STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, she made a name for herself as a stand-up comedian, even winning an Emmy.
Some 30 years after first taking the stage, Paula Poundstone has morphed into an all-around humorist, as she branched out into writing guest columns for newspapers and magazines, authoring “There is Nothing in This Book That I Meant To Say,” occasional appearances on different types of TV shows, a slot as one of the regular panelists on National Public Radio’s weekly news quiz show “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!,” and most recently, voicing Forgetter Paula in Disney Pixar’s “Inside Out,” which had grossed more than $350 million in the U.S. as of Sept. 18, according to www.imdb.com.
Poundstone has returned to stand-up once more, with an Oct. 10 date at Glenside’s Keswick Theatre. Be on your toes; most of her act is spontaneous interaction with members of the audience. But don’t worry, it’s all in good fun, and focuses on where a person is from and their profession.
“I have sort of a skeleton (list of topics or stories), as it were, in my head. I have a hard time holding it in my head … and I’ve been doing this 36 years. I feel (the show) works like Willy Wonka’s chocolate waterfall — it churns itself,” Poundstone said in a phone interview.
Poundstone has had her own specials and released albums of her stand-up — the next album is in the editing process right now, she said — but don’t go to this show expecting to hear that material. “On a good night, a third of the show I’ve never said it before, I’ll never say it again,” she said.
She still wears neckties on stage, like she did in the ‘90s. In fact, she said, those are the same exact ties. “I think I was on pain medication,” Poundstone said, recalling the time in the early ‘90s when she stumbled upon a green tie with polka dots, with “really nice” fabric, in a store.
Poundstone’s adopted children get mentioned frequently in her show. She’s told her youngest son that “the goal is to keep the regrets pile as small as possible,” while building up the “I’m glad I did that” pile. “I’m at the phase now where I realize a lot of the mistakes I made … especially with Facebook — everybody tries to make (parenting) look so glamorous,” she said.
Although there’s digital wit at http://www.paulapoundstone.com, www.facebook.com/paulapoundstone, and on Twitter @PaulaPoundstone, she has mixed feelings about social media. “There’s not a screen time that’s good for you,” said Poundstone, who is a spokesperson for the American Library Association. “The only thing I could find (for people with internet addiction to get help) is an online support group. They went to irony school.”
When asked who and what makes her laugh, Poundstone rattled off some iconic names — The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, “I Love Lucy,” Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore — but she also mentioned the 2011 movie “Bridesmaids” with Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Rebel Wilson, calling it “the funniest movie ever made.”
“I went (to see it in the theater) totally prepared to dislike it,” Poundstone added.
IF YOU GO
What: Stand-up comedy concert with Paula Poundstone.
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 10.
Where: The Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside.
Info.: Call (215) 572-7650 or visit www.keswicktheatre.com.