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Poundstone has earned two Cable ACE Awards (in fact, she was the first woman to win for Best Standup Comedy Special), an Emmy and the American Comedy Awards' Best Female Stand Up award. She was also the first woman to perform standup at the prestigious White House Correspondents Dinner, where she joined the president as part of the evening's entertainment.
Paula Poundstone is waking up in her home in Santa Monica, Calif., to a phone call from an East Coast reporter who is a gushing fan of her comedy. Surely Poundstone is used to such adoration at this point in her storied career; from decades of doing stand up comedy, to her current stint as panelist for the hilarious NPR news quiz show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," to her books, CDs and magazine writing stints, Poundstone has secured her place at the top of the comedy food chain. .
Paula Poundstone is waking up in her home in Santa Monica, Calif., to a phone call from an East Coast reporter who is a gushing fan of her comedy. Surely Poundstone is used to such adoration at this point in her storied career; from decades of doing stand up comedy, to her current stint as panelist for the hilarious NPR news quiz show "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," to her books, CDs and magazine writing stints, Poundstone has secured Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 1957 Special Edition
"I hope more than three wise men show up for that one," she quips.
As Omega Seamaster 36mm Automatic fans will tell you, her biggest strength is an amazing ability to interact and riff off audience members at her shows. Poundstone will ask a few questions, get people to open up to her with her unaffected, self deprecating manner, and then find a way to make it all hilarious.
"Now, I've heard Democrats speak before, and I always knew two things: a) either they were lying, or b) there was a distinct possibility that they were. But I know Maggie and knew she wasn't lying. It was amazing to hear her say it is possible to take care of one another and use our government to do good.
her place at the top of the comedy food chain.
Her kids daughters Toshia, 22, and Allison, 19, and son Thomas E., 15 share their California home with many, many cats, and one hilarious mom.
The restaurant, built in 1740, was recently renovated. The "Egopantis" alone a mysterious creature hanging on the wall is reason enough to journey there.
Poundstone is preparing to jet off yet again, this weekend to Austin, Texas. "When I fly back (home) from Texas, I'm not even leaving the airport," she says. "I'm getting a rental car and taking my daughter up to Portland (Ore.) where she goes to college."
Poundstone sounds like any 53 year old single mom of three with a bustling career would, as she is thanked for getting up so early to do an interview.
Nowadays, Poundstone works her stand up touring in with being a panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," a weekly hour long quiz program. Listeners call in and test their knowledge "against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world, while figuring out what's real news and what's made up," per the website. Folks can play along online, too.
Poundstone is a regular at the Bull Run, a 70 year old farm to table restaurant that's owned by George and Alison Tocci. "We've owned it for about 4 years now," Alison Tocci said. "We bought it from our brother, who bought it from our father. It's been in our family since 1946."
"Well, I'm not really up, per se," she notes, sleepily.
Celebrating her stand up roots, in 2010, Poundstone performed as part of the 30th reunion of comedy club alums from The Other Cafe in San Francisco, which included Robin Williams, Dana Carvey, Bobcat Goldthwait, Kevin Pollak, Will Durst and others.
When asked how she decided to jump a Greyhound bus as a high school drop out and pursue the difficult road of stand up comedy, Poundstone says "I sort of oozed into it, as opposed to some dramatic declaration. You do these open mic nights, where anyone can get up and do 5 minutes of material. It sounds short, but when you're up there, it seems to go on forever. But it's how you practice your craft."
"What's so funny about that was that I pushed her to share, and it was so horrific," Poundstone recalls. "I had myself in a pickle, and it was obvious to the audience."
ground," she says. "Once you get anybody going, they always have great stuff to tell you. I'm like a miner."
Poundstone was born in Alabama, but her family moved to Sudbury, Mass., a month later. She grew up there, and quit high school to hit the open mic circuit. But not before making a good friend that also made something of a name for herself.
Comedian Paula Poundstone brings her hilarity to Mass
"Maggie Hassan is a close friend from high school," Poundstone says. "I did a fundraiser when she was running for governor, and obviously, it's amazing to stand there while a friend is campaigning. Her speech was exciting and moving; it was everything you'd love to hear.
"I'm really excited; I think New Hampshire is the luckiest state in the union."
"It was really fun," she says. "There were like 100 guests in the audience, and a lot of people that were guests from back then, and even the servers and hosts, came to the show. It was great."
She said the Bull Run loves having Poundstone as a frequent performer, as Omega Seamaster 120 For Sale
In March, Poundstone joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and several other prominent women in comedy for a feature length documentary called "WHY WE LAUGH TOO: Women of Comedy."
well as other well known comedians like local favorite Bob Marley, and live music.
The show is generally done in Chicago, but sometimes takes the act on the road to local public radio stations. The show will happen at Tanglewood on Aug. 29, in fact.
One of Poundstone's classic filmed performances showed just how graceful she can be when presented with less than ideal comic fodder. A woman in the audience began to talk about a facial injury after stumbling into a gas station lube rack.
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She'll be bringing her hilarity to New England next week, with a gig Sept. 6 at Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, Mass. less than 20 miles from Nashua and Sept. 12 at the Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem.
"I love radio," Poundstone says. "I think it's not a well used media. I get to do the show once or twice a month; there's like 15 panelists that rotate, in no order I can discern." Go to the show's website and listen to past shows with Poundstone, and you can get a small taste of how funny, smart and informed she is.
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