Paula Poundstone on comedy, COVID, and worm farming
Beloved comic performs at Birchmere this weekend
Comedy legend Paula Poundstone is appearing in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 11 and 12, no matter what wrenches are thrown into her travel plans.
Set to arrive in Dayton, Ohio last weekend, Poundstone was stuck in a situation eerily similar to the plot of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” After being stuck on a flight from Rochester, N.Y. to Washington, D.C. and missing her connection to Dayton, Poundstone and her promoter flew into Cincinnati with a mother-son duo stuck in a similar situation. The quartet ended up driving to Dayton together while Paula completed a telephone interview with the Washington Blade, making it to Dayton just in time for her 7:30 show.
Despite her travel troubles, Poundstone was more than happy to discuss her upcoming show in Virginia. The Birchmere Music Hall, the venue for her performance, holds a special place in Poundstone’s heart.
“The Birchmere was the first job I did after Trump was elected, and I will never forget that experience, I hope, because it was so healing to be with this group of people and to feel free to say what I thought and felt in as comedic a way as I could,” said Poundstone. While she hopes that a healing energy isn’t needed for this show, Poundstone is ready to deliver a fresh and funny show for her fans.
Her comedy routine has been evolving for 42 years, and despite her recent memory issues, Poundstone finds a way to create a unique experience for each audience, leaving the piece nearly entirely unscripted. She discusses the usual hits, like current events and raising her (now “not fun at all”) children, but also likes to rely on good audience interaction.
“My favorite part of the night is just talking to the audience.”
Before COVID cancelled her meet and greets, Poundstone had a set of fans attend three shows in a row and come to her after the last one singing praises for both her overall performance and her ability to deliver a constant rotation of fresh content.
While Paula loves her job, touring leaves her with little to no free time. “All I care about all day long is, you know, finding a wall I can lean on to sleep,” leaving little time for her pre-show routine of MSNBC and writing for her hit podcast, “Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone.”
Aside from her regular performances and podcasts, Poundstone has a unique hobby to help her pass the time. She interviewed a vermicomposter on her podcast not too long ago who introduced her to the world of worm farming.
After volunteering at her local food bank during the stay at home order, Poundstone saw the amount of food waste being produced and decided to bring home the 20-gallon barrel to open her very own worm farm. She sells the waste created by her worms for $4 a pound, or if you are looking for a personal experience, you can pay $30 for a pound of worm waste, a video of the farming process, and Poundstone will name one of her worms after you.
The worm farm is far from Poundstone’s final goal in life. Since COVID interrupted everyone’s lives, she realized how lucky she is to be in this profession. “People come up to me and tell me how important it is, you know, people say ‘Oh I haven’t laughed that hard in I don’t know when’ you know, and we got a lot of laugh about.” While the tour is still moving along, Poundstone urges fans to attend the performance as masked and as vaccinated as possible, so we don’t get stuck in another new wave.
Even if worms aren’t your cup of tea, you will have a great time at Paula Poundstone’s tour, this Friday and Saturday at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria. Tickets and additional information can be found at paulapoundstone.com/tour.
Peace Corps group to host comedy show
Hilarious lineup at Kramers of some of the funniest comedians
Grassroots Comedy will partner with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. to host “Super Spectacular Comedy Show for Cultural Understanding” on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Kramers (1517 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.).
The event will have a hilarious lineup of some of the funniest comedians in the region with a thing or two to say about cultural understanding.
Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.
D.C. comedians to fuse comedy with Earth Day celebrations
Yes HOMO presents “eco-homo” at St. Vincent Wine
Yes HOMO Comedy will host “Yes Homo! A Queer Centric Comedy Show” on Sunday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m. at St. Vincent Wine.
This event special, known as eco-homo, will be an Earth Day edition of queer-centric comedy. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $10 and proceeds will be donated to an eco-conscious non-profit organization. For more information, visit Eventbrite.