Melissa McCarthy is taking over as host of NBC’s popular children’s showcase Little Big Shots for its upcoming fourth season. But what you might not know is that her husband, Ben Falcone, is an executive producer on the show and the two of them have two children together.
Here’s what you need to know about McCarthy’s family and tune in to see her official Little Big Shots hosting debut on Sunday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
1. Melissa and Ben Met in The Groundlings in 1998
McCarthy and Falcone met over 20 years in a comedy writing class at Los Angeles-area improv theater The Groundlings. In 2018 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, McCarthy told the talk show host that he was “strange” when they first met and she liked that.
“We met at Groundlings … it was the first day of class, everybody’s getting louder and crazier and doing weirder characters and Ben got up there and was so quiet and just very peculiar,” said McCarthy, adding, “He was the only one that went really quiet and I immediately was like, ‘Oh, he’s strange! I like him.’ And we were friends from then on.”
But actually, 10 years before they ever met at the Groundlings, McCarthy told DeGeneres that Falcone actually remembered being at a party with her when he was still in high school and she was in college, but she didn’t remember him.
2. Their First Creative Project Together Was a Skit About Bob Seger
In a 2016 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, McCarthy and Falcone revealed that the first skit they worked on together was one where they had to invent a holiday, so they came up with “All Seger’s Eve.”
“It’s a holiday for Bob Seger … I remember we were driving around in the car and were like, ‘This can’t lose! This is amazing!'” said McCarthy.
But actually, they could lose with that one because they were told to rewrite it. So upon the rewrite, they did the same sketch but just made everyone Scottish.
“For the rewrite, when someone said this doesn’t make any sense, we were like, ‘They don’t know what they’re talking about! We’ve been writing for 14 minutes, we know what we’re doing!'” McCarthy recalled with a laugh. “So we brought back the exact same sketch and just changed our accents … they were like, ‘Get off the stage! You made it so much worse.”
3. Melissa and Ben Married in 2005
The pair married in 2005 after being together for seven years. In 2013, McCarthy told More magazine (via US Weekly) that she “got hit with the lucky stick with Ben,” to which he replied, “We got hit with the same lucky stick. From the very first time we spoke, we were on the same page. We love each other, respect each other and try not to sweat the small stuff. And we really make each other laugh.”
Six years later, McCarthy was still calling herself and her husband lucky. On the couple’s 14th wedding anniversary, she posted a photo to Instagram of them looking so, so young and captioned it, “These two babies had no idea that 14 years later they’d still be together. Lucky.”
At the Australian premiere for her film The Boss in Sydney in 2015, McCarthy told the Daily Mail that the secret to their successful marriage was “patience and kindness,” while Ben added, “We love each other and respect each other and we give each other lots of breaks.”
4. Ben Often Appears in or Directs Melissa’s Projects
Over the years, Falcone and McCarthy have worked on a number of projects together. Falcone directed McCarthy in The Boss, Life of the Party, and Tammy, all of which he and McCarthy also wrote together. They also co-wrote and Falcone directed the 2020 release Superintelligence, which stars McCarthy, James Corden, Bobby Cannavale, and Brian Tyree Henry. There is also a project called Thunder Force that McCarthy and Falcone co-wrote, which stars McCarthy and Octavia Spencer.
Additionally, Falcone had roles in McCarthy’s films The Heat, Bridesmaids, Spy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Identity Thief, The Nines, and Pretty Ugly People.
In 2016, McCarthy told the Daily Mail that they feel “lucky” to “have worked together for so long” and still continue to “have the same goals” after all these years.
5. They Have Two Daughters Together
In May 2007, Falcone and McCarthy welcomed daughter Vivian, and in March 2010, they welcomed daughter Georgette. Now that the girls are almost teenagers, McCarthy recently told reporters that she wishes she had had their confidence at that age.
“They’re really smart and funny, weird,” McCarthy told reporters at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in 2018. “I think they’re better [than me]. They’re further along in their young lives than I was. I feel like I had to push almost 30 to get their kind of confidence, so I love seeing that.”
She also added that she just hopes she’s “doing enough” for them and she loves to continually be “surprised and amazed by [her] girls.”
As far as following in their parents’ footsteps, the girls made their movie debuts in The Boss, when Vivian played the younger version of her mom and Georgette played one of the other young girls working at the brownie company. But that doesn’t mean the girls are going to be child stars any time soon.
“They kept asking [to act] and we said no for months and [then] my oldest said, ‘Am I not allowed to even try?'” McCarthy told E! Online. “She’s very smart and I said, ‘That’s good, you went right to it because I certainly can’t say you’re not allowed to try.’ So we spent the next month seeing really if she’d do it. She did great.”
Falcone added, “Once [Georgette] heard Vivian is in the movie, she was like, ‘I wanna be in the movie.'”
But the parents said the girls can be in another movie… right after they graduate from college.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Falcone. “I’m not going to discourage it, but I’m also not going to encourage it.”
Little Big Shots airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.