With a brand-new podcast network, a tour of live shows, and a hit show of their own, My Favorite Murder hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are building a bona fide comedy true-crime empire. That’s no small feat, given all of the podcasts, books, and Netflix shows crowding up the true-crime genre — and now they’ve written a book, too.
Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered is Kilgariff and Hardstark’s dual memoir — for all the non-Murderinos out there, the title doubles as the podcast’s longtime catchphrase — and it promises to explore “never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction.” Between recent My Favorite Murder live shows, the duo answered our most “pressing” questions about themselves. Below, read on for their answers and an exclusive excerpt from Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, ahead of its release in May 2019.
Who would play you two in the movie adaption of this book?
Kilgariff: Paul Giamatti.
Hardstark: Shelley Duvall.
If you could have a Mariah Carey-esque rider, what would be on it?
Kilgariff: A Mariah Carey-sized pile of cocaine.
What true-crime story would be best told as a musical?
Both: We think the dual of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr would make a perfect musical.
What regional food are you dying to try, but haven’t yet?
Hardstark: The list is very long, but the fact that Cincinnati puts chili on spaghetti makes me so happy.
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
Kilgariff: I was a pilgrim one year. I think I was just in it for the bonnet.
Hardstark: An itchy, smelly, highly flammable, hand-me-down Cookie Monster suit.
Above all else, what should people remember you by?
Hardstark: My cat’s Instagram account.
Kilgariff: I’m the girl that drank all the Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers in 1986.
Excerpt: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Normally, we’d be talking to you through our podcast, where it’s all microphones and couches and air. But now we’ve gotten paper and ink involved and things have become rather highbrow. That’s right, this scrappy little true crime-comedy podcast that you’ve been sneak-listening to at your temp job has somehow figured out a way to transition itself into the world of … (SPINNING IN A CIRCLE AS ORCHESTRAL MUSIC SWELLS) … literature. We have gone from living inside your headphones to pouring ourselves out onto the page like a couple of Edna St. Vincent Millays. We invite you to drink deeply of us. We’ll get you good and fucked up.
Oh, you’ve never heard of us before? Sure, we understand. Podcasting is a relatively new thing. Let us introduce ourselves. We are the hosts of My — what’s that, you say? You’ve never listened to a podcast before and you’re not sure how they work and you don’t feel like getting involved? Gotcha. You’re not alone. But before you run off and buy some other book with “sexy” in the title, let us tell you a little story. It’s about two gals who were living passably fine lives in Los Angeles in the late 2010s. One was named Georgia, and she — to oversimplify both of their incredibly complex and varied careers — was a Cooking Channel host, and Karen, the other one, was a sitcom writer. So, one Halloween, they’re at a party together and they start chatting about a then new HBO series called The Staircase, which tells the story of a man going to trial for the murder of his wife. They realize they’re both obsessed and are thrilled to have found someone else to talk to about it. So they do. They talk and talk. Some people join in, some dip back out, and soon the kitchen’s clear of everyone except the two women. So they decide to meet for lunch. And they talk even more. Hours and hours of coffee and talking. The next time they see each other, Georgia suggests they start a true crime podcast. Why not? They both already had podcasts of their own. They knew what it would entail. So they agreed to give it a try. CUT TO: hundreds of episodes, millions of listeners, sold-out international tour dates, and a book deal. It’s kind of a feel-good story. It feels really good to us, anyway.
OK, now that we’ve caught everyone up, let’s get back to the part about the book. We put a lot of effort into its creation, and for it, we have suffered mightily. For the past year and a half, we have been travelers set adrift on foreign seas aboard the HMS Write-a-Book. We set out impetuously, blindly, unfamiliar with the charted course, unsure what the food at the buffet would be like, afraid the other passengers wouldn’t be nice to us. We were anxious. We were seasick. We told ourselves, “Let’s just try to get through this metaphorical book boat journey in one piece. Be cool. Act natural. No, don’t whistle, stupid! That’s the opposite of natural. Why does everyone think whistling indicates relaxation? It’s literally one of the weirdest things you can do in public without breaking the law. Blowing spurts of air out of your pursed lips to produce a raspy little song like some sad bird impersonator. No discernable tune, no clear plan. Just kind of a long, vocalized exhale through big kissy lips. What better way to let the world know you’re at ease.” Whoops, sorry. We got carried away there. BECAUSE THAT, DEAR FRIENDS, IS THE POWER OF LITERATURE.