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show. The Boston Globe also said about Paula, “You know Poundstone's a great comic the way you know any fine performer when you see one—there's a disarming ease in her craft, an ..... The Rosie O'Donnell Show (recurring). Science ...


Appearing on stage with a stool, a microphone, and a can of Diet Pepsi, PAULA POUNDSTONE is famous for her razor-sharp wit and spontaneity. The Boston Globe said, “Poundstone improvises with a crowd like a Jazz musician…swinging in unexpected directions without a plan, without a net.” Paula is so quick and unassuming that audience members at her live shows often leave complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter and debating whether the random people she talked to were “plants”.

Paula grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts and by the time she was nineteen was traveling on a Greyhound bus across the country – stopping in at open mic nights at comedy clubs as she went. She credits her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Bump, with being the first one to spot her comedic talents. Bump wrote in a letter to Paula’s parents: “I have enjoyed many of Paula’s humorous comments about our activities.” In 1979 Paula began nurturing her standup comedy talent as part of the Boston comedy scene, and then moved to San Francisco where she continued to flourish. By 1990 she’d relocated to Los Angeles and had starred in several comedy specials for HBO, as well as appeared on Saturday Night Live when friend and mentor Robin Williams hosted the show. Paula’s first onehour HBO special, “Cats, Cops, and Stuff.” made her the first woman to ever receive the Cable ACE for best standup comedy special. She also starred in a self-titled talk show series for HBO (for which she won her second Cable ACE Award for Best Program Interviewer, beating out other, more recognized names in that field.) In 1992, Poundstone forsook what she considered the ‘staid’ 5-minute standup set on late night talk-shows for something she thought would be more real with the audience and filed memorable field commentary of the Presidential Election for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. This led to her own show on ABC, aptly named, “The Paula Poundstone Show”, and behind-thescenes coverage of that year’s EMMY Awards for which she was critically acclaimed. During this time, she also became the first woman to perform at the White House Correspondents dinner. By the mid-90’s, Poundstone had shifted her performances from comedy clubs to performing arts centers and theatres where her interactions with the crowd became the stuff of legend. In 1996, Paula taped her second hour special for HBO, “Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard,” - the first time that elite university has ever allowed its name to be used in the title of a television show. The Boston Globe also said about Paula, “You know Poundstone’s a great comic the way you know any fine performer when you see one—there's a disarming ease in her craft, an

immediate sense that she's so quick on her feet you need never worry about the possibility of something going wrong.” Paula’s off-kilter sensibility and impeccable timing made her a perfect fit for NPR’s “oddly informative”, weekly news quiz program, “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” which she joined as a regular panelist seven years ago. Hosted by Peter Segal, the show is broadcast in 50 states and gives Paula a chance to match wits with some of today’s leading pundits – not to mention interact with some of the people at the forefront of our nation’s eyes, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. The show tapes weekly before a live audience at the Chase Auditorium in Chicago, or on location. It took Paula eight years to write her first book, There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say. (Harmony Books, a division of Random House, Hardcover pub: November 2006, with foreword by Mary Tyler Moore) “That’s because I was writing it in real time,” Poundstone jokes. Part memoir, part monologue, Paula’s unique laugh-out-loud book features biographies of legendary historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc and Sitting Bull, among others, from which she can’t help digressing to tell her own. The paperback edition hit the bookshelves in November 2007. BRAVO premiered Paula’s standup comedy special: “Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In.” The show was taped before a live audience in Los Angeles at the landmark Orpheum Theatre. Other credits include: Frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor's “A Prairie Home Companion;” Voice of Judge Stone on ABC’s Saturday Morning “Science Court” aka “Squigglevision”, and “Paula”, the mom in Cartoon Network’s “Home Movies. Paula has made numerous appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman;” ”Sesame Street;” “To Tell The Truth” and “Comic Relief.” Paula won an EMMY Award for her field pieces on PBS’s “Life & Times,” and is also the author, along with her high school math teacher, Faye Ruopp, of three math text books for children published by Heinemann Press: The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes; Venn Can We Be Friends? and You Can't Keep Slope Down Paula’s published several magazine articles, and for five years wrote a back-page column in Mother Jones. An avid reader, Paula is national spokesperson for the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, which unities Friends chapters all over the country that help raise money for their local libraries children’s summer reading programs, author events, special book collections, equipment, and whatever else they might need. Paula began fostering children in the early 1990’s, and went on to become a parent to three children of her own, Toshia, Allison, and Thomas E. The family lives in Santa Monica, California.

For more information visit Paula’s website at


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What people are saying about Paula’s shows… "Poundstone has never been funnier… with a standing ovation!” The Boston Globe - Nick Zaino III “At the top of her game” The San Francisco Chronicle “Funnier than Seinfeld at 1/4 the price.” Joseph LeMay, Danbury, Ct. "Insightful, thought-provoking humor… "The Chicago Tribune - Allan Johnson “An anecdote-rich evening that incites sympathy and laughter very funny. She had the crowd all but collapsing in laughter.” Matt Weitz, Dallas Morning News “A comedic genius...a masterful stand-up. Her style remains unscripted, with audience participation required. This approach is, of course, skipping around a minefield, but Poundstone does it with grace.” Hollywood Insiders - Jorie Parr “Poundstone's observational/improvisational comedy seemed to bode especially well with a college audience. On a night of woeful weather in the Black Mountains she swept everyone's cares away for a few hours…in the finest tradition of some of her most respected colleagues, like George Carlin or Lewis Black. Alexander Choman, Citizens Voice “A consummate professional at the height of her powers.” The Maui News “I think this is going to be a 3-Aleve night for me....... no, no, not from drinking or anything, but from laughing NONSTOP for nearly two and a half hours at the Paula Poundstone concert.”

Claire Keaveney,

New York, NY


Ferguson Hall @ Tampa Bay PAC - Tampa, FL Commonwealth Club - San Francisco, CA McCallum Theatre f/t Performing Arts - Palm Desert, CA Raue Center of the Arts - Crystal Lake, IL Centre East Theatre - Skokie, IL Fitzgerald Thtr - St. Paul, MN Stone Mt. Arts Center - Brownfield, ME The Birchmere - Alexandria, VA Zilka Hall @the Hobby Center - Houston, TX Alladin Theatre - Portland, OR Rex Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA Carlisle Theatre - Carlisle, PA Long Wharf Theatre - Sag Harbor, NY Bass Performance Hall - Ft. Worth, TX WMAC Perf Studios - Albany, NY Tennessee Performing Arts Center - Nashville, TN Stoneham Theatre - Stoneham, MA One World Theatre - Austin, TX Mohegan Sun Casino Wolf Den - Uncasville, CT Orpheum Theatre - Phoenix, AZ College Misericordia - Dallas, PA Palace Theatre - San Fran, CA Benecia HS Auditorium - Benicia, CA Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts Schaumburg, IL Tupelo Music Hall - Londonderry, NH Gallagher Bluedorn Perf Arts Ctr - Cedar Falls, IA Meyer Theatre - Green Bay, WI Riverside Theatre - Vero Beach, FL Rizza Auditorium - Vallejo, CA Macomb Center for the Performing Arts - Clint Twnshp, MI George E. Potter PAC - Jackson, MI River Run Centre - Guelph, Ont, Canada Sunrise Theatre - Fort Pierce, FL Montage Grill - Rochester, NY McGlohon Theatre @ Spirit Square - Charlotte, NC Boulton Center for the Performing Arts - Bay Shore, NY Rialto Theatre - Tucson, AZ Newman Center for the Performing Arts - Denver, CO So. Orange Performing Arts Center - So. Orange, NJ Sanders Theatre, Harvard University - Cambridge, MA Providence Perf Arts Cntr - Providence, RI

Lensic Performing Arts Center - Santa Fe, NM Ohio Theater Playhouse Square - Cleveland, OH Ironhorse - North Hampton, MA Paramount Center of the Arts - Peekskill, NY Carolina Theatre - Greensboro, NC Ferst Theatre - Atlanta, GA Rosebud Theatre - Effingham, FL Crest Theatre - Sacramento, CA Lake Michigan College - Bent Harbor, MI Palace Theatre - Albany, NY Amaturo Theatre - Ft. Lauderdale, FL State Theatre - St Petersburg, FL Eccles Center - Park City, UT Penn’s Landing - Philadelphia, PA Rehoboth Beach Convention Center - Rehoboth Bch De Yavapai College - Prescott, AZ UC Berkeley - Berkeley, CA Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Sarasota, FL Carnival Concert Hall/Miami Perf Arts Ct - Miami, FL Center for the Arts - Natick, MA. Humboldt State U, John Van Duzer Theatre - Arcata, CA Strand Capitol PAC - York, PA Sunset Theatre - Carmel, CA Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me - Chicago, IL McAninch Arts Center - Glen Ellyn, IL 4th & B - San Diego, CA Strand Theatre - Rockland, ME Rams Head On Stage - Annapolis, MD Englert Civic Center - Iowa City, IA The Moore - Seattle, WA Lyman Center f/the Performing Arts - New Haven, CT Rio Theatre - Santa Cruz, CA Sellersville Theatre - Sellersville, PA Count Bassie Theatre - Red Bank, NJ Jonathan’s - Ogunquit, ME Criterion Theatre - Bar Harbor, ME Colonial Theatre - Pittsfield, MA UU Meeting House Theatre - P-town, MA Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheatre - Reno, NV James Lumber Center for the Arts - Grayslake, IL Lincoln Theatre PAC - Yountville, CA Kingsbury Hall/Univ of Utah - Salt Lake

WAIT, WAIT…DON’T TELL ME! Comedienne Paula Poundstone is a staple on National Public Radio, serving as a panelist on the popular quiz show, “Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me!” In the past two years, the show has dramatically increased its visibility -- booking huge guests including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, Salman Rushdie and Tom Hanks. It’s become the “in” thing to participate in the “Not My Job” segment where guests are pressed to talk about something they know nothing about. That’s how Justice Stephen Breyer had to answer questions about the lifestyles of famous Rock and Rollers and Dennis Kucinich was quizzed on the life of Bunny Allen: big game hunter extraordinaire. WWDTM tapes weekly in front of a live audience at the Chase Auditorium in Chicago, or on location. The show is now broadcast in 50 states on 440 public radio stations with a weekly listenership of 2.5 million. The podcast consistently ranks in the iTunes Today’s Top Podcasts list. Guests don’t actually win anything. They are playing on behalf of a listener. But the main idea is to have fun bantering with host Peter Sagal, and a stellar panel of three of our nation’s foremost pundits. Besides Paula, they include Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post, author and humorist Roy Blount Jr., Tom Bodett, P.J. O’Rourke, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine Charlie Pierce, and personality Mo Rocca, Each show features eight quizzes based on events from the week's news. Four of the games include listeners who call in to win the most coveted prize in public radio --Carl Kasell, (veteran NPR newsman, also announcer and scorekeeper) recording the greeting on their home answering machine. WWDTM is a funny, irreverent look at the news, Viewers are tuning in to hear what the panelists have to say that week the same way they might to the Jay Leno monologue, or the Jon Stewart Show. They also have a chance to test their knowledge about current events. For more information, or to hear the show online, visit the WWDTM website at You can also download the show via iTunes.


Excerpts from There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say Being a Mom: • “I’ve never found a job harder than parenting, partly because there are so many selfappointed experts. Even when something goes right, I’m sure I did it wrong. One day sevenyear-old Thomas E had a huge tantrum while we walked to school, and eleven-year-old Alley looked at me and said, ‘He didn’t get that way by himself.’” • “I found Toshia’s report card in her pants pocket when I was putting the laundry pile in the washing machine, because not only was she not going to show it to me, she was going to ruin a whole load of laundry with it. She had turned a D-minus into a D-plus by putting a vertical line through the minus sign. I wasn’t so much upset with her as I was fascinated. I said, ‘Exactly how different was my reaction going to be to a D-minus?’ I showed her how to make a D into a B and asked that, in the future, she aim higher and have a little self-respect.” Relationships: • “My kids once asked me if some recently divorced friends of ours would be coming to a party we were giving. I explained that whichever parent had their kids that weekend would likely bring them. After they sat quietly taking that in for a minute, Toshia ventured, with great concern, ‘I hope that never happens to us.’ I said, ‘Toshia, I think we’re in the clear there, I’m single. It’s one of the few perks of having me for a mom. I’m not likely to break up with me.’ Through it all, my love endures.” Pets: • “I spend much of my life trying to keep my vicious cat-eating dog away from my cats, but the night before she died Balou kept walking over to the dog. I think, since my cats are indoor cats and haven’t the opportunity to go off into the woods to die, she was doing the closest thing, which was to drag herself over to the dog-shark and whisper, ‘For God’s sake, just eat me.’” Human Frailty: • “Once, when I was nineteen, on the subway in Boston I lost my balance slightly and bumped into an elderly woman. I quickly apologized and she replied, “Well, hold on to something, stupid.” There it is. That’s it in a nutshell. I don’t want to sound negative, but I think every fetus should be shown a film of that incident, maybe projected up on the uterine wall, and then asked if it wants to come out. I am a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose, but I also think that in the last trimester, the kid should be given every opportunity to back out.”


• “Thomas E and I were reading All About the Sun in the library with his first grade class when one of his classmates came over and started telling us that the sun was going to explode during the Rapture. I said, ‘I guess it’s not important to decide if Thomas E should brown-bag or have hot lunch next week, then.’”

Air-Conditioning in Florida: • “If it were as cold outside in the winter as they make it inside in the summer, they'd put the heat on. It makes no sense.”

What People Are Saying About Paula’s Book “I finished reading your book last night. I could have finished it sooner but I hated to see it end.” Joyce, Woonsocket, RI.

“Bought the book. Loved the book. I would read a chapter and think to myself - No way the next chapter can be this great - It has to go downhill from here. It never went downhill. There wasn't even a little dip.” Sherry Moore, Santa Rosa, California

“Poundstone makes self-involvement entertaining... an excuse for a hilarious, stream-of-consciousness confessional.” Publishers Weekly

“I loved the book. I made my kid eat cereal for dinner because I didn't want to get up and stop reading. She's fine.” Anne, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

“Just finished your book and all I can say is I LOVED IT! I couldn't put it down and found myself sitting alone in my house laughing out loud. I have already passed it on to a friend who has called me to say that SHE is laughing out loud as she reads.” Carol, Port Huron, Michigan

“She sparks this sad but ultimately triumphal story by uproariously comparing and contrasting herself and famous people.” Booklist

“Just finished your latest book-on-CD. It was both hysterical and touching. Those who can count you as a friend are truly lucky. PS You are the highlight of Wait Wait!” Jim Hebert, San Francisco, Calif.

Paula Poundstone Resume Television - Specials Look What The Cat Dragged In (BRAVO) Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard (HBO) Cats, Cops and Stuff (HBO) Comic Relief I – VIII (HBO) 63rd Prime Time Emmy Awards 50 Years of Funny Females A Gala for the President at Ford’s Theatre One Night Stand Women of the Night The Eighth Annual Young Comedians Show

Radio (Cont’d) Westwood One Radio Network Air America Sirius Satellite Radio XM Satellite Radio

Television – Series: Real Time w/Bill Maher The Late Late Show with Crag Ferguson The Late Show with David Letterman The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Larry King Live The View Dateline Hollywood Squares To Tell The Truth (series regular)

Other Writing Credits: Look What The Cat Dragged In Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard Cats, Cops and Stuff Mother Jones (Column) Glamour Body+Soul LA Times Sunday Calendar Entertainment Weekly

The Rosie O’Donnell Show (recurring) Science Court (series regular)

Awards: EMMY Award - PBS Life & Times ACE – Standup Comedy Special Program Interviewer American Comedy Award: Female Standup

The 62nd Annual Emmy Awards The Paula Poundstone Show (ABC) Jeopardy Regis & Kathie Lee Good Morning America Late Night w/Ted Koppel The Paula Poundstone Show (HBO) Sesame Street (guest star) Cybill (recurring) Stick to It (PBS ID’s) PBS Story Time The Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson Saturday Night Live Radio Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me! (NPR) (Regular) Garrison Keillor’s – A Prairie Home Companion Talk of the Nation (NPR) ABC Radio Network Fox Radio Network Premiere Radio Network USA Radio Network

Books: There’s Nothing in This Book…To Say Sticky Problem of the Parallel Pancakes Venn Can We Be Friends Can’t Keep Slope Down

Contacts: Personal Publicity: Debbie Keller 12831 S. 71st Street Tempe, AZ 85284 PH: 480-839-9474 FX: 480-839-6575 [email protected] Management:Bonnie Burns Burns & Burns PH: 310-474-5983 FX: 310-475-0790 Personal Appearances: David Snyder William Morris Agency 151 El Camino Beverly Hills, CA 90212 PH: 301-859-4000

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