duo has progressed to full-out snazzy music videos, poking fun at topics ranging from snooty pregnant women to medical marijuana. Hilarious honesty shines through each of the compositions, which they put together in four albums, with another one on the horizon for next year. Their self-titled TV show piloted earlier this month on IFC.
Garfunkel and Oates’ simple comedic style mirrors their “carpe diem” attitude toward their careers.
“It wasn’t crazy planning in the beginning. It was just like seeing what happens,” Micucci said.
While they may not have had a set plan going in, they didn’t lack ambition.
Their creative process includes months of brainstorming, and they don’t hesitate to cut projects that fail to meet their own standard for funniness.
Dedication to their fans also shows in their history. Once, the duo drove eight hours to a show, only to drive eight hours back for another show the next day.
“It was the one time we splurged, and we spent all the money we were making on the gig to hire a driver. We completely broke even. It was like, ‘Oh well,’” Lindhome said.
They’ve performed in venues across the country over the past five years, but Garfunkel and Oates’ upcoming visit to the Varsity Theater will be part of their first official tour, which is set to go through December. Their Dinkytown stop also marks their first visit to Minnesota.
In their earlier years, John Oates contacted them via Myspace to let them know that he approved of their chosen title, granted that he receives free beer at their shows. And his support doesn’t end there — the duo opened for him in the past, and he later guest starred in the second episode of their TV series.
In the show, “Garfunkel and Oates,” Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Micucci (Oates) play fictional versions of themselves, with their side-splitting tunes woven into the off-beat humor of the show.
“It was pretty nuts to have John Oates show up,” Lindhome said.
Lindhome and Micucci have both had busy individual careers prior to Garfunkel and Oates. Of Lindhome’s many credentials, she’s appeared in “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gilmore Girls” and wrote, directed and produced her own short film, “Life is Short.” Likewise, among many things, Micucci has popped up on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Adventure Time.”
The two met through commercial auditions, in which they vied for the roles of aliens and elves. After seeing each other around enough, they eventually hit it off.
Going even further back, Lindhome majored in communications in college, while Micucci studied art. Lindhome’s flute skills, visible in one of their earlier videos, “Silver Lining,” may have come from her time spent with her campus orchestra. And Micucci said that she was a part of “Catholic Jokes,” a campus improv group, for about a semester.
When asked about advice for college students, they both agreed that the most valuable part of a college experience is the education and personal growth, rather than getting straight A’s.
“I needed college for life lessons more than I did to learn about World War II or something like that,” Micucci said.
“Well, I went to college to learn about World War II,” Lindhome said jokingly.
Lindhome gave some solid advice for aspiring entertainers.
“Start doing it. There’s no path; you just have to start trying it.”
What: Garfunkel and Oates
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday
Where: The Varsity Theater, 1308 Fourth St. SE