Even her opus, “My Cat’s Don’t Do Anything,” failed to get re-Tweeted enough to make her an online supastah. Internet icon or not, Poundstone has remained a comic headliner for more than 20 years, and she will make her triumphant return to St. Louis on Nov. 12 at The Sheldon.
One reason Poundstone has remained a fan favorite—and of this writer to interview—is that while she may arrive with a set list of topics, you never know what you’ll get.
Her repartee with the crowd is affable, playful and typically gut-busting. During the chat for this article, she kept me giggling through topics of holidays, her 16 camera-ready felines and her aforementioned homemade videos.
Poundstone said while she spends a lot of time on them, the short films have yet to pay off when it comes to increasing awareness of her live shows.
“I have 40,000 followers, but YouTube, much, much less. Even if you take that 40,000 and divide it state by state, and then you divide that by the amount of people you could get to watch the film to begin with and then you divide that by the people who live near the town, saw the film and have that night available, I’m not sure that I can say that’s really generating a crowd for me. But you know, it’s a dream and I live with it,” she laughed.
Though it took some cajoling, Poundstone has fully embraced the time-wasting efforts of Face-Tweet-Tubing. Here’s one of her posts the day this article was written: “The Burger King at the airport is late to open. He’s working with his speech therapist.”
Visit Paula Poundstone dot com and be treated to a Cat Cam right next to the bowl of food, where one to 16 kitties will visit, and usually at least one will get its butt a little too close to the lens.
“What I really wanted to do was give people the great view of the majesty of almost 16 cats eating at the bowl. It is a spectacle. The fact is when there’s that many you get Butt Cam or somebody’s fur is so close up you can’t discern what it is,” Poundstone said.
She’d like people to let her know when she’s not online if the dog is at the bowl, too.
It boggles her mind that a hamster pooping video can get a million hits, but Poundstone’s painstakingly-created cat video is languishing. It really irked Paula when her daughter kept watching videos of guys on camera just talking about nothing.
“I started telling her, ‘You can’t use my computer for that.’ She was on to me right away. She said, ‘You’re just jealous.’ ‘You betcha. Don’t use my computer for that. You’re damn right I am! How many hours did I spend on ‘My Cat’s Don’t Do Anything’?”
(Please, go online and watch “My Cat’s Don’t Do Anything.”)
Poundstone is typically seen onstage in a button-up shirt and a festive necktie—and don’t expect much of a different look with Halloween approaching.
“When I go out with the kids, I’ve had a very similar theme to my costumes. Last year, for example, I went as a kind of tired 50-year-old woman. This year, I’ll be going as a tired 51-year-old woman. It’s not entirely different but there are some nuances,” she said.
Isn’t it fair to say that as a chaperone to trick or treaters, she is entitled to some of the treats?
“Oh yes, no question. In fact, they don’t always know that. What I often do is I say, ‘Why don’t I hold that for you.’ Fortunately my son has ADD,” Poundstone said. “Partway through the night, he doesn’t even remember what night it is. He’s like, ‘What are we doing again?’ We can only go to the shorter driveways or he can’t make it. ‘Go to the door! Remember honey, go to the door.’”
With the rest of the big holidays creeping up right after Halloween, you can expect Paula to re-Tweet her real story of the first Thanksgiving, where she plays all the characters.
“It’s nothing short of brilliant for God’s sake. And it’s an annual,” she added. Again, low hits.
For Christmas, she plans to continue her adaptation of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” performed one line at a time, in front of the Cat Cam.
“In order to do that, because the camera is in a fixed position, I have to lie down on the floor, slide my head under a desk and hover slightly over the cat bowls,” she said.
If anything, Paula thinks she’ll have a Vincent van Gogh experience, and her videos will be appreciated after she’s gone.
“Of course, after he died, ‘Oh, he’s a genius.’ Now his stuff goes for the most amounts of money that stuff goes for,” she said. “I know my children are hoping that’s what happens.”
For more with Paula Poundstone and more than 50 other comedians, such as Kathy Griffin, Phyllis Diller and Margaret Cho, please check out my new book, “Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians,” by Corey Andrew, available on Lulu.com and coming soon to Amazon and Kindle.
BY: COREY STULCE