Comedian Paula Poundstone Review

Story posted March 16, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Savannah Swartz.

Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian who got her start in the 1980s doing a variety of comedy, acting, interviewing and many other jobs. She is extremely talented and is filled to the brim with jokes.

Poundstone performed on Mar. 4 at the State Theatre in downtown State College. The crowd was full and excited to be there.

Poundstone demanded attention from the time she first stepped foot on stage till she said goodbye. The comic was sporting a matching teal and black striped suit along with a yellow patterned tie.

She began her set by noting how her tour had been pushed back because of the pandemic and was excited to finally be able to come to Penn State.

The comic shared her experience of feeling “non-essential” during the pandemic. While being unable to tour for fifteen months, she explored a career in being a grocery clerk.

Unfortunately, her local store “The Vons” has already filled all their positions and had no room for the comic on their staff.

After being rejected, the comic began her weekly grocery shopping and heard an announcement in the store educating its customers that they were still looking for help.

While Paula Poundstone is not the ideal cashier she is the ideal comic.

After getting in her opening remarks, Poundstone wasted no time getting the audience involved. Throughout the entire two-hour show, she consistently called on audience members, and the woman never missed a beat. It did not matter how obscure the audience’s remarks were, she was on them with a comeback in no time.

One lucky participant was a Penn State professor who teaches material engineering, and Poundstone asked what everyone was thinking, “what the hell is that?”

After a lot of back and forth, it was revealed that the professor is working on advancing iPhones at which point Poundstone whips out her flip phone and said “I don’t know a lot about smartphones”.

This elicited serious laughter from the older side of the crowd and ended with many others waving their flip phones in solidarity.

Not only did Poundstone have impeccable improvisation, but also had prepared content which she flowed through well.

She shared some about her political views along with how she is not a crazy cat lady even though she has ten cats.

Poundstone explained how being a comic doesn’t always come with a consistent income or even health insurance. So she has to get creative when in need of health care.

In the past, she has asked her cats’ vet for advice for her ailments. In other trying times she joked about showing up early to the airport to use the bag scanner for an x-ray.

Something admirable about Poundstone was the way she shared real stories from her life and was willing to share personal things while turning them into jokes.

Overall, Poundstone has a big personality and is very skilled at making the audience feel connected and involved in the show. The show was rather long, But she kept it interesting and moved at a fast pace. Her act will be a hard one to forget.

Savannah Swartz is a first-year communications major. To contact her, email