Melissa McCarthy first met husband Ben Falcone more than two decades ago at comedy school

It’s been more than two decades since Melissa McCarthy first met Ben Falcone in comedy school, but the movie star says her husband still makes her giddy.

“It’s [about] finding someone who you just absolutely are better with. He’s nothing but supportive, and he’s super smart,” McCarthy tells PEOPLE about her actor-director husband in this week’s cover story. “He makes me gut-laugh, like crazy gut-laugh, four or five times a day. I hit the jackpot!”

Noting that Falcone, 46, “leads with nothing but kindness,” McCarthy, 49, is also thankful for his strong presence in their daughters’ lives.

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Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy
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“I just think if they ever meet somebody and that little red flag goes off, the bell is gonna sound even louder because they have Ben as their baseline,” says McCarthy, who’s mom to Vivian, 12, and Georgette, 10, with Falcone. “They’re gonna pick well, whoever they end up with, you know? I want them to have someone utterly kind who roots them on.”

As co-executive producers of NBC’s latest season of Little Big Shots, the couple were on the same page about creating a show that spread the invaluable lesson of learning to embrace your quirks.

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  • For all the details on Melissa McCarthy’s lasting love with Ben Falcone and their mission to spread kindness, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“We talk a lot [to our kids] about how being kind and good is really important. It’s hard to make that resonate in a world where the nastiest comment wins and it’s a sporting event to be mean to people,” says McCarthy, who also hosts the show. “Ben and I discussed wanting to put just really good stuff back out into the world.”

Not surprisingly, the stars also prioritize positivity and laughter inside their family home.

Melissa McCarthy
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“It’s not the most serious household. There’s a lot of serious stuff happening in the world, and we don’t have to have it in the house,” she says. “I always say I’m living in a constant old Calgon commercial where every single day in our house there’s people yelling, people coming in and out, people riding through the living room. Our youngest is constantly on some kind of wheeled thing ripping through the house, and I just kind of love it.”

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Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy
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Raising two daughters who are getting “so old so fast,” McCarthy and Falcone are making sure they soak up every minute as a family — even if it means turning down a great work opportunity.

“We’re like carnies. We make a lot of decisions that are just simply based on, ‘Can we go together?’ It’s family first,” says McCarthy. “In the blink of an eye the girls are gonna be in college. I’m just trying to slow the clock!”

Little Big Shots airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.