Featured Podcast: Why Are You Here? with Dr Karen Debbie Cradle PhD

Why Are You Here? Season 2 cover art by Elyce Phillips.

Dr Karen Debbie Cradle PhD is back with another season of compassionate, selfless and professional couples counselling. But this time, she’s in Hollywood! Join Karen and a slew of celebrities* on a spiritual journey sure to have Dr Phil and Esther Perel shaking in their boots.

*improv comedians

Dr Karen Debbie Cradle Phd certainly has a way with people – just ask anyone who’s seen her. So come on and strap yourself in for Why Are You Here? the improv comedy podcast that gives you front row seats to the world of couples counselling as Dr Karen attempts to initiate positive change in the lives of her clients that, as she says, obviously need her help.

One of the great things about Why Are You Here? is that you can easily drop in for an episode here and there, but if you invest a little time in listening to the whole story, you will discover the overarching story of a woman grappling with the dichotomy of presenting herself as with it and in control to help people in her professional life while struggling to deal with the chaos of her personal life.

Each episode is essentially a fly-on-the-wall view of Karen at work in a counselling session. Over the course of the session things generally go from bad to worse as Karen becomes embroiled in the lives of her clients.

Season 1 cover art by Elyce Phillips.

In its first season, Why Are You Here? sees a handful of performers, some of which will be familiar to The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe fans, join the cast as couples in need of counselling.

We’re also introduced to the character of Pescel Mirvington PhD, Karen’s personal therapist, PhD supervisor and guide-mother, skilfully performed by Jacob Sacher, who doesn’t hold back from giving Karen a taste of her own medicine.

The second season picks up some time after the first, and in the meantime Karen has relocated to the United States so that she might take her career to new heights through the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. As the story progresses, we learn that perhaps not all of Karen’s appointments have been agreed upon by all parties as Karen inserts herself into the lives of Hollywood’s elite to help them with their problems.


Dr Karen Debbie Cradle is an ingeniously flawed character that sits somewhere on a scale between Julia Davis’ Jill Tyrrell (Nighty Night) and Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge. With a wonderful balance of wit, devious opportunism and social ineptitude, she’s at her funniest on the defensive. Who knows, perhaps her Hollywood odyssey may just see Karen reach her goal of becoming a household name.

Though set in Hollywood and very loosely based on names you might know, each couple is played some of Melbourne’s finest improvisers including:

Eloise Antonie, Scout Boxall, James Collopy, Pedro Cooray, Jeremy Hughes and Cristina Spizzica (RHYMEZONE), Indiana Kiely and Simon Hawkings (Liz Comedy), Daniel Moore, Brendan Wan, Matt Young and Barney Pollock (Cool & Smart).

Season one’s guest list is equally impressive featuring: Prue Blake, Ange Chan, Tom Fahey, Taylor Griffiths, Hill Kuttner, Jayden Masciulli, Jacob Sacher, Stefan Sgarioto, Nikki Spunde, Becky Swannick, and Jenni Townsend!

With two seasons so far, I’m very much looking forward to finding out where Karen’s adventures take her in this ongoing story.

Find all the episodes here or wherever you download podcasts.

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