You know how sometimes there are those artists that you just know in your heart of hearts if you could just get in the same room with them you would walk in a fan and walk out braiding each others hair and talking about how you moved to LA with your boyfriend and you guys moved into Park La Brea and you broke up with him shortly after too?!? That is exactly how I feel about Riki and Kate of ‘Garfunkel and Oats’.
The first time I really truly heard about ‘Garfunkel and Oats’ was when my best friend Meg Brophy came to visit. Meg is obsessed with many things. She’s super smart and cares very deeply, so it’s easy for her to fall into rabbit holes. One of these things is Conan O’Brien!
Meg reserved us tickets as far in advance as she could, before we even knew who the guests would be. We literally scheduled the rest of her visit to LA around the date of our reservation. The show was great, though I must say I hated his opening comedian. He only spoke to the men in the audience as he did stand up based on info about the guests’ lives. If he wanted information on any of the women, I shit you not, he directed his questions towards the men that they came with. After feeling disgruntled about that, it was refreshing to see Kate and Riki take the stage. They sang their song the “Slow Fade Away” and were hilarious.
They sat down and talked to Conan about how being mistaken for Art Garfunkel and John Oats got them a spot in a stand-up line-up, about how Riki did hormone injections so she could freeze her eggs, and about how bad Kate is at breaking up with boys. I was hooked. As soon as their show was available on Netflix, I did what we all do and immersed myself in the world of Riki and Kate!
Their show is brilliant, weird, and one of my new favorite things. They talk about all the stuff that women face, that men don’t even think about, simply because they are women. For example, in the episode where they switch hair to highlight what long, perfect, blonde hair can do to a person, and further, what it does to those around you. We get to see both girls stay silent in their new relationships to see if the men they are dating will even notice. Kate’s date thinks that she is mentally impaired. Riki ends up flipping shit and speaking up because the guys she’s around are confusing Rent and Book of Mormon (because AIDS). My favorite part of the whole thing is when we see Riki choose the egg freezing process, something she is doing to fulfill her own needs, over the possibility of a relationship again with her ex. Jason Ritter played her ex, so I’m not only extremely impressed, but also super proud!
I have also recently started listening to Riki’s podcast from 2011-2013 called ‘Making It.’ She talks to people who have cool careers and shared their advice with us! I would highly recommend it to everyone, especially people just starting out in the entertainment industry at any capacity. It’s almost like the “It Gets Better” campaign of our industry (***Update: Riki totally compares her podcast to this in a later episode, see besties***). She makes me feel like I can do it! She had Kate on her first episode, and it was so good. Kate talked about figuring out what she wanted to do, how she basically fell into her career, and how she just somehow knew she needed to be in LA.
Now, onto the story of the night I met Riki and Kate. I used to work as a server at a place in Beverly Hills and that night all I knew was that I had to come into work at 9pm and that I would be there until late. There was a buyout, so we were closing the restaurant early for them. We got all set up and were ready to go, while they were still wrapping up their pre-party at a hotel nearby, so we had some down time. I had just watched the “Speechless” episode of ‘Garfunkel and Oats’ before work, so I brought it up with some of my co-workers whom were also fans. We were going on about how hilarious they and the show were, when my manager came in to tell us the guests had arrived, so we grabbed the trays and headed out. The curtain to the kitchen is two feet from the bathroom door, and when I exited I could not believe who was in front of my face. It was Riki and Kate!!! It turns out our guests were there to celebrate the closing night of ‘The Thrilling Adventure Hour.’ (OMG!)
I rushed back into the kitchen, after distributing food, and told one of my co-workers I had been chatting with about them earlier that they were guests in our restaurant at that moment. She beamed and said I had to tell them that I was just talking about them, so I did! I went up to them and. Said, “I just have to tell you guys I was literally just talking about how much I love ‘Garfunkel and Oats’ in the kitchen, and then here you are.” Kate replied, “Oh my gosh, Thanks!”,“You brought us here, we are here for you,” said Riki. I immediately got shy (weird) and it felt out of line to say much more, as I was at work, but they were awesome the entire rest of the night. Riki told me where Steve Agee went so I could bring him his spaghetti and meatballs, and Kate said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ every five minutes.
Now I wish I had gushed more and told them how much they mean to me. I wish I had told them that it’s women like them who inspire me to make Act Like a Girl a happen. Women who are super honest about how ‘doing it all’ is not a walk in the park, despite making it look so easy. Someday I will tell them.
(Thank you to Ginny Clausen & Natalja Sundeth for proof reading and editing! Yes, I know the first sentence is a run on… it’s how I talk when I’m excited!!!)