The idea behind our Comedy Couples series, is to get to know other comedians who work, perform and live this crazy entertainment lifestyle just like we live. Often we know these comedians well. Sometimes though, we’re getting to learn about them right along with you. Last year, we went to the Dallas Comedy Festival where we met Craig Cackowski. Of course we knew who he was. Craig is a legend of sorts at iO Chicago and as a touring member and Mainstage writer/performer for five years with The Second City. He has since gone on to appear in shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, Veep, The Mindy Project, Community, Workaholics and many more. His reputation proved itself more than worthy as his improv skills are inspiring to watch, which we learned while watching his improv show Dasariski perform. Dasariski can be seen in LA and in festivals around the country.
Unfortunately, we did not get to meet Carla Cackowski (then Snowden), although we were supposed to. She was originally slated to be in the same Second City cruise ship group as we were, but due to schedule conflicts she wasn’t able to join our cast. Carla is a comedy force within her own right having done voice over work on Pretty Little Liars, iCarly, and Cougar Town. She is a staple in the sketch comedy world in LA, performing with the UCB Theater, improvising at iO West and in festivals around the country, as well as with The Second City on the cruise ships… just not the one with us. Plus, she is excited to be a part of a new theater company in LA called The Solo Collective along with some other very talented people.
Not only are their names kind of hard to say together, they’re obviously a very talented couple who just happen to also be newlyweds.
What’s the first moment that made you say, “Oh my God this person gets me?”
Craig: Probably when she came to my shows and laughed at everything I said. Wait…maybe she was just doing that to make out with me.
Carla: I’m not sure if I remember the first time, but the most recent time was yesterday when I started singing a song I made up for our cat Bronco and Craig interrupted me and finished the verse.
Do you make each other laugh all the time at home?
Craig: Oh, yeah. Usually in the voices she adopts to talk to our animals.
Carla: Mostly. Except for when Craig is crying while watching “The Voice”. Then it’s very one sided and he’s only making me laugh.
Are you funnier on stage on at home? What would the other person say?
Craig: I’m definitely funnier on stage, I think of myself as relatively serious in life when I’m not on stage. Carla is hilarious in all situations, but is especially funny at home. I think Carla would agree on both counts.
Carla: I’m probably funnier at home. Or in the car. I’m really funny on road trips. Craig would probably agree.
Does the comedy come easier because you’re in a relationship?
Craig: There’s definitely no guesswork when we’re on stage together in having to figure out what the other person is going for. In fact, my improv usually reflects whatever was going on in my life that week/stuff we were already talking about, much to Carla’s consternation.
Carla: We don’t really perform together very often. Watching Craig improvise is one of the my favorite things in the world, though. I always wonder if people realize how much he uses from his real life. A couple years into dating, I was complaining how much weight I was gaining because all we ever did was go out to eat. The next night he was playing a woman onstage and said the exact thing verbatim. So now you all know the secret to Craig’s success. ME! (Hoping sarcasm reads properly in this.)
How do you balance your “comedy life” with your “regular married life”?
Craig: We’re actually rarely at the theater on the same nights, and we have separate comedy friends and separate comedy lives. I also think it’s important to take breaks from comedy and get out of LA every now and then!
Carla: This is something we’re working on. Right, honey? Oh wait. He’s not here. He’s at an improv festival.
Describe the pros and cons of being married/in a relationship to a comedy partner.
Craig: We can always test bits and ideas out on each other at home, practice auditions, etc. I totally trust her opinion on what is funny and whether I’m funny.
Carla: The only con is when I have a show or am teaching an improv class at the same time he has a show. Cause then I miss out on watching him perform. And that’s a bummer. We lead pretty separate comedy lives in the sense that we don’t do any shows together, but that feels like a pro most of the time. It’s nice to be able to go off and do our own thing and then come back together and talk about our experiences.
Anything else you’d like to add that you think would be fun?
Craig: Carla sings the same songs over and over to our animal, including such hits as “I scratch-a your belly, and I scratch-a your face, and I scratch-a, scratch-a, scratch-a all over the place”. This never fails to crack me up, and me making fun of her for doing it never fails to crack her up.
Carla: Craig and I lived a few blocks apart in Chicago in 2000. I saw Craig do a Second City show when I was 19. Craig was my teacher in LA a few years before we started dating in 2006. It’s weird to think that he was somewhere in my life for so long before we connected. Pretty romantic, eh?
Side Note: After they both sent me their responses, Carla said, “AHHH – just reading his! He told you about the animal songs too! This is like a group mind exercise all up in your facebook messages.” Adorable! Hang on to her Craig. She’s a keeper!