With smart, observational humor and a legendary spontaneous interaction with the crowd, Paula Poundstone is one of our country’s pre-eminent comedians. She improvises with a crowd like a Jazz musician, swinging in unexpected directions without a plan, without a net. 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.

In 1998, when NPR’s #1 show, the weekly comedy news quiz, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! came calling, Poundstone was the perfect fit as one of the pundits on the Panel.  Nobody can remember if she was a popular regular panelist right from the start. When asked about Paula, Wait, Wait host Peter Sagal replied, “Paula Poundstone is the funniest human being I have ever known. Everything she does, thinks, or says is hilarious. If you cut her into bits, each piece would be funny. (But don’t!). Air becomes funny having been breathed by her.”

Paula is also an Author, Host/Emcee, Actor and Commentator.  She just released her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness (Algonquin Books). She voiced the character “Forgetter Paula” in Inside Out, winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and her recent guest appearances include Late Night with Stephen Colbert, CBS Sunday Morning, Major Crimes, Carson Daly, Nerdist with Chris Hardwick, Weekend Edition and ‘Puzzle Master’ with Will Shortz!

In her most recent book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness, Paula takes on that most inalienable of rights—the pursuit of happiness. Offering herself up as a human guinea pig, she tries out a different get-happy hypothesis in a series of “thoroughly scientific” experiments. She gets in shape with taekwondo. She drives fast behind the wheel of a Lamborghini. She communes with nature while camping with her teenaged daughter. Swing dancing? Meditation? Volunteering? Does any of it bring her happiness? And more important, can the happiness last when she returns to the daily demands of her chaotic life?  Tony and Emmy Award-winner Lily Tomlin described the book as “A remarkable journey. I laughed. I cried. I got another cat.”

Kirkus, the gold standard of book reviews, described Paula’s new book as “A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises.”  Booklist: “Smart, sweet, and laugh-out-loud funny balm for exceedingly stressful times.” The book climbed to #1 in Humor on both Amazon New Releases and Best Sellers lists in all formats.

Over the years Paula has amassed a list of awards and accolades. A star of several HBO specials and her own series, “The Paula Poundstone Show” on HBO and ABC, she was the first woman, in its then 73rd year, to perform standup comedy at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. In addition Paula was a special correspondent for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, for the Democratic and Republican conventions, the Inauguration and the Emmy Awards.

Paula is recognized on Comedy Central’s list of ‘The 100 Best Standup Comics of All Time,’ she won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Standup Comic, and she is included in innumerable lists, documentaries and literary compendiums noting influential standup comedians of our time.

Check Paula out at and

planking on stool elbow down in black


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