Paula Poundstone has been doing comedy for longer than many of you have been alive. After more than 30 years of stand-up, television specials and wry observations about cats, kids and everyday absurdities, she’s poised to take the stage at The Dinah Shore Weekend this year in Palm Springs.
We checked in with Paula recently and found out a bunch of things, like her thoughts on women in comedy. How easy is it to write an act when you have kids? Is there still golf at The Dinah? She also offers some droll observations about the importance of celebrities’ opinions on bullying.
AfterEllen.com: Are you familiar with AfterEllen.com?
Paula Poundstone: No, I’m not familiar with very many websites.
AE: What do you mean? You don’t spend hours upon hours surfing the internet, looking for cat videos?
PP: Hard to believe, isn’t it? If I had hours and hours, it may as well be that, but I don’t [have hours and hours.] I do dishes and fold laundry.
AE: Oh, that’s too bad. Is there a way to do both?
PP: Not really. Not efficiently.
AE: You are performing at The Dinah in Palm Springs this year.
AE: Do you know anything about it?
PP: No! Other than, I was under the impression that there was supposed to be golf. And it turns out, golf has almost nothing to do with it.
AE: It hasn’t been about golf in many, many years. Now, it’s about drinking.
PP: Huh. Maybe I did do it, a long, long time ago. And I could swear there was golf involved. Maybe I didn’t do it? The truth is, it all runs together after a while.
AE: Well, that’s how lesbian Spring Breaks are, too. After a few years, they’re all a blur.
PP: I do look forward to going. Everyone I’ve spoken to, speak of it with great enthusiasm.
AE: Since you mentioned performing for so many years, I was wondering if you think comedy has changed over time.
PP: I don’t know. I don’t watch a lot of other acts, so, I’m not that up on what happens out there. But there’s not much different — so many of the boundaries were already broken so long ago, it’s sort of like the fashion now. That’s not new at all.
AE: Do you like political humor?
PP: I love political humor. I like it when it’s well done. But I like funny stuff, so the subject matter almost doesn’t
matter to me. I wish I were more political. I’m paying attention to politics when I have the time and energy to pay attention to politics.
You’re probably supposed to pay attention to politics more than I actually do.
AE: Do you think things have changed for women comics in recent years?
PP: No. I really don’t. After all, there are only two genders and someone has to do the job, so
I think there was a time when being a woman comic was a big deal – that was really before my time. It had importance and meant something when Joan Rivers was starting out, when Phyllis Diller was starting. I think it was formative in terms of the way they work.