The Tower Theatre welcomes comedian Paula Poundstone on Friday, June 3. Thirty two years ago Paula Poundstone climbed on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country — stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. From Boston to San Francisco to Los Angeles, she went on to become one of our Country’s top comic minds – legendary for her razor-sharp wit, her self-deprecating humor, and a spontaneity with a crowd that hands-down is without peer.
You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s #1 show, the Peabody Award-winning weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. She voiced the character “Forgetter Paula” in the Oscar winning movie by Disney Pixar, INSIDE OUT which won Best Animated Feature Film in 2016. In June, 2016, Highbridge, a leading publisher of audiobooks including New York Times bestselling fiction and nonfiction, Oprah’s Book Club® titles, and National Public Radio compilations, will release a 2-CD set featuring two of Poundstone’s favorite performances recorded over the past year. The set is entitled North by Northwest and will debut on the heels of Poundstone hosting the AUDIE Awards, an annual awards gala to honor the best titles in Audio.
Paula tours regularly, performing standup comedy across the country, causing Bob Zany with the Boston Globe to write: “Poundstone can regale an audience for several hours with her distinctive brand of wry, intelligent and witty comedy.” Audience members may put it a little less elegantly: “I peed my pants.”
When Peter Sagal, Host of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me was asked about Paula he says: “People love Paula Poundstone and they always have. The amazing thing about Paula is that she has an amazingly distinctive personality. You can see a lot of really, really great comedians, but you may walk away without a sense of who they really are… Paula comes out on stage and she starts talking about her life and then 20 minutes later you realize you’re in the middle of her comedy act and didn’t really know it.”
Poundstone says of her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd: “No two shows I do are the same. It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do. My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves. Then, someone says, “Tell that story you used to tell,” and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them. No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.” Paula’s interchanges with the audience are never mean or done at a person’s expense. She even manages to handle politics without provoking the pall of disapproval less artful comics receive.
Paula’s brilliance shines in many other areas of the entertainment world as well. As a Commentator, her most recent piece for CBS Sunday Morning, on electronics addiction, aired in November, 2015. As an Interviewer, in 2014 she was invited to begin a series of live, on stage interviews for Writers Bloc Presents that has mushroomed to include television broadcaster, Ted Koppel; Humorist, Calvin Trillin; Talk show host, Dick Cavett, and in June, 2016, Senator Barbara Boxer. Writers Bloc Presents, is a non-profit program dedicated to enhancing the general publics exposure to literary and cultural work. As an Author, Paula’s second hard cover book, The Totally Unscientific Study of The Search for Human Happiness, will be published by Algonquin Press in the Spring, 2017.
Her first hard cover book, There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say, with a forward by Mary Tyler Moore (Harmony Books, a division of Random House, November, 2006) is still in release on audio (Highbridge) – read by the Author — and in paperback. Poundstone is also an avid reader and has been the American Library Association (ALA) National Spokesperson for United for Libraries since 2008. United for Libraries is a grass roots organization of volunteers who work to raise much needed funds to support their local libraries.
It has been said of Paula Poundstone that she not only shot through the glass ceiling, she never acknowledged it was there. She was never one to stereotype herself as a ‘female comedian’ or limit herself to comedy from a ‘female’ point of view. Over the span of her career, she has amassed a list of awards and accolades that stretch the length of a big tall guys arm: Paula was the first woman to win the cable ACE Award for Best Standup Comedy Special (1992); The first woman to perform standup at the White House Correspondents dinner; (1993).
She has starred in her own comedy specials on HBO and BRAVO. In fact, “Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard,” on HBO, was the only time the elite university has allowed their name to be used in the title of a television show. If it means anything to anyone, Paula is recognized as one of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-ups of all time. She won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic, and in 2010 she was one of a select group voted into the Comedy Hall of Fame.
Paula has also recorded two other CD’s: I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them in Boston (released April Fools, 2013), recorded at the Wilbur Theatre in the heart of Boston’s historical theatre district, and I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them in Maine (released November 2006) recorded at the world famous, Stone Mt. Arts Center, in Brownfield, Me. She has written several national magazine articles and a back-page column for Mother Jones magazine for several years. She also co-authored, with her high school Math teacher, Faye Ruopp, the MATH WITH A LAUGH series of textbooks (2006): The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes (Grades 4-5); Venn Can We Be Friends? (Grades 6-7) and You Can’t Keep Slope Down (Grades 8-9), all available thru Amazon.
The new 2-CD set, North by Northwest, being released by Highbridge in June, was recorded ‘under the big Tent’ at the Big Top Chautauqua, in Bayfield, WI. The ‘Northwest’ CD was recorded at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, OR, one of Paula’s favorite venues to perform.
Fri. 7:30PM / Tickets: $45 – $55 / Call: 541-317-0700
The Tower Theatre is located at 835 NW Wall St. Bend, OR 97701