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Paula Poundstone
PaulaPoundstoneByPhilKonstantin.jpg
Born December 29, 1959 (1959-12-29) (age 50)
Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, Television
Nationality American
Years active 1979 – present
Genres Observational comedy, Improvisational comedy
Subject(s) Everyday life, Motherhood
Influences Lily Tomlin, Bill Cosby, George Carlin
Website PaulaPoundstone.com

Paula Poundstone (born December 29, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, well-known for her self-deprecating style and masculine dress sense.

Contents

Personal life

Poundstone was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and her family moved to Sudbury, Massachusetts,[1] She adopted her first child, Thomas, in 1993. In 1997, she adopted two girls, Toshia and Allison. Later, she adopted another son, to whom she refers as "Thomas E."[2]

Poundstone was a foster mother to several other children until 2001, when she was barred from the foster care program following a conviction of child endangerment for driving under the influence with a child passenger.[3] Since then she has used the incident—and the resulting publicity—as the source for some of her comedic material.

Poundstone labels herself asexual.[4] She stated her asexuality in an interview with the Dallas Voice in June 2007, saying "I'm totally an asexual human being. I haven't dated anyone".[5] In her memoirs she wrote,

I am not, at this time, a virgin myself, but I don't like sex, so I abstain, which should certainly be at least a cousin to virgin, perhaps deserving something in an honorary title. Should I become a beloved hero in my time, my followers could refer to me as 'virginish.' ...The idea that I'd get to my bed and there'd be someone in there with whom I was supposed to have an activity is horrifying to me. It's a safe bet that I'm not good at sex, that I do it wrong.[6]

Career

Poundstone attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, but dropped out to pursue a show business career. Her jobs have included bussing tables and working as a bicycle messenger. She started doing stand-up comedy on open-mic nights in Boston in 1979, eventually relocating to California. In 1984, Poundstone was cast in the movie Hyperspace but she did not follow through on a potential acting career. Instead she became better known as a comedian and began appearing on several talk shows. In 1989, she won the American Comedy Award for "Best Female Stand-Up Comic". In 1990, she wrote and starred in an HBO special called Cats, Cops and Stuff, which won her a CableACE Award for the show. She worked as a political correspondent for the Tonight Show during the 1992 US Presidential campaign and did the same for The Rosie O'Donnell Show in 1996.

In 1993, Poundstone won a second CableACE Award, began writing a regular column, "Hey, Paula!" for Mother Jones (1993-1998), and had a variety show, The Paula Poundstone Show, on ABC (which lasted only two episodes). She was also a regular panelist for the game shows Hollywood Squares and To Tell the Truth.

She has also done some voiceover work, voicing Judge Stone on Science Court (also known as Squigglevision), an edutainment cartoon series done in the Squigglevision style and aired on Saturday Morning's on ABC Kids in 1997. Staying with Tom Snyder Productions (makers of Science Court) she was also made the voice of Home Movies mom character Paula Small for the show's first five episodes which aired on UPN. Between the show's 1999 UPN cancellation and 2000 revival on Cartoon Network she chose to leave the show, being replaced by Janine Ditullio. The character's name and some of her appearance were modeled after Poundstone.

She is number 88 on Comedy Central's 2004 list of the 100 greatest stand-ups of all time,[7] and number 7 on Maxim magazine's list of "Worst Comedians of All Time".[8]

She had her own Bravo special as part of their three-part Funny Girls series, along with Caroline Rhea and Joan Rivers. It was entitled, "Look What the Cat Dragged In."

Around the same time as her Bravo special, Poundstone also released her first book entitled There Is Nothing in this Book That I Meant to Say. Described as an autobiography that is "part memoir, part monologue", the book intertwines historical biographies with anecdotes from her own life.

Most recently, she has appeared frequently as a panelist on the radio news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on National Public Radio.[9] Also, she is a regular guest on A Prairie Home Companion, often appearing in shows in Los Angeles or at joke shows.

Poundstone released her first comedy CD, entitled "I Heart Jokes," in 2009.

Arrest

In 2001, Poundstone was arrested on a felony warrant for three counts of committing a lewd act on an unidentified girl under the age of 14. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office also stated that Poundstone was charged with endangering two other unidentified girls and two boys.[10] Few details were released, but the prosecutor indicated that the charges were a result of an incident in which Poundstone was driving her children while intoxicated. She accepted a plea agreement and pleaded "no contest" to felony child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of inflicting injury on a child. In exchange, the three charges of lewd conduct were dropped by prosecutors.[11]

Poundstone was sentenced to five years probation and 180 days in an alcohol rehabilitation program. Following completion of the program, she was granted full custody of her adopted children but permanently lost custody of two other children who were in her home as part of the foster care system.[12][13]

Poundstone's troubles were referenced in the South Park episode "Super Best Friends" and in the Family Guy episodes "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter" and "Ocean's Three and a Half".

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Paula Poundstone (born December 29, 1959) is an American comedian.

Sourced

  • I was one of the first people to almost actually vomit over hearing the use of the phrase "family values" and I pride myself on never having fallen for the idea that Barbara Bush was sweet and grandmotherly. I met Barbara Bush and, as I expected, she was a tank with eyes, not a nice person at all and why should that blow anybody away?
  • They're not going to teach science at all. What they do is take the science students down to the lake, tie them in burlap sacks and throw them in. If God thinks they're good science students, they float.

Unsourced

  • I don't have a bank account because I don't know my mother's maiden name.
  • I've always thought that if my death was imminent, I would read. When I can't focus on a book, I tend to keep reading the same page. My guess is, I would've read, like, the first page of Nicholas Nickleby over and over again.
  • The pleasure of the mulch pile is incomprehensible. I wouldn't care if they just hauled the mulch to the landfill somewhere. Obviously, grass clippings are biodegradable, but when they're bunched together at the landfill, they become badly influenced by other garbage.
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