Born: December 29, 1959
BlueMeter: Tame

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Next Tour Date

Friday | May 10
Egyptian Theatre Boise
Boise, ID

See all tour dates for Paula Poundstone



2013 I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Boston
2009 I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them in Maine
1996 Comic Relief VII

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1994 Comic Relief VI

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1992 Comic Relief V

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1990 The Best Of Comic Relief '90

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

1989 Best of Comic Relief, Vol. 3

This album is a compilation, featuring multiple comics.

Specials (and other video)

2006 TBS Very Funny Stand-Up
2006 Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In
2005 When Stand Up Stood Out

Documentary about the beginnings of the Boston Comedy scene.

1996 Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard
1992 Paula Poundstone: Cats, Cops, and Stuff
1989 One Night Stand: Paula Poundstone
1987 Women of the Night

Books (by and about)

2006 There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say


“The Boston Globe says “she’s never been funnier.” Appearing on stage with a stool, a microphone, and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula Poundstone is delighting crowds around the country on her hilarious national tour. There’s a wonderful synergy to each one-of-a-kind two-hour show. Paula’s ability to create humor on the spot is legendary and with her casual air, impeccable timing and razor-sharp wit, she improvises with a crowd like a jazz musician. She’ll find an audience member who sells grass seed to golf courses in part of the state of Maryland and wonder aloud if, in such a small territory, the grass seed were any good at all, the salesman could possibly be working to his full potential, then swing in another unexpected direction without a plan, without a net. Poundstone is so quick and unassuming that audience members leave complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter and debating whether the random people she talked to were “plants.”

In addition to touring the country, Paula can be heard regularly on NPR’s oddly informative weekly news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” She recently appeared on, “Late Night with David Letterman, “Garrison Keillor’s NPR program “A Prairie Home Companion,” including his annual “Joke Show” and “Late Late with Craig Ferguson” Her website, features diary entries with pictures from Paula’s personal life, and a special column, “Ask Paula to ask Hep Cat.” Paula’s cat, Hep can speak (but only to Paula) with authority on a surprisingly wide array of topics and what Hep doesn’t know she’s only too glad to try and find out. Paula, for example, asked Hep recently if she should use a “no stick” spray on a “no stick” pan and Hep replied, “no.”

In 1992 Poundstone was the first woman to win a Cable ACE Award for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special for her HBO special “Cats, Cops, and Stuff.” In 1996 she debuted her second HBO stand-up special, “Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard,” the only time the elite university has allowed their name to be used in the title of a television show.

Paula was the first woman to have the rare opportunity to headline the White House Correspondents Dinner and provided memorable live coverage of the ’92 political conventions and presidential inauguration for “The Tonight Show.” Her quick wit and spontaneity made her a perfect fit as backstage commentator for the ’93 Emmy Awards the following year. Poundstone starred in a self-titled series for HBO in ’92 (for which she won her second Cable ACE Award for Best Program Interviewer) and moved the show to ABC in ’93, which was short-lived, but applauded for its break from convention. She has performed in almost every Comic Relief Special since its inception, at Fords Theater for President Clinton in ’94 and ’95 on the prestigious “A Gala for the President” ABC-TV specials.

Paula grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and began performing at open-mic nights in 1979. She has made numerous appearances on both “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Craig Ferguson.” Paula served as a celebrity regular on the syndicated game show “To Tell The Truth” in 2000 – 2001. She voiced the character of Judge Stone on the acclaimed ABC-TV Saturday morning animated series “Science Court” (a.k.a. “Squigglevision”) for three years. She also guest starred on the CBS series “Cybill,” which led to a recurring role during the show’s final season. Paula has also appeared on PBS favorites such as “Sesame Street,” “Storytime,” and won a local Emmy Award for her field pieces on the renowned series “Life & Times” for PBS station KCET. In May, Paula taped her new one hour special for the BRAVO Network entitled “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” It will air in the fall of 2006.

As an accomplished writer, Paula’s new book entitled “There is Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say,” published by Random House, is due for release November 6th of 2006. With the forward written by actress Mary Tyler Moore, this book is part memoir, part monologue, with a pinch of self-deprecation and a dash of startling honesty. This surprisingly unique laugh-out-loud book features biographies of legendary historical figures from which Poundstone can’t help digressing to tell her own. Mining gold from the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, Charles Dickens, Joan of Arc, Sitting Bull and Beethoven, among others, the eccentric and utterly inimitable mind of Paula Poundstone dissects, observes, and comments on the successes and failures of her own life with spot-on comedic timing. If you like Paula Poundstone's ironic and blindingly intelligent humor, you'll love this book. To request an autographed book plate, or to place your pre-order go to

Paula produced the award-winning children’s audio book project titled Completely Yours, and gave voice to a character alongside Mary Tyler Moore, Bea Arthur, Kathy Najimy, Ed Asner, and Lily Tomlin. Released in 1997, the project featured a story about adoption entitled, A Mother for Choco and is available through the Children’s Book of the Month Club and selects bookstores.

While she has amassed an impressive list of accolades on stage and in print, Ms. Poundstone is a single parent with children ages l4, 11, and 8, nine cats, a big cat-eating dog, a bearded dragon lizard, an elderly bunny, and one doggedly determined ant left from her ant farm. So the majority of her life is spent in Santa Monica, California wielding a damp cloth, lint lifting, denying junky snacks, watching steadily improving cartwheels, trying desperately to remember the parts of speech, correcting long division, listening to Nancy Drew read aloud, over cooking noodles, and explaining that life isn’t always fair, but that right now its Thomas E’s turn to use the pogo stick. She says things couldn’t be better.