Wait, Wait... Is That Paula Poundstone?

Apr 30, 2015

Paula Poundstone performing in Westwood, CA on July 11th 2008.
Credit flickr.com/photos/paulapoundstone

After years of working the stand-up circuit, Paula Poundstone has established herself as one of the most successful comics in American comedy.

"The older I get... the more I realize the unbridled joy of being with a group of people who’ve come out to laugh for the night."

Her career began in small comedy clubs in Boston. But, eventually she hopped on a Greyhound bus to perform at open mics across the country.

On those stages, she began to develop a signature style of chatting it up with the audience-a skill that has made her legend with fans and fellow comedians alike.

People go, "Oh! You're such a good improviser." It's a conversation! It's no more improvised than talking with someone on the bus really."

After trekking the country, Paula Poundstone landed in California where she was able to carve out a career. Her resume includes HBO specials, appearances on the late night shows, performing at a White House Correspondents Dinner, and of course, regularly appearing on NPR’s popular program Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.

"You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a stand-up comic any more..."

After more than 30 years in comedy, Poundstone still keeps a rigorous touring schedule. This week she makes two stops in North Carolina. Tonight she performs at Wilmington's Thalian Hall at 7:30 pm and she performs in Durham on Friday May 1 at 7 pm at the Carolina Theatre.

"I'm the luckiest person in the world, in that no matter how screwed up I may make my personal life, I do this job that produces endorphins. It produces endorphins for the laughing audience and for me too! I consider myself a proud member of the endorphin producing industry."

Host Frank Stasio talks with Poundstone about the excitement of touring, the beginnings of her career and her many eccentricities. 

One of Poundstone's most popular appearances on late night television was an appearance on the The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. Watch her set and interview from that appearance: