San Diego Native Carly Craig, Edgy-Sexy Comic, Takes Latest Swipe at Stardom

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By Ken Stone

Five years ago, Amy Schumer debuted her sex-saturated “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central. On July 25, native San Diegan Carly Craig hopes her own show also catches fire.

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But the eight-episode binge bait on YouTube Premium won’t be called “Inside Carly Craig.” More like “Inside Carly Craig’s Mostly Fictional Love Life.”

“Sideswiped” is the series’ name, and digital dating is the game.

“The main character ‘Olivia’ gets fed up with her dating life on her 35th birthday, so decides to go out with all 252 of her Tinder matches,” says a promotion.

East County native Carly Craig (left) stars in the YouTube Premium show “Sideswiped” with Rosanna Arquette (as her mom.) Image via Instagram
It’s also Craig’s baby.

She created, wrote and stars in it — originally naming it “Swipe Right.”

And she told Times of San Diego this week she would love to keep doing this “and keep going down this path.”

Her career had taken some sensational turns — including a 2007 viral video of Craig playing a guitar and singing “Daddy Song” to a supposed 8-year-old birthday boy named Tyler.

Widgets Magazine

It’s sweet, lighthearted and outrageously edgy — about being molested repeatedly by her father.

Her “Funny or Die” segments cemented her Schumer-like legend. She did improvisations and impersonations, like a “Judy Garland orgasm” (as Oz’s Dorothy) or a bra-wearing Amy Winehouse ingesting and injecting a face cream.

She also strums and advises little girls: “Throw up after eatin’ — it’s the only way to stay thin.”

Craig appeared in movies including “Role Models,” “Hall Pass” and “Dumb and Dumber” as well as several HBO shows.

With YouTube Premium (a subscription service formerly called YouTube Red), Craig hopes her comedic stylings ignite as much as Schumer’s.

Celebrity guest stars include Jason Sudeikis, Rick Springfield, Peter Gallagher, Tyler Posey​, ​Thomas Lennon, Bryan Greenberg, Charles Michael Davis, Christopher McDonald, Rhys Coiro, Craig Frank, Alice Lee and Sarah Burns.

“A lifetime of saying no has left Olivia single and miserable on her 35th birthday,” the promo continues. “In ‘Sideswiped,’ this workaholic verging on a breakdown vows to plunge into the hellish world of Tinder…. She is spurred on by her sister Jayne (Chelsea Frei) — a young married woman experiencing a seven-year itch. The sisters are joined by their recently widowed mother, Mary (Rosanna Arquette), who is now also a part of the online dating scene.”

Born 38 years ago at Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa, Craig lived in Santee and later moved to Rancho San Diego, where she stayed util 18. She attended Carlton Hills School, Avocado Elementary, Emerald Junior High and Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley.

She taught herself guitar from a book in 2006 and still has the same instrument she learned to play on, she says. Her father, Rocky Craig, is a former Seattle Mariners scout and 1970s minor league ballplayer (including the Royals, Astros and Padres farm teams). In 2016, he won “all-star” honors as a volunteer at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Craig’s mother, Marz Moore, is a flight attendant for American Airlines, and her stepsister is singer-songwriter and “This is Us” star Mandy Moore.

Now a resident of the Hollywood Hills community of Nichols Canyon, Craig returns to San Diego often.

“I am actually here right now,” she said. “I always stay at my dad’s house in my old bedroom.” She won’t be attending Comic-Con this year, but attended to queries via email.

TIMES OF SAN DIEGO: Did you create “Sideswiped” with YouTube Premium in mind, or did you shop it to other platforms (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix) or production companies? If so, which?

CARLY CRAIG: I did shop it around. I didn’t know as much about YouTube Premium, but once I pitched it to them they had the means to make something special. They allowed me time to write and create the show I really wanted to create. I’m really excited to be getting involved with them while they’re still in the early stages of creating original content.

Arthur Kade mentioned in his interview that this series has a “Sex and the City” vibe. Was that your intention? Are any characters inspired by SITC figures?

I definitely watch SATC and am a fan, I think the show still holds up and is incredibly smart and funny. It wasn’t my intention to create a SITC vibe, but the show being about women dating puts it in that category. The characters in “Sideswiped” are inspired by me, my friends, and our real life experiences.

You’ve crafted a very edgy personna. Were you Amy Schumer before Amy Schumer?

I love Amy! She’s so hilarious. I think our comedy style is a little different, we’re both edgy but edgy in different ways. She’s definitely got a strong voice and I love that about her.

Given your Second City pedigree, did you ever try out for SNL? If so, when and how did it go? Would you like to join the SNL cast?

I never officially tried out, Bernie Brillstein was my manager, who was a huge part of SNL, and I shared work I did like the “Judy Garland Orgasm” and “Amy Winehouse ‘ProActiv Solution’” but sketch comedy was never really my passion.

My passion is doing what I’m doing now writing and creating comedy based on my real life. However, Second City changed my life and I learned so much from there.

What did your father think of “Daddy Song”? Was there a real birthday boy Tyler? If so, who?

LOL! My dad was not crazy about the song. He thought it was funny once he came to the show and saw it live. However, nothing about the song is true or based on real events.

How did you wrangle such big-name stars for “Sideswiped”? Did you act as your own casting director?

I did have a great casting director team and I had friends like Jason Sudeikis and Thomas Lennon who I was able to call up and ask if they wanted to be a part of the show. We were really able to work with the team to get some great people involved.

Where and when were the “Sideswiped” episodes shot?

The show was shot in Los Angeles. You really see a lot of the city in the show. We shot in places like Mar Vista, Studio City, Arcadia, all over L.A. One of the main places you see in the show is a bar called the Parlour Room in Hollywood, which becomes “Olivia’s” go-to first date spot.

Who are your Hollywood production and acting role models or heroes?

I really look up to Reese Witherspoon, Tina Fey and Elizabeth Banks, who are all women who control the content they put out. I am also a huge fan of Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, who helped change the game and pave the way for women in comedy.

You told Kade you met your boyfriend through online dating. What service or app did you use? How’s the relationship going? Has your boyfriend contributed ideas for “Sideswiped” moments?

Yes! I met my boyfriend on Tinder and we have been together for two years. He is great and super supportive of the show and me. He did not lend any ideas to “Sideswiped,” but I was able to pull from other life experiences.

Your impressions and dialects are fantastic. Do you exploit these talents in “Sideswiped”?

Thank you! I don’t really get to use those in “Sideswiped.” The show is really grounded and set a real ton

You express yourself politically on Twitter. Any current events worked into “Sideswiped”?

I’m very passionate about women’s rights. My show stars women, was written by women and run by women! We didn’t want to include too many current events in the show because we didn’t want to date the show.

Would you like to see your career become more behind-the-camera instead of in front? Who’s helping you learn the ropes of production and distribution?

I really enjoy both. Writing gives me a sense of control and doing both combined is my dream. I was co-running the show with Robin Schiff who worked on “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and she’s been a lot of help showing me the ropes of showrunning.

Anything else readers should know about your San Diego ties or hopes for “Sideswiped?

San Diego is very special to me! My 20-year high school reunion is coming up, and I’m very excited to share what I’ve been working on. I hope “Sideswiped” is a big hit and I hope that people can relate to it.

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