Back by popular demand, Paula Poundstone revisits the Lyric. 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.
Over the past 30 years, Paula Poundstone has made a name for herself as one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time for her razor sharp wit and spontaneity. Famous for wearing her signature suit and tie on stage, Poundstone is best known for her work on NPR comedy shows such as “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and her self-titled ABC variety show. Her zany remarks, quick thinking, and incredible ease leave every audience in stitches. The perfect way to close out the year!.
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Paula Poundstone was born in Huntsville, Alabama and credits her Kindergarten teacher for recognizing and encouraging her comedic talent. In 1979, Paula began doing stand-up comedy shows at open-mic nights in Boston, slowly making a name for herself in the New England scene. Ten years later, the up and coming comedian would win the American Comedy Award for “Best Female Stand-up Comedian,” proving her lasting impression on the comedic world. In 1990, Poundstone wrote and starred in an HBO special called “Cats, Cops and Stuff” which a CableACE award, making the comedian the first woman ever to win the award. As well, Paula had the honor of being the first woman ever to perform at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Apart from her stand-up comedy, Paula Poundstone has worked as a political correspondent for the Tonight Show during the 1992 US Presidential campaign. As well, Paula was featured as a regular guest on a number of nationally televised shows, including Hollywood Squares. Poundstone's razor-sharp wit makes her a perfect fit as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” (2008 winner of the prestigious Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence) Paula’s commentaries have been heard on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and her blogs appear in the Huffington Post, and 23/6, as well as the NPR Opinion Page.
Her first book, "There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say," (with foreword by Mary Tyler Moore) is out in paperback and also is now available on audio. (Highbridge) Paula is hard at work on her second tome for the same imprint. (Harmony Books, a division of Random House)
Paula continues to be the National Spokesperson for (ALTAFF), The Association of Library Trustees Advocates Friends & Foundations, a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. Paula is supporting libraries on a local level by partnering with promoters and the local Friends organization in cities where she performs. The local Friends group receives tickets for use in fundraising or promotion as well as a portion of the book and CD sales after her performance where she makes herself available for signings. Says Poundstone: “It’s funny that we think of libraries as quiet demure places where we are shushed by dusty, bun-balancing, bespectacled women. The truth is libraries are raucous clubhouses for free speech, controversy and community. Librarians have stood up to the Patriot Act, sat down with noisy toddlers and reached out to illiterate adults. Libraries can never be shushed. If you haven’t been to your library lately, you’re over-due.”
Awards and distinctions:
First woman to perform at the White House correspondent’s dinner; first woman to win a cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Performance. Paula is also an Emmy and Ace Award winner for Best Program Interviewer. TV appearances include several standup comedy specials (HBO, and Bravo), her own show on HBO and ABC, and all the major talk shows. In 2010 Paula was invited to serve as judge in the humor category of this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Awards are the largest, longest running recognition and scholarship program for teenage artists & writers. Paula has been recognized as one of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand ups of all time! Poundstone also released her first comedy CD: I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Maine, 60 minutes of hilarious comedy recorded live at the sensational Stone Mountain Arts Center – because as Paula says, “It’s very hard to do it any other way.” Poundstone was voted #88 on Comedy Central’s list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time” and has released a series of comedy CDs and books to wide popular success. Paula was recently inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame. Chief Archivist of the Hall said she was unanimously chosen for “Her wit, insights, intellect and fantastic capacity to improvise helped to set the bar for all artists in stand-up in the modern era. Simply put, No literate history of comedy could be told without Paula’s voice. She also was just named to a list of top Unconventional People to Follow on Twitter.