Paula Poundstone Comes to the Cascade Theatre
● By Kendra Kaiserman
Cats by the Poundstone
By Kendra Kaiserman
Paula Poundstone, may have been a comedian since kindergarten. “My kindergarten teacher wrote in my summary letter in May of 1965, ‘I have enjoyed many of Paula’s humorous comments about our activities,’” says Poundstone.
Poundstone says she became a comedian because “I guess it’s just the way I am. I love the response of laughter. I’ve been doing it for so long it’s hard to imagine any other life. It was exciting, and it is exciting, but certainly when I was younger.”
Poundstone’s comedic journey began in June, 1979 in Boston, Mass. Poundstone was 19 and decided to buy a Greyhound Bus Ameri-Pass, where you could go anywhere for a month for $150. “I was at that great age, I was 19, and I had no other responsibilities. I could stay on anybody’s couch. I didn’t need a couch, really,” she says.
When she started she “never did a show by myself,” and would prepare and try to memorize what she would say. “I tried really hard in the beginning. When I first started out I would do open mic nights where anybody could do five minutes,” says Poundstone. She was bussing tables in those days and would “type my jokes on the back of these menus. I’d be bussing tables and my lips would be moving because I’d be memorizing my act and then I’d go on stage totally forget what I memorized.” She thought it was a really “undisciplined and unprofessional thing.”
“I can’t remember at what point I discovered that this was the fun part,” she says and that “really turned the tide.”
Today, Poundstone says “people will come up to me and tell me how I’ve impacted them and it’s awfully gratifying.”
Poundstone says that Robin Williams influenced her the most as well as “bits and pieces of everyone I’ve ever watched or spent time with.” She says that her “generation and younger benefited from Robin Williams’ popularity,” and “there was no club in the United States that didn’t have a picture of him on their stage.”
Poundstone, who has been a comedian for nearly 40 years, has raised three kids, two German Shepherd mix dogs and 14 cats. “I would go to the pound to pet some cats, but I have more than the pound,” she says with a laugh.
Paula Poundstone at the Cascade Theatre
Saturday, November 5 • 7:30 pm