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NPR regular and stand-up comedian Paula Poundstone returns to Milwaukee

Comedian Paula Poundstone is returning to Milwaukee for a show at the Pabst Theater this Friay
Comedian Paula Poundstone is returning to Milwaukee for a show at the Pabst Theater on Oct. 13.
"I'm so looking forward to going to Milwaukee. They have some of the best crowds in the country and I always look forward to being back at the Pabst."

-Paula Poundstone on her upcoming Milwaukee show

If you’re a somewhat regular listener to WUWM, chances are you’re familiar with the voice of Paula Poundstone. She’s a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait! Wait!...Don’t Tell Me and also hosts the podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, which is a kind of comedy field guide to life.

Poundstone has also long been an influential voice in the American comedy scene as a stand-up comedian, and that’s what’s bringing her to Milwaukee this Friday.

While all her work is fulfilling, Poundstone has found her podcast work particularly rewarding because of how it has impacted her fans' lives during the difficult pandemic season.

"It's really great when I hear from audience members that tell me that there are Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone listeners and that they enjoy it. And a lot of what you hear is that it got them through the pandemic," says Poundstone. "It got them through the stay at home order or that it's getting them through these difficult, difficult political times. And that is so rewarding to hear because something has to get us through."

Poundstone also adds that she enjoys trying out different things on the podcast that she would never "have the nerve to do in front of an audience as a stand-up." She says since she's not looking at an audience during a podcast recording, she has no shame and it makes the process more fun and engaging.

"Everything as a podcaster is a guess," Poundstone explains. "You know, when you’re performing stand-up in front of a live audience— and you really can't do it any other way — it’s like you have the guard rails up in bowling. You really can’t go into the gutter because the audience tells you. ... But in podcasting there's nobody there other than my coworkers, and they're not even always paying attention."

Poundstone says that enjoys interacting with her audience during stand-up so much that in contrast to standard comedic practices, she never uses an opening act. "There's just no way I'm having somebody else do 20 minutes or 10 minutes or even five minutes before I go on! I'm taking every, every little, teeny bit of it for myself."

That's the type of show Milwaukee can expect this Friday at the Pabst Theater at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available here.


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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