A Brief Chat with Paula Poundstone

Updated: Aug. 16, 2019 at 2:59 PM EDT
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Paula Poundstone has been around a while, she will tell you that herself. In the ever changing arena of stand-up and the concept of comedy, she still tours and loves the live audience experience.

I chatted with Paula Monday afternoon, and as expected she was warm, intelligent and relatable, just like her comic storytelling.

I asked her about her audience. It seems diverse and cross-generational. Did she have any idea why her appeal is so wide?

She said she was fortunate, and it has always been that way, although she hopes to reach more people, more corners of the general audience. Her appearances on the popular NPR show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me as well as her podcast “Nobody listens to Paula Poundstone” have helped expand her collegiate audience. She also gets families and couples to her live shows.

There are few performers out there that when you mention their name, the response is immediately, “now she’s funny.” But that often happens with the mention of Paula Poundstone. How does she know when something is funny?

Paula says she just says things that amuse her, or her friends. Sometimes out with friends for dinner or recently, she said on vacation; she takes ideas from conversation. This reinforces her idea of conversational comedy. Also in her wheelhouse is comedy that comes from something we all think, but are afraid to say. Like “did you ever notice….”

Paula’s comedy is often spontaneous based on interaction with whatever audience is before her. She has the uncanny knack of taking a thread and running with it, involving the audience in the comedy. Interactive comedy in the age of streaming and other technological advances that keep us form communicating with each other is almost a novel concept. But it is certainly something that keeps her repeat audiences coming back again and again.

She said she occasionally will think something is hysterical and then she gets the stare, like “what” – but surprisingly that happens less than you think. No surprise there, as her comic instincts are amazing.

Paula has had successful television specials, written humor books, been in a Pixar animated film, recorded live DVD’s and CDS and now has a hysterical podcast – it drops once a week at midnight MONDAY PST. (Link below) But I asked her if there was anything she would love to do, that she hasn’t done yet.

Paula would love to write a novel and adapt it into a film, as matter of fact she has already started it. I didn’t inquire to as the genre, or what it was about. Also, she would love to be part of an acting ensemble, playing a character in a film. She loves the idea of playing off other actors in a boisterous comedy.

When I think of why some performers, some artists have longevity, I think of Paula, who manages to be remarkably current, present no matter how much changes around her. There is something infinitely human about her, and this is why we feel we are laughing with a friend whenever we talk to her.

Paula’s podcast is called: Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone and it’s a lot of fun. Find it here:


Click here for Paula’s Official Website

Paula is at the Clayton Opera House, Saturday, August 17 at 7:30 pm, tickets are going fast.

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