Profile: Kate Micucci ’03

Not everyone gains fame and success with catchy ditties filled with clever wordplay. But Kate Micucci is doing just that. She and her original songs — and her hilarious and appealing personality — together have led to a recurring role on the TV hit “Scrubs,” stints on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and a few cross-global gigs to perform “songs, stories and surprises.”

Micucci was born in New Jersey and grew up in Pennsylvania, where she developed a love for the outdoors. One of her widely known videos, “Dear Deer,” is set in the woods and includes child actors playing a hunter and his prey, a deer. Music, acting, art projects and pretend games filled her early days, and today she’s the first to admit: “I’m doing exactly the same thing now … performing shows, doing music, drawing and painting. I’m getting ready to put on my roller blades and helmet and go outside right now! Nothing’s changed!”

Micucci made her way to Los Angeles the roundabout way, after being nudged in a dream. “I was in Hawaii to sort out my thoughts and had this vivid dream that I was supposed to go to L.A.,” she says. “I booked a flight as soon as I woke up,” and Micucci ended up at LMU, studying studio arts in the College of Communication and Fine Arts. “I was always writing little funny songs and playing them for my roommates.”

The City of Angels also blessed Micucci with a musical partner, Riki Lindhome, who put the Garfunkel in “Garfunkel and Oates,” their musical comic duo. Micucci provides the musical accompaniment, usually with her ukelele. “We met in the lobby of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre — we were both there on terrible dates,” Micucci says.

Now, Micucci and her ukulele have struck a chord, many chords, in fact: shows in Australia this past spring, a solo act at Hollywood’s Steve Allen Theater, TV appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” movie roles in “The Last Hurrah,” “When in Rome” and “Bart Got a Room,” and even an H&R Block commercial playing a terminology-challenged taxpayer.

But Micucci never forgets her roots, especially the comedic ones. “The one main thing that has never changed in my life is ‘I Love Lucy.’ Lucy will forever and always be my inspiration.”

Susan Love Loughmiller is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles. She has been an editor and writer at newspapers in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Cincinnati, as well as her home town of Indianapolis.