On Friday, television blog WarmingGlow announced that HBO has signed on to produce a new show starring comedy folk duo Garfunkel and Oates (Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome) of “Pregnant Women are Smug” fame, since, as Bette Midler has argued, funny women are often confined to the smaller screen.
It seems impossible not to draw comparisons between Garfunkel and Oates and HBO’s …
… critically-acclaimed Flight of the Concords, even before the concept for the show has really been announced. Even WarmingGlow’s title argues that this is just “Flight of the Concords, but American and with Women.”
Apart from that, the blogger doesn’t really offer too much snark, but does lay out a list of “musts” if the show is going to work.
(1) No rapping. And (2) an overly enthusiastic stalker fan. Is there a male version of Kristen Schaal? I vote for Eugene Mirman or John Hodgman. Or Jim Gaffigan. Or Patton Oswalt. Man, there are a lot of creepy-looking male comics out there.
But does Garfunkel and Oates really have to be another Flight of the Concords in order to succeed? Perhaps more importantly, will a show starring two female comedians have the same crossover gender appeal as everyone’s two favorite kiwi dudes? Because even if it does succeed, if this new show is just a lady-version of HBO’s old favorite, won’t it always risk being seen as “lesser-than”?
There has long been a debate about whether female comedians can be as funny as their male counterparts. If they are deemed amusing, it usually seems to come at the cost of their sexual appeal, having to be the “funny fat lady,” as the UK’s Ruth Jones recently bemoaned, or a frumpy Liz Lemon-type. Will it work with two leads like Lindhome and Micucci who look hipsterish, spritely and cute?
But what do you think? Are attitudes about female comedians changing? Can women be considered funny and attractive? Will you watch the pilot episode of Garfunkel and Oates?