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Paula Poundstone Expounds: Politics, Hair Dye, and Internet Dating
Comedian Paula Poundstone

It's hard to catch comedian Paula Poundstone at rest. In addition to her semi-regular gig as a panelist on the NPR news quiz, Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!, Poundstone is also a working stand-up comic who tours pretty incessantly.

That tour schedule will include at least two stops in Wisconsin in the coming days.  She’ll perform stand-up at the Pabst Theater this Saturday night, and returns for a stand-up performance in Sheboygan in May. 

Comedians like Poundstone never have a lack of material, but with the ongoing Presidential campaign season there are almost an embarrassment of riches. It's something she notices both as an American citizen but even more so as a comic.

"I watch the debates sometimes in part because it's part of being a good citizen to pay attention to what's going on, but also because I know there will be funny stuff," says Poundstone.

However for Poundstone, the Presidential race is crossing the line from humorous to extremely concerning - particularly when it comes to candidate Donald Trump.

"It was funny when he was alone, it became less funny when he had so many people following him. So many people coming to his rallies and supporting him and cheering him when he says heinous things," Poundstone explains. "So the other day I did tweet that I owed everyone an apology because in the beginning I thought it was funny and now I don't."

Comedians are supposed to be the ones speaking truth to power. But Poundstone admits that she is far from a political analyst or historian, but rather is "hangin' on by a thread" to understand what is happening in today's news - something she is not shy about sharing in her stand up performances.

"When I talk on stage, I always say to people right up front that I'm a democrat... (but) we don't have to be the same. I'm not campaigning and I'm not always right, and I'm open to the possibility that I am wrong," says Poundstone.

Even after the political waves pass by, though, it's clear that Poundstone will have no problem continuing her work as a comedian, panelist, author and actress.

"(Comedians) are happy to make stuff up, we don't need disaster to befall our country and in turn the world in order to make jokes," says Poundstone. "We'll find clever comedy in other topics need be."

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.