Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Poundstone of Paula

I've chosen a video clip for today that features one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Paula Poundstone.  Paula actually came to my hometown recently, and Alan and I excitedly planned on attending her one-night performance. Then, at the last minute, Alan was called out of town on business.  I went to see Paula anyway, BY MYSELF! THAT'S how much I love this woman!

I wasn't disappointed.  I think my favorite quality of Ms. Poundstone's may be how unpretentious she appears. There's no grand "Ladies and Gentlemen..." announcement, no warm-up act to get the crowd energized.  Before the lights even illuminated the stage, Paula was entering, giving a small wave.  Once the audience figured out it was her, we broke into wild applause, and she waved it all away in order to begin her act.  She performed brilliantly for hours.  No warm-up act was necessary!

Immediately after the show she sat at a table in the lobby for a very long time, shaking hands and signing autographs.  She also signed and sold copies of her autobiography, all the proceeds going to our city's local library.  Chick's got CLASS!!!

Paula's specialty involves randomly picking someone from the audience to chat with, asking what they do for a living, them proceeding to make tasteful, non-offensive fun of  them.  It's completely improvised, completely brilliant, and completely HILARIOUS!

Here's a press clip written about Paula.  I just couldn't agree more:  "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 complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter, and debating whether the random people she talked to are 'plants'-- which, of course, they never are."

This is a clip of Paula's stand-up act from back in the eighties, and it's actually the first performance I ever saw of her.  I think you'll see why I became an immediate fan.  It's obviously very long, but my favorite part is right at the beginning.  She has just been talking about how she owns three cats, and how she disciplines them with a squirt gun filled with water.

I actually tried to transpose this section and use it as a monologue for an audition once.  I quickly learned that NO ONE can do this bit but PAULA!!

I hope you like it!


16 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I've never heard of Paula Poundstone before. I usually don't care much for stand up comedians but Paula was very good. Thanks for sharing the video and a much needed laugh this morning.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

He He! This lady is not known in Ireland at all I don't think, but she deserves to be. Thanks for sharing :)

Teresa Evangeline said...

I Love Paula, too! I had this quote on my blog for awhile: "Grown-ups are constantly asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas." I could relate! :) Thanks for sharing this funny lady with us!

Momma Fargo said...

I love Paula Poundstone! You have great comedian tastes! Thanks for the laugh!

Tammie said...

i love paula too. she seems like somenoe id love to just hang out with in real life.

did you ever watch the animated series Home Movies? i think you can find it late night on cartoon network. she voiced the mom on the show and was brilliant.

lifeshighway said...

I used to love Paula Poundstone and remember her quite well from the 80's but I did not know she was touring. She has such a free and natural style.

Eva Gallant said...

I love Paula. Haven't seen her in a while. She is coming to Maine this summer....think I'll try to make her show.

A Vintage Chic said...

I LOVE Paula Poundstone!!! I remember this bit--my husband and I "discovered" her back in the '80's and taped her stuff when she was on t.v....boy those tapes have gone bad! We've tried to show them to our daughters before, and they were like mush!

Just showed this to two of my girls and they LOVED it! We were giggling so hard we were crying! Thanks for the memories!

Julie

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

She's a sharp, quick wit, that Paula. I believe she's come to the SF Bay area quite a few times.
Cheers,
Robyn

Denise said...

She's great, just loved the video.

Loving Wife, Working Mom said...

I LOVE her! Wait, Wait, Don't tell me in NPR is at its best when she is on! :)

Jessica said...

Paula has been one of my favorites for a very long time. I think she's brilliant on stage and on WWDTM.

Charlene said...

Have ya'all heard her on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me"? In Louisville it's broadcast on NPR at 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

You can also subscribe to the podcast of the show on iTunes.

Paula is a regular on the show. Brilliant.

Ally said...

Wow, I pretty much all but forgot about this comedienne! Very retro of you :)

FourthGradeNothing.com

Delana said...

Thanks Joan! As usual, whenever I see or hear her, I laugh outloud

Langdowns said...

You've just introduced me to someone new. Never heard of her. I wonder if she'd consider coming Down Under ...

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