The Blonde and The
Maven Pound It Out with the Brilliantly Funny and
Blonde and The Maven
We feel honored to have interviewed one of our
favorite stand-up comics, the one and only Paula
Poundstone. Ms. Poundstone performed this past
weekend at the Ft. Lauderdale Improv at the Seminole
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The show was sensational.
Her mesmerizing comedic-style of improv and gutsy
interaction with the audience was nothing short of
brilliant. As we expected, Paula's more than
hysterically funny show ended with thunderous applause
and happy faces exhausted from laughing! We love
Paula was born in Birmingham
Alabama. Shortly thereafter, she moved and was raised in
Sudbury, Massachusetts. As an adult, Paula moved to San
Francisco where she met Robin Williams. In 1979, it was
Robin who gave Paula her first break in the stand-up
comedy business. Through the ‘80s, Poundstone performed
her comedy in many venues, including comedy clubs,
hosting her own radio show and eventually two HBO
specials. In 1992, Paula was the first woman to win a
Cable Ace award for Best Stand-up Comedy Special. She
was also the first woman to headline at the White House
Correspondents Dinner and covered the '92 political
conventions for “The Tonight Show.” (YOU GO,
PAULA!) Here's some Paula Poundstone trivia: She
supports Planned Parenthood, healthcare for the
homeless, campaign finance reform, gun control and the
Now for our one-on-one,
exclusive Entertainment News and Views interview with
our favorite comedienne:
Blonde & Maven: Paula, when did you first
realize that comedy would be an integral part of your
Paula: My Kindergarten teacher's (Mrs. Bump)
summary letter written in May 1965, stated, “I’ve
enjoyed many of Paula’s humorous comments about our
activities.” Then I started doing open mike nights in
Boston in 1979.
B&M: Where would you like to see your career
go, in the future?
Paula: Oh, gee! I've been writing a book now for
six long years, not six years with consecutive minutes!
I am writing a book because I've already spent the
advance! If I could, I would like to write a movie. I
think I am missing some of the elements like, ya know,
talent! My first goal is to get my kids raised with some
sort of potential. It is an impossibly hard job,
especially with how far behind our schools are.
California is coming in third from the bottom!
B&M: How many kids do you have?
Paula: I have two daughters, 14 and 11, and a
7-year-old son, nine cats, a big cat-eating dog, a
bearded dragon lizard and one ant left over from an ant
B&M: What brings you happiness?
Paula: My children in teeny ways, not 24 hours a
day, that's for sure, and Pop Tarts, (brown sugar
cinnamon frosted). My career gives me happiness. I
love doing my silly stupid job. I love being a stand-up
comic! If I never did anything other than be a stand-up
comic and survive financially, I would be happy. I love
telling my little jokes. I am not crazy about being away
from home, in terms of traveling. I would love to do it
like “Bewitched” and wiggle my nose and just be there
and get home. That would be the perfect life.
B&M: What makes you angry?
Paula: Gee! I don't like it when my
children talk to me from two rooms away. I can hear
“MOM” clear as a bell from China, so I say, “Yes?” Then
I hear “jlkjljljljjlkjljljljlkj,” sometimes concluded
by, "Can I"? Then, I have to dry my hands from washing
the dishes, run in the other room to mostly be told
"Never mind!” I'm happy to, 'never
B&M: Paula, how do you write
Paula: My comedy goes in stages—each
well-structured, carefully thought-out piece begins as
an inkling, then occasionally graduates to a thought and
then a clearly stated idea, followed by a comedy piece.
Sometimes I think of stuff on stage while I'm talking to
B&M: Are you up on your politics?
Paula: Ya know, I try!
B&M: Are you happy with Arnold?
Paula: No. He broke his promise to the teachers.
When I broke my promise to my teachers, I got a
detention; he got nothing.
B&M: Hey, we got Jeb Bush!
Paula: Oh, that was so insensitive of me. I'm
sorry! It's like I'm talking to somebody who is riddled
with cancer about my cold!
B&M: What television shows do you
Paula: I don't let my kids watch TV. There's too
much to dodge when you flip the stations. Besides, I
don't like commercials. We watch videos on weekends. I
am so not a fan of a lot of what's going on in
television right now. I don't like those reality shows.
I don't watch it. I think it's strange that people pay
attention to “American Idol.”
B&M: What comics do you admire?
Paula: Lots! My favorites are the old radio team
Bob and Ray. I'm a huge Lily Tomlin fan. If I have to
pick one, I have my job because of Robin Williams! The
way he worked brought an energy and excitement back to
stand-up comedy that hasn't been there for a long time.
He brought people to liking the comedy clubs.
B&M: What do you do for fun?
Paula: I like to read and clean the doorknobs in
my house. I can't stand sticky doorknobs.
B&M: What is your favorite food?
Paula: I really like Three Musketeers bars! But,
ya know, it's hard to get them the right size. I don't
like the giant, long ones. It's not the right
relationship; it's not the right percentage of fluffy,
nuts, stuffing filling, and creamy chocolate outside.
The size you get at the airport could bring the plane
B&M: Do you get nervous before you go on
Paula: Yeah! Not horribly, I mean I don't throw
up or anything. I notice that I get a little spacey
before I work. I feel like I have my troops moving into
position, kind of thing.
B&M: Have you ever bombed on
Paula: I have bombed on stage many, many times
and it is VERY uncomfortable. I bombed at Farm Aide a
few years ago in front of 30,000 people in the Super
Dome in New Orleans. This one was not my fault. I mean,
people were drinking all day long. I wasn't drinking
that particular day…I did afterwards, LET ME TELL YA!
B&M: Do you still drink Diet Pepsi on
Paula: I do! I drink about 16 a day, and if
I didn't drink them on stage, I wouldn't be able to keep
up with my quota. Without soda, I can just fall asleep
during a conversation.
The Blonde: STARBUCKS!
Paula: No, I am not a coffee drinker,
unfortunately. One day my son told me soda was bad for
me. I said, ya know what's worse for me is when you have
tantrums! So I said, I'll make you a deal. I won't have
another soda until you have another tantrum. I got so
tired and had so many headaches from not having soda,
that eventually I goaded him! Well, I had to keep my
B&M: What would you like to tell your
Paula: I would like them to go and visit my
B&M: You have a fantastic website, we loved
it! Okay, Paula, your favorite singer or
Paula: I have to say the Beatles, then there's a
long vacancy and then the next one! By the way, I have
obsessive compulsive disorder and that's the kind of
question that can keep me awake for a week trying to
think of an answer. I also really love the Barenaked
For more information about Paula Poundstone,
1. Shara Rosayn, Paula Poundstone and
2. Comedienne Paula
Photo by Robin Roth
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