Paula Poundstone

Spreading laughter at The Grand

BY VIRGINIA STILL

Laughter has been known to have healthy benefits by decreasing stress and increasing the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Comedienne Paula Poundstone has a passion for making people laugh and will be dishing out a healthy dose at The Grand Theatre Center for the Arts in Tracy at 8 p.m. March 3.

Performing comedy for over 35 years, Poundstone has recorded CDs, written a couple of books and has a radio show on NPR called “Wait, wait…Don’t Tell Me!” The talented comic has also had a few comedy specials on HBO and her own series.

The radio show airs on public radio weekly and is a news quiz show with three panelists who answer questions in a comedic way. The show is recorded in front of a live audience. She has been part of the talk show for about 16 years.

“I started when I was 19 in Boston doing open mic nights,” said Poundstone of getting her comedic career started. “I was busing tables for a living so it’s not like I turned my back on a law career.

“Then I took a Greyhound bus around the country to see what clubs were like in different cities.”

After her trip across the country, Poundstone decided to stay on the West Coast and pursued standup comedy in San Francisco for a few years. She made her way down to Southern California where she currently resides with her 14 cats, two German Shepherd mix dogs, and one ant leftover from an ant farm she had.

Poundstone’s second book, “The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness” is available for preorder and will go on sale in May. She describes this book as a memoir and explained that it is a series of experiments that took her seven years to write.

“It is kind of the anti-Facebook,” Poundstone added. “You know they say Facebook depresses people. The more time people spend on Facebook the more depressed they seem to get because it is an endless holiday letter is what it is, from everybody.

“My book is the down and dirty of life. It’s first job is to be funny. It tells the real story of life.”

Poundstone found it very difficult to ask people she knew to write blurbs for her book – commentaries or quotes by people who have read it – however, Dick Cavett, Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, Trisha Yearwood and Lily Tomlin, to name a few, gave the book glowing reviews.

Spending time in the Bay Area, Poundstone is very familiar with Tracy and stated that she has gassed up her car there many times.

Poundstone’s performance is known to have different content each time, along with a great deal of audience interaction so the public should prepare to be amused.

“I talk about living in a house full of kids and animals,” stated Poundstone. “I try to pay enough attention to the news to cast a halfway decent vote which we all know is not an easy trick.

“My favorite part of the night is just talking to the audience; the time-honored ‘where are you from?’ and ‘what do you do for a living?’ Expect a night of healing laughter.”

To purchase tickets, visit atthegrand.org.

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