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Paula Poundstone is Different!

May 15th, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

(Photos shot by Sandy Zimmerman during the live show.)

I had a chance to interview comedian Paula Poundstone before

her show and felt she had a refreshing “honesty” about herself.

Paula spoke to me just as she did to the audience at the Suncoast


“My act is autobiographical. I talk about raising three kids and

16 cats.

Just like every other parent, I try to strike that balance.

Fortunately I love my work and I love taking care of my kids so

those are my two favorite things to do which is lucky because

that’s all I ever get to do except for an occasional game of ping


Sixteen cats are a lot of cats and a lot of litter boxes!

She complained, “A lot of people say ‘how did you get 16 cats?’

I’ll tell you exactly how I got 16 cats, I had 15 and I got one more.

I swear, I sift litter so much I have a callous on my hand.

I’m a trained professional sifter which is ironic because I never

enjoyed the beach that much.

Sifting is my main job.

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Paula Poundstone is Different (Continued)

Paula feels, "My favorite part of the night

is when I do the time

honored, "Where are you from?

What do you do for a living?

This is so important because people love

the interaction of being

included in the show.

I find there is a magic that comes to life

in the crowd for the night

and enjoy talking to them.

To me it is the really a great time of the night.

I tell jokes while I talk to different people

and weave together

biographies of the audience.

That is where the really great funny stuff

comes from."

Paula explained, "Stuff just happens, I guess.

I read and try to pay attention to what is going

on in the rest of the world.

I drive down the street and think of something.

There is tons of paper everywhere with

little written notes on them.

Sometimes these little notes get made into

pieces I do on stage

and sometimes I forget why I wrote that note.

My memory is not good because I am

always on overwhelm.

A lot of times I'm driving home and drive

past our house.

The kids are yelling and screaming at me.

I turn to them and say, "Who are you,

what are you doing in my car?

My memory is hanging by a thread."

Does Paula use off-color humor?

Paula is not sure.

"I don't know, I could occasionally,

it all depends what people

find off color, I guess.

Now and then I come off stage and people

say it is great you don't

talk about sex.

That is an odd way to rate an act.

Sometimes people write to me and say,

"Can I bring my child to

your show?"

I write back and say, "I have no idea."

She admits, "I don't know what I'm going

to say next and I don't

care one way or the other.

The fact is that there are a handful of

words that people have

decided we shouldn't say or we would be

offended is silly.

I tell my kids I don't want them to say

things that intentionally

hurt people's feelings but we are

talking about content not a

hand full of words.

That part to me doesn't make sense at all.

People tell me the most intimate things

about themselves and I

have the tendency to cut them off and tell them

something that

reminds me of myself.

I made this deal to write a book but it took

me nine years.

After spending tons of time staring at a

blank paper and feeling

like an idiot writing about myself, I thought,

"If I tried to write

about Abraham Lincoln, I wouldn't be able

to shut up about myself.

My book is a series of biographies of

towering historic figures and

in the telling of their story, I tell my own.

In the first chapter, I tell about Abe Lincoln.

The similarities and parallels were leaping

off the page.

Helen Keller was blind and deaf, my oldest

daughter has astigmatism and won't listen to me so

similarities are close.

I have obsessive compulsive disorder, everybody

has it, but the

difference is the degree it affects your life.

Compulsive disorder manifests itself differently in

each person.

For me, I can't stop talking to save my life.

Everything someone says reminds me of

something else I want to discuss.

My knowledge of current events is

proportional to how

traumatic the events are in my own home.

Whenever I am overwhelmed there is

a news black-out and I

have no idea what is going on in the world every day.

The Suncoast Hotel always has a great schedule of


For information, call 636-7111. The Suncoast Hotel is located at 9090 Alta Drive.