Hilariously brilliant Comedienne Paula Poundstone shared her thoughts on the Occupy Movement, NPR’s“Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me”, and politics, recently.
She will be in Washington, D.C., to perform at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 17 and you can catch her at least once a month stealing the show on the top rated weekend NPR show “Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me.”
Don’t miss her!
What do you like about Washington, D.C.?
I find D.C. a very exciting place. I like it that you see a wide array of races dressed in suits. They have the “haves” and the “haves-nots” unfortunately like a lot of our cities do. At the same time, it seems the “haves” are more multicultural compared to other cities. It gives me a feeling of hope. The history of the place, I enjoy all that. I am not a brilliant historian. Every time I go there, a lot of it is new to me.. I go, “Noo!” when I learn something historical from there. The audience there is great and the Birchmere (in Alexandria, VA) is one of my favorite venues.
Tell me about your visit with the Occupy Movement in D.C.?
It was rainy and started to snow a little bit, they were out on the marble square. I went over there.. I was really compelled. I really admire the Occupiers. Although they don’t have a coherent message, none-the-less, I don’t know the lasting effect of their work will be, but they have a real place in my heart. I walked down there.. I don’t know what I would say to them anyway.
Their tents were zipped up and for all I know they weren’t in their tents. I have no way of knowing. I walked around for a while. I donated some money. I stood in front of a tent and said, “Occupiers don’t get up. If you are in there, my name is Paula Poundstone, I want to thank you.” Never knowing if anyone is in there or not and I walked away. Maybe I didn’t speak to the core movers or shakers or the hangers-ons, but that was the last time I was in DC.
Tell me about your work with the NPR show “Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me?”.
It’s a fun group. There are about 10- 15 panelists that rotate in no particular order that I know of through out the show. I always feel I deserve a college credit just for talking to them. People ask me all the time about, “How do you win or lose on that show?” Although it’s true that occasionally I don’t know the name of a leader of some country, at the same time most games are won or lost based on whether or not you answered, “enormous monkeys down his pants”..a lot of animal smuggling questions.
I got involved in the show because I got a call to join, as I had never heard of the show. Originally the show was not shot in front of a live audience and we were all in studio hooked up to a wire and not even in the same room together. It has sort of evolved. Once they tasted the sweet nectar of the audience they found a home for themselves in the basement of a bank in Chicago. I am delighted to be part of this show. I like this show because from the very start they said, “Jump in and do whatever you want.” It’s like a batter in a batting cage. A stream of fresh stuff coming your way. I do the show one or twice a month. I wish I could do it more.
What is Carl Kassell of “Wait, Wait..” like?
He is a very, very nice man. I don’t know how a person can read the news everyday for all those years and not be just cynical and depressed out of his skull.
What is Peter Sagal like of “Wait, Wait.. ?
He is very funny, a brilliant man. Occasionally they try to get someone else to guest host so that Peter could take a vacation.One time I was there, a person was auditioning for the job. They stumbled over and said, “Oh my god that was hard!!” Peter is so good at what he does, no one really realizes how hard it is. For the longest time he wrote majority of the show, but now he has some help.
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Catch Paula at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 17 and at least once a month on the top-rated NPR show, “Wait, Wait.. Don’t Tell Me.”