Poundstone, Paula 1959-
Poundstone, Paula 1959-
PERSONAL: Born December 29, 1959, in Huntsville, AL; children: Toshia, Allison, and Thomas E.
ADDRESSES: Home— Santa Monica, CA. Agent— Debbie Keller, Personal Publicity, 12831 S. 71st St., Tempe, AZ 85284.
CAREER: Comedian. National Public Radio, Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, panelist. Also featured in various television comic specials, television series, and talk shows, including Today Show, To Tell the Truth, Cybill, and the Paula Poundstone Show.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award, for her work on the PBS series Life & Times; Cable ACE Award, 1992, for Cats, Cops, and Stuff, and 1992, for Best Program Interviewer; American Comedy Award, for Best Female Stand-Up.
(With Faye Nisonoff Ruopp) The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes & Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 4-5 (“Math with a Laugh” series), Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 2006.
(With Faye Nisonoff Ruopp) Venn Can We Be Friends? & Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 6-7 (“Math with a Laugh” series), Heine-mann (Portsmouth, NH), 2006.
(With Faye Nisonoff Ruopp) You Can’t Keep Slope Down: & Other Skill-Building Math Activities, Grades 8-9 (“Math with a Laugh” series), Heine-mann (Portsmouth, NH), 2006.
Wrote for her television specials, Cats, Cops, and Stuff, 1990, and Look What the Cat Dragged In, 2006. Contributor to Mother Jones.
SIDELIGHTS: Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian who has appeared on television, and in comedy clubs across the country. Poundstone’s most notable television appearances have been on the Today Show, To Tell the Truth, Cybill, and the short-running Paula Poundstone Show. Poundstone has also had her stand-up routines aired on Home Box Office (HBO) and contributes as a panelist on National Public Radio (NPR). Poundstone gained unwanted attention in 2001 when she was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with her children in the car going to an ice cream shop. This subsequently led her to check into a rehabilitation center and serve five years probation. Although she lost the right to take care of her foster children, her three adopted children were returned to her full custody in late 2002. Despite these life-changing circumstances, Poundstone is able to use these hardships and incorporate them into her comedy routines and writing.
There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say is part-memoir, part-history lesson comparing notable events in her life (such as her legal proceedings, alcoholism, and her children) to those of Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, and the Wright Brothers. Reviews of Poundstone’s debut book were mostly positive. Susan McClellan, writing in Library Journal, noted that “readers will love the book’s offbeat humor and interesting monolog.”Booklist reviewer Whitney Scott called it a “sad but ultimately triumphal story.” A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews noted that Poundstone’s “descriptions of the bureaucratic nightmare of court dates and mandated therapy sessions, and of her love for her adopted children . . . are in fact the most compelling aspects of the book.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Poundstone, Paula, There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, September 1, 2006, Whitney Scott, review of There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, p. 35.
Broadcasting & Cable, July 2, 2001, “Poundstone Busted for ‘Lewd Acts’,” p. 10.
Curve, February, 2002, Georgia Sand, “Free Paula!,” p. 33.
Detroit News, November 7, 2006, Mekeisha Madden Toby, “Mekeisha’s Pick.”
Entertainment Weekly, February 7, 1992, Ken Tucker, “The Paula Poundstone Show,” p. 46; August 17, 2001, “Star Treatment,” p. 8; September 28, 2001, Nicholas Fonseca, “Monitor,” p. 37; November 10, 2006, Paul Katz, review of There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, p. 89.
Good Housekeeping, March, 1998, Carrie St. Michel, review of This Stand-up Stands Up for Children in Need, p. 23.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, p. 828.
Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Susan McClellan, review of There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, p. 72.
Los Angeles Business Journal, August 13, 2001, “Promise Keeping,” p. 4.
Mediaweek, November 8, 1993, Mark Hudis, “Paula Breaks the Mold,” p. 16; May 29, 2000, Anne Torpey-Kemph, “Pearson Picks Up Poundstone,” p. 43.
Mother Jones, March-April, 1993, Paula Poundstone, “Hey Paula!”
People, July 16, 2001, “Losing Her Children,” p. 57; September 10, 2001, “Matter of Trust,” p. 77; October 8, 2001, “Olivia Abel,” p. 145; December 23, 2002, Michael A. Lipton, “Comic’s Relief,” p. 77.
Publishers Weekly, April 3, 2006, “Newhart, Pound-stone at BEA,” p. 8; August 7, 2006, review of There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, p. 41.
Time, fall, 1990, Stefan Kanfer, “Sauce, Satire, and Shtick,” p. 62; November 16, 1998, Joel Stein, “Paula Poundstone,” p. 124; September 13, 2004, Michele Orecklin, “Standing Back Up,” p. 88.
Variety, October 27, 1997, Jenny Hontz, “Deals Put Lane, Poundstone on Small Screen,” p. 25; May 29, 2000, Melissa Grego, “Poundstone and Taylor Find ‘Truth’,” p. 59.
Enigma, http://www.enigmaonline.com/ (May 12, 2004), Dave Weinthal, author interview.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (December 29, 2006), author profile.
Paula Poundstone Home Page, http://www.paulapoundstone.com (December 30, 2006), author biography.
Rotten dot com, http://www.rotten.com/ (December 29, 2006), Poundstone life timeline.*