Paula Poundstone Plays Ogonquit

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Wednesday November 26, 2014

On Saturday, November 29 comedian Paula Poundstone will play at Jonathan's Restaurant in Ogunquit, ME. Poundstone is funny, but the thing that probably separates her from the pack of comics working today and that has made her a legend among comics and audiences alike is her ability to be spontaneous with a crowd.

"No two shows I do are the same," said Poundstone. "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."

Her newest comedy CD, "I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Boston" was recorded during a performance at the Wilbur Theatre in the heart of the city and was released on April Fool's Day 2013.

Over the span of her career, Poundstone has amassed a list of awards and accolades that stretch the length of a great big tall guy's arm. She not only shot through the glass ceiling, she never even acknowledged that it was there. Never one to stereotype herself as a 'female comedian' or limit herself to comedy from a 'female' point of view, in the early '90s she was the first woman to win the cable ACE for Best Standup Comedy Special and the first woman to perform standup at the prestigious White House Correspondents dinner where she joined the current President as part of the evening's entertainment.

In March, 2013, Poundstone joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and several other prominent women in comedy for a feature-length documentary produced by Lions Gate for Showtime entitled, "Why We Laugh Too: Women of Comedy." In November 2012 in Washington, D.C., Poundstone was honored, along with Nina Totenberg, NPR correspondent; David Brooks, New York Times columnist; and Bob Mankoff, New Yorker Cartoon Editor, with the 2012 Moment Magazine Creativity Award at their 35th anniversary symposium and dinner, followed by a one-hour panel on the intersection of humor and politics. Just weeks later she was hand-picked to interview Calvin Trillin for the Los Angeles-series Writers Bloc, that presents conversations between the featured author and another interesting thinker.

Poundstone has starred in comedy specials on HBO and BRAVO, won an Emmy Award, served as "official correspondent" for "The Tonight Show" during the 1992 Presidential race, pioneered the art of backstage commentary during an Emmy telecast, steps up to the plate for causes she believes in, and is almost always included in any compendium -- be it film, television or print, noting comedic influences of the 20th/21st century, most recently, "We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy" (October 2012, Sarah Crichton Books). Poundstone also appears on "Late Night w/Craig Ferguson" about three times a year and she'll do an occasional editorial for NPR's "All Things Considered."

In April 2013 NPR Laughter Therapy (Highbridge Audio) released a 2-CD collection of NPR's best interviews and stories with "funny folks" including Poundstone's Talk of the Nation interview. If it means anything to anyone, she is recognized as one of Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-ups of all time. Poundstone 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.

Poundstone gets to match wits with some of the country's leading pundits on the NPR show, "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me." In May 2013 the show filmed its first Cinecast from New York's Town Hall and she was one of the panelists.

"I am a proud member of the endorphin production industry. They allow me to say whatever I want on 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me,' " said Poundstone. "The panelists are unscripted, so it's perfect for me. I feel like I'm a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn't cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience."

Poundstone is also a published author and lecturer. Her hardcover book, "There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say" (Crown, 2006, with a forward by Mary Tyler Moore) is still in release on audio (Highbridge) and in paperback. Other writing credits include the back page columnist of Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and Glamour magazine.

Poundstone also continues her role for the American Library Association as the Nat'l spokesperson for United for Libraries. Sally Reed, the ALA Nat'l Director, said "You'd have to come to one of these events to see how adored Paula is by librarians. We love her and it's never repetitive."

Paula Poundstone will play at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Jonathan's Restaurant, 92 Bourne Lane in Ogunquit, ME 03907. Tickets are $37.50 in advance/ $42.50 day of show. For information or tickets, call 207-646-4777 or visit

For more information on Poundstone, visit

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.