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Meet Micah and Emily McGraw

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If you would like to hear songs about cats, tasers and a guy who works at AutoZone, then Emily and Micah McGraw are for you.  Micah and Emily McGraw

Emily and Micah McGraw, a married couple who live in West Philly, are a musical duo who plays at various comedy shows throughout the city. Their songs tend to be absurd, to say the least.

“Well, we'd like to be described as a hilarious husband and wife singing duo, who combine their love of folk, rock, country and R&B music with funny words that make you laugh and sometimes even make you think,” Emily said. “But unfortunately for us, we sometimes leave a show feeling like we may have come across as a mentally challenged brother and sister act who made very little sense. Which is fine.”

Micah plays the guitar and Emily has lead vocals. But they both split the songwriting process. And, from a relationship ten years long and counting, the two know each other inside and out.

“When we met we were already really similar types of people, so I think that has just intensified. We have a neighbor that keeps telling us we're starting to look like each other. The good part of that is, when writing songs together we don't have the experience you get so often when you're collaborating with someone. Like, when you don't really believe in this joke or that set-up, but they think it's really funny, so you just roll with it. Micah and I always think the same things are funny. It's gross!” Emily said.

The start of their relationship sounds like the most twisted Casey Kasem dedication. Emily was studying theater at a college in Los Angeles. A friend from her mime class told her that she talked a lot like a friend of his who was living in Georgia. Emily called Micah on the phone. He didn’t respond, so Emily started leaving threatening messages. Eventually, Micah responded. The two ended up going on a road trip together to San Francisco. On the way, they both realized they knew the words to all of the same contemporary Christian songs. And that led to marriage.

But that’s not to say that it’s always been marital bliss.

“I think some of our friends have the idea that we sit around drinking beer, laughing and laughing as the songs pour out us and somehow, after a song is complete our love is even stronger than before. It's the exact opposite of that. Except for the beer part,” said Emily. “What usually happens is that we'll book a show. Then the arguments start about when we will write the songs. I'll suggest an evening, and Micah will get all bent out of shape because he had plans to sharpen a chisel that night.”

Both McGraw’s have performing experience. Micah has played in a number of bands over the years. Emily is best known locally for her role in The Sixth Borough, a widely acclaimed sketch comedy group. Emily, who trained at the famous ImprovOlympic in Los Angeles, has also appeared in a little seen self-help video and in an episode in Comedy Central’s “I’m With Busey.”

But those of you who have visited Disneyland may recognize her face. For four years, Emily portrayed an animator at an exhibit. She would start by telling the audience about the life of an animator, and then, out of nowhere, a character named Mushu, voiced by an angry Eddie Murphy impersonator, would magically appear on the screen.

It may sound ridiculous. But Emily and Micah have always embraced the ridiculous. They’ve learned from it, too.

“The funny thing is, my time at Disneyland has been the most beneficial thing to me as far as writing and performing. You get all types of people there, and you have like 30 seconds to read your audience and tweak your show or delivery or whatever to make them laugh,” Emily said. “I was heckled all of the time and learned to manage. I would zone out and lose my place sometimes and got pretty good at ad-libbing so no one would know. The most important thing though was realizing that you have to figure out what it is that you can do to make people laugh, then just hone in on that."

Catch Emily and Micah McGraw in action over the next few weeks! They’re playing at the ComicVsAudience Radio Hour on G-Town Radio (www.gtownradio.com) on Thurs. 10/8 at 8 p.m; and with Secret Pants on Fri. 11/6 at The Shubin Theater (4th and Bainbridge).

photo's: www.themouseandthebillionare.com