Dr Karen Debbie Cradle PhD is back with another season of compassionate, selfless and professional counselling. Taking lockdown in her stride, this time it’s her turn to be on the couch as she works home performing one-on-one consultations online. Join Karen and a slew of celebrities* on a spiritual journey that is sure to have Dr Phil and Esther Perel shaking in their boots.

*improv comedians

Season 3 cover art by Elyce Phillips.

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

Why Are You Here? is carefully structured so that you can easily drop in for an episode here and there, but if you invest a little time in listening to every episode, you will discover the overarching story.

This story centres on a woman grappling with the dichotomy of presenting herself as relevant and in control in her professional life while struggling to deal with the chaos of her personal life.

Each episode is a fly-on-the-wall view of Karen at work in one of her sessions. Things generally go from bad to worse as she 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, playing 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.

Season 2 cover art by Elyce Phillips.

The second season picks up some time after the first. Meanwhile, 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.


Season three sees Karen continue her quest of speaking to the stars, and she’s not going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in her way.

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.

All of Karen’s guests are brought to life by a selection of Melbourne’s finest improvisers. So far, season three features: Hayley Tantau, Solange Foley-Dawson and Lukas Quinn with more to follow in the coming weeks.

Season two features: 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 features: Prue Blake, Ange Chan, Tom Fahey, Taylor Griffiths, Hill Kuttner, Jayden Masciulli, Jacob Sacher, Stefan Sgarioto, Nikki Spunde, Becky Swannick, and Jenni Townsend!

The third season takes a slightly different approach with longer two-part episodes and 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 find your podcasts.

The second and third seasons were edited by Mog at the Potato Revolution studio.

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