Paula Poundstone

Biography

This comedienne shares the absurdities of her visions with an unsuspecting world, and leaves audiences in awe of her talent. She is unusual in the way of Andy Kaufman or Robin Williams; her humor seems to be pulled from some bizarre energy that is all around, but unseen until it is manifested in something akin to comic lightning.

Whether she's talking about politics, Pop Tarts, or parking, Paula puts her own unique spin on the subject at hand, and she's become one of the foremost topical humorists working today. In fact, she was invited to headline at the prestigious White House Correspondents Dinner held in Washington, DC, where she addressed a crowd comprised of journalists, congressional people, cabinet members, and...the President himself!

Paula, who has been featured in both Time Magazine and The New York Times, starred in her own 1-hour comedy special which premiered on HBO in November of 1990. Titled Cats, Cops, and Stuff, it featured Paula "having a conversation with the audience" as only she can do, and it won cable television's highest honor, the ACE (Award for Cable Excellence) as Best Stand-Up Comedy Special, which was presented on a live telecast on TNT January 12, 1992.

February, 1992, saw her starring in her own series of specials for HBO. A talk show with a twist, The Paula Poundstone Show was part stand-up, part talk show, part performance art, and totally funny. Done as four half-hours, a new show aired each Friday throughout the month of February and featured an unusual mix of guests, musical performers, and Paula's special talent for interacting with the audience. It was a huge success with critics and viewers alike.

In 1989, Paula was voted an American Comedy Award as Best Female Stand-Up and starred in her own One Night Stand comedy special for HBO. She is also a frequent guest on both Letterman and The Tonight Show (she was such a hit when she guested the first week Jay Leno took over as permanent host, that they invited her to be a "regular"), and she has appeared on a number of comedy specials and shows, including HBO's first Women of the Night, NBC's Saturday Night Live, Showtime's Just For Laughs, an HBO Young Comedians Special, and three live Comic Relief benefits.

In addition, she starred in a national television commercial for Chevy Trucks and became the first stand-up comic ever invited to perform on Garrison Keillor's very popular public radio show (she made a return appearance on his show in April, 1992). Rounding out her credits, she was featured on the comedy album Women of the Night (along with Diane Ford and Cathy Ladman), which was released in 1988 through A&M Records, and she served as an Executive Consultant on the Showtime original comedy series Poison that same year. She's also featured in two comedy books, The Rolling Stone Book of Comedy and Comedy Explosion.

Always on the go, her stand-up appearances at concert venues and colleges take her across the country non-stop (she averages 45 weeks on the road a year). But "stand-up" is really a phrase here--Paula takes "body language" to new heights (or lows) as she drapes herself over stools, wraps herself in the mike cord, or lays on the stage floor while delivering her material. Because of her improvisational approach and her relating to the audience, each show is an experience unto itself--no two are alike.

She has been called eccentric, but only if you find eating an inordinate amount of Pop Tarts, knowing exactly how many states Ring-Dings are sold in, vacuuming the cat's face, and buying dog food cans just for their labels (though she doesn't have a dog) on the odd side of normalcy.

Paula was born in Alabama, raised in Massachusetts, moved to San Francisco, and is now living in Los Angeles. To give you an idea of her upbringing, Paula tells this story about her mom: "She used to get mad over absolutely everything. I remember one time I knocked a Flintstones glass off the table and she said, 'Dammit, we can't have nice things.'"

The Los Angeles Times has said, "Poundstone epitomizes what is great and special about stand-up comedy. She isn't just funny. She re-invents her act each night..." Paula Poundstone is no stranger to great reviews--she shines among her peers with a brilliance reserved for the brightest stars.

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