Hey, it’s another installment of our favorite running segment on this blog: Comedy Couples! Today’s comedy couple is Steve Kaminski and Katie Neff. We first met Steve and Katie back when they lived in Chicago. They were mainstays of the community, performing at the typical places – iO, The Playground, The Annoyance when Katie wasn’t out touring with The Second City. Steve and Katie then moved to Las Vegas, performing there again with The Second City. From Vegas, they hit the high seas performing with The Second City on Norwegian Cruise Lines, just like us! While we never were in a cast with them, we performed on the same ship and even stayed in the same cabin as they did, which meant we got their old shit that they left in the cabin. Finally, in 2010, they moved to LA to continue pursuing the acting dream.
Steve and Katie are both actors, writers, improvisers, and comedians. They have appeared in TV commercials, movies, Funny or Die videos and much more. In addition to the work they do individually, they also have an improvised show they do together called “Neffinski” (see what they did there) which will “take you on an improvisational journey through their marriage”. Their words, not ours. In addition to Neffinski, Katie and Steve invite other improv couples into their relationship in a show called “Hollywood Swingers”. Steve performs with Andy St Clair and other guest improvisors in “Not Funny”. All these shows happen at Second City Hollywood, various dates and times. Katie also regularly plays throughout Los Angeles with her award winning all-bitch group, “Two Beer Queer” (again, their words, not ours). So keep your eyes open, you never know where they’ll appear next!
When we visited LA back in 2011, Steve and Katie were incredibly generous enough to invite us to sit in with them at the Second City Hollywood, and then were even more generous enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us…and you! Meet Steve and Katie!
What’s the first moment that made you say, “Oh my God this person gets me?”
Katie – When we were laying in bed, post “snuggles”. We had both looked up at a poster and came up with two enduring bits that have lasted us 10 years. It was the first meeting of our comedic minds, and I loved it.
Steve – Katie and I took a trip to Ireland together about a year into our relationship. Although I know I felt it sooner than that, what comes to mind is the two weeks of making each other giggle and spending boat loads of money. I never liked Guinness before that trip. I feel it was the moment I knew this was going to be great a partnership. Then again, sometimes I wonder if she even does get me to this day. And 10 years later, we are still laying in bed giggling… Not at each others bodies. Get your mind out if the gutter.
Do you make each other laugh all the time at home?
Katie – YES! If we didn’t we would most likely be crying. The life of a clown, huh?
Steve – For years people have been asking us that. And I always dismissed it. But about a month ago I realized how lucky we really are. We really do laugh all day around the house. We are the funniest people I know.
Would you say you’re funnier on stage on at home?
Katie – Boy, that’s a tricky one. On stage we try to amp it up for sure, but it’s an interesting dynamic switching from love seat to the boards. (gross) I know what has just happened an hour before with Steve, the audience doesn’t, so I know that a lot of that gets revisited on stage for sure.
Steve – I want to say its pretty even. It’s just we don’t usually have an audience in our livingroom to help us judge how funny our “home bits” are.
Does the comedy come easier because you’re married?
Katie– That kind of comedy, yes. I’ve always fancied myself a comedic type person, but with Steve around encouraging my bits, it’s always nice to have someone around championing your bits. And he has such a great laugh. I try to hear it as much as I can.
Steve – 100% yes. It’s almost like cheating. I feel we know exactly what the other person is going for the second it comes out of their mouths. Even before that, sometimes by just looking at the other person. Also, it helps that I am married to the best improvisor in the world… And I’m a close second. Real close. Like, super close.
How do you balance your “comedy life” with your “regular married life”
Katie – I tend to drop it. Nobody sees the “taxpaying Katie”, they only see the good time gal. Steve is a little more relaxed when it comes to the day today runnings of the estate. I could take a page out of his book. He’s the greatest ever.
Steve – I guess we just are the best ever at it, because its not something I am ever conscious of.
Describe the pros and cons of being married/in a relationship to a comedy partner.
Katie – Pros – Laugh a lot. Cons – Both being in the same industry, when there’s work it’s good. When there’s not, it’s tough.
Steve – I think one of the greatest things about being married to my comedy partner is having her there to bounce ideas off of. She really helps me find what is good/funny about things I am writing. There is nothing better than when I make her laugh. And I guess a con would be how she judges me constantly and refers to a lot of my material as “dad jokes”.
You guys did boats, like us. How did it affect the relationship, if at all?
Katie – We were engaged, not yet married so we thought if we can make it through this we can make it through anything. We made it… And here we are.
Steve – Man, I think it made our relationship stronger. Throughout our relationship, we have tried to spend almost every minute we can together. We just like each other. It felt like two years together in a room about the size of a bathroom might really put the relationship to the test. It was helpful to have each other to lean on in the tough times. And when things got tough, and we weren’t getting along, you could go take out your frustrations on the buffet. I ate a lot.
Anything else you’d like to add that you think would be fun?
Katie – Even with all the laughter and good times we have at home, we still do several shows together. And it’s some of the best work we do.
Steve – Katie goes poo-poo in the potty.
Perfect, Steve. Couldn’t have summed it up better ourselves.