By Dianne R. Davis
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Paula Poundstone is a stand-up comedian, actress, author, and she is unique with her vision of the world – and how to survive it. She’s also incredibly funny. She’ll be sharing her stories and interacting with her audience – something she’s great at doing, when she returns to headline at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, May 30 and 31.

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Photos of Paula Poundstone via PaulaPoundstone.com

Get ready to laugh – and if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll be part of the show. Paula has her personal stories to share about her family life, and beyond that, she’ll turn her focus to the audience. They are the fuel for her fire. She’ll have you thinking that some of those folks were “plants.” I wish I were making this up – she’s just that good. This reporter had the opportunity to get a little taste of Paula Poundstone the person prior to her Las Vegas appearance. Here’s our conversation:

Was there a moment when you knew you had to be a comedian?

PP: I have always loved the sound of laughter. I can still remember listening to the sounds of my mother and her friends, laughing so loud we could hear them through the floor, long after we kids had been sent up to bed. The truth is, I was a very funny table busser, and there is something very gratifying about making people laugh, lightening their load, amidst the fabric of daily life, but being a comedian pays more, and my sweaters don’t smell like rotten vegetables at the end of the day.

Who in your industry do you most admire and why?

PP: Scoopy The Clown, the guy on the side of the Flexi-Straw box. He always looks so happy.

Do you eat before a show and what are you favorite foods then?

PP: Unfortunately, there has never been a time I could not eat. If I ever get the death penalty, instead of giving me a last meal on a tray, they should just leave a trail of it to the death chamber.

Exclusive Interview: Paula Poundstone

Paula Poundstone workin' the room (Photo by Dianne R. Davis)
What do you do for fun?

PP: I enjoy water balloons, ping-pong, pulling a string for my cats to chase, watching movies, playing basketball, and watching a video tape of a documentary on The Presidency. I just found out about Grover Cleveland’s jaw. [Reporter’s note: As a result of this interview, I researched and found out about Grove Cleveland’s jaw. You’ll just have to do the same yourself.]

If you couldn’t do comedy, what would you do?

PP: I would love to own a laundromat.

Is anything off limits?

PP: I only like the funny stuff. I don’t try to be outrageous, although I’m not opposed to it. I want people to come away from my shows with an endorphin rush, and a stronger connection to one another. I’m not saying it always happens, but it’s a nice goal, huh?

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a comedian?

PP: Always pack your own conditioner. Often hotels have “conditioning shampoo,” but it leaves painful tangles.

Do you like playing Vegas?

PP: I do. It is just plain weird, and I like that. Frankly, after a while, the cities I play in begin to look alike. Las Vegas is unforgettable.

How do you relax?

PP: I am a single working mother, with three kids, sixteen cats, a bearded dragon lizard, a bunny, a German Shepherd mix dog, and one ant left from my ant farm. How do I relax? Sometimes, late at night, I brush my teeth without doing anything else at the same time. I feel guilty about it, but I don’t do it that often.

Finally, I asked Paula for a few quick answers to what her favorites are and here are her responses:

Color – Red
Food – Pecan pie without the pecans
TV show – Leave It To Beaver
Broadway show – The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe
Comedienne – Margaret Dumont
Comedian – Art Carney, Bob and Ray
Actor – Cary Grant
Actress – Rosalind Russell
Way to Relax – Sleep

Thanks for answering our questions Paula!