It’s impossible to attend a Paula Poundstone performance without marveling at her ability to interact spontaneously with audience members. In conversations bound to garner riotous laughter. Armed with nothing but a stool, a microphone and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula’s ability to create humor on the spot has become the stuff of legend. Little wonder people leave Paula’s shows debating whether the random people she talked to were “plants” – which, of course they never are, and complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter.
In this, her first-ever comedy CD, “I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Maine,” Paula keeps the crowd laughing from the moment she sets foot on the stage until they reluctantly let her go after the encore. Recorded live -- because as Paula says, “It would be very hard to do it any other way,” -- at the world-famous Stone Mountain Arts Center in Maine, Paula takes on everything from airport security and the futility of having to put our seatbacks forward, to life as a single working mom living with 3 children, 12 cats, and the aging process. Not to mention designer dogs and a snow ranger. Her transitions from spontaneous interactions with the crowd to polished material are seamless. Paula’s 25 plus years of doing standup comedy have made her a seasoned professional who manages in this night of memorable laughs an hour of brilliant and insightful comedy that listeners rarely get the chance to hear.
Paula can be heard regularly as a panelist on NPR’s weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” where she gets to match wits with America’s leading pundits. The show recently received the prestigious Peabody Award for Broadcasting excellence. Her commentary can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and she files frequent pieces on NPR’s Opinion Page; The Huffington Post and 23/6. In November, 2006, Paula released her first book: "There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say," (with a foreword by Mary Tyler Moore; published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House; Audio, Highbridge.) She is already hard at work on her second book for the same pub.
On television, Paula has had several standup specials including for both HBO and BRAVO. She was the first woman to win the cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Performance, and the first woman to perform at the elite White House Correspondents dinner where she shared the dais with the President. Paula’s late night talk show appearances include David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Craig Ferguson. She also makes guest appearances on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Despite these many accolades, Paula insists on spending the bulk of her time at home in Santa Monica with her three children, Toshia, Allison and Thomas E. She says, “things have never been better.”