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Paula Poundstone Part 1

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I sat down with my good friend from the Boston comedy days, comedian Paula Poundstone 

Paula is known for her smart, observational humor and a spontaneous wit that has become the stuff of legend. Time magazine, in the March 2020 “Best of” issue, listed Paula’s HBO special, Cats, Cops and Stuff as one of The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever. Paula can be heard weekly as the host of the comedy podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone and as a regular panelist on NPR’s comedy news quiz, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!

Also an author, Poundstone’s second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness (Algonquin 2017) was one of eight semi-finalists for The Thurber Prize for American Humor, the highest recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States. The audiobook was one of five finalists for the Audio Book of the Year AUDIE award.

Paula was the first female comic, in its then 73rd year, to perform at the White House Correspondents dinner.  She was the first female standup, in its then 5th year, to win the ACE award for Best Comedy Special on Cable television. She is recognized in innumerable lists, documentaries and literary compendiums noting influential standup comedians of our time.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Paula’s discusses social life during the pandemic (03:03)
  • The troubles with getting people to vaccinate  (04:05)
  • How travel has changed and the FAA’s new rule (07:57)
  • Her hilarious stories of traveling and performing during the pandemic (10:22)
  • What industries should be in charge of communicating and selling the idea of masking and vaccination (13:04)
  • Jimmy and Paula’s hilarious ideas to get people to vaccinate (15:52)
  • Why Paula likes to visit the “Dicier” states (17:32)

Connect with Paula Poundstone

For more information on all things Jimmy Tingle

Transcript – Please note, this Transcript is AI Generated. It has not had the discerning ears of a real human to edit it, as such, there are bound to be a few errors.

Jimmy Tingle 0:00
Hey everybody, this is Jimmy, thank you so much for joining us today. Today’s episode has been brought to you by our sponsor humor for humanity, a social enterprise that I found that a few years ago that raises spirits, funds and awareness for nonprofits, charities and social causes. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity. You can find out more information at Jimmy Thank you so much. And enjoy today’s show.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s show. You’re not going to believe who we have today. Ladies and gentlemen, drumroll please. Paula Poundstone is known for her smart observational humor and spontaneous wit that has become the stuff of legend. Check this out Time magazine in the March 2020 Best of issue listed all those HBO special cats cops and stuff as one of the five funniest stand up specials ever. What a credit what a tribute. While it can be heard weekly as the host of her comedy podcast. Nobody listens to Paula Poundstone as a regular panelist on NPIs comedy news quiz. Wait, wait, don’t tell me. I listen all the time. And so many people have told me how funny Fowler is on Wait, wait, don’t tell me if you’ve never heard a lesson tell me you got to check her out every time she’s on. But it’s a great show. Anyway, all the guests are funny. But like I said, I’m a little biased. Paul is my favorite. Paul a second book. I love the title of this. The totally unscientific study of the search for human happiness was one of eight semi finalists in the third book prize for American humor, the highest recognition of the art of humor writing in the United States, and the audio book version was one of five finalists for the audiobook of the year. And the Audi awards. She’s been a groundbreaker. I knew this since she started in Boston in 1979. Paula was the first female comic to perform at the White House Correspondents Dinner. She was the first female stand up in its fifth year to win the ACE Award for Best Comedy special on cable television. And she is recognized in innumerable list weathers in gentlemen documentaries and literary compendiums noting influential stand up comics of our time. This is another great thing you can actually email her question. Suppose you have a comment. Suppose you say Jesus are on tingles show. Is there a chance she could take over tingle shell? Can we get rid of tingle and just have Paula? Yes, you might be able to do that. You can email her for the answer at Paula at Paula And you can listen to her podcast every week. The podcast, nobody listens to Paula Poundstone at Paula or wherever you get your podcasts. Ladies and gentlemen, again, drumroll please, please welcome the one the only my friend and your friend, Paula Poundstone. LB love. How

Paula Poundstone 2:56
are you? Hey, didn’t go so good to see you.

Jimmy Tingle 2:59
It’s great to see you as well. Thanks so much for being here today. I gotta tell you, Paul, you’ve been you’re a road warrior. You work all over the world. And we have been just locked down for the last two years. We’re coming out of it in bits and pieces. But are you getting dates again? Are you traveling to your work on the road? Again,

Unknown Speaker 3:19
I’m just about to start in. I was I was home for 15 months. And then last June, I started up again. And I thought I was coming home for two weeks in December. And of course, you know, the virus spikes again, but I believe the Omicron. And I’m trying to collect them all. And so I’ve been home so I’ve been home since then.

Jimmy Tingle 3:44
Have you gotten the virus yet? No.

Unknown Speaker 3:46
I think it knows my name. I do think it’s coming for me, but I have not. Although you know, I have terrible allergies. So I always seem like there’s something wrong with me. But there isn’t. The truth is no one no one wanted to sit near me even before the virus.

Jimmy Tingle 4:05
I have a friend I can’t believe the people who won’t take the vaccine. And I I understand it’s a free country. But I have a friend who’s a recovering heroin addict. He won’t take the vaccine. So why won’t you take the vaccine? His exact words were you don’t know what’s in it. I said you’ve been buying illegal drugs on the streets of America for 15 years. What do you think that was approved by the CDC? What do you think there’s a picture of the Surgeon General on the bag. This is good shit.

Unknown Speaker 4:34
I’ve had the exact same experience which I have two friends they live in Michigan. They’re meth addicts. And I said to them over the phone I mean they’re they’re clean now. But I said to them over the phone A while ago I go are you guys vaccinated and they go, we don’t want to put into our bodies are like, Okay. I didn’t even respond because it’s beyond response. You Oh, there’s somebody very, very close to me that I don’t know that he’s an anti Vaxxer. But he’s anti this fax. And he said to me, and it was shocking, because I didn’t think I knew anybody that’s stupid. But he actually said to me, when I was talking to you about it, he said, Well, you know, you get magnetized. And, you know, that’s so jarring. Matt, you know, he said, he saw online videos of people after they had the vaccine, that they could stick their keys to their forehead. He says he saw it online. No, that was a thing a little while ago. That’s what the anti vaxxers were saying. And this person bought this hook, line and sinker. And you know, I realized later like, I used the wrong tact with him, because I just kept pushing on the door. You know what I mean? And what I should have said is, Well, isn’t that great? I should have sent you know, how many times how much time have you wasted in your life looking for your keys? Wouldn’t it be great if you could just step out of the car and smack them right up on your forehead? And you’re all set? But I didn’t I just took the arguing tact.

Jimmy Tingle 6:10
Well, what about the people who are refusing to wear the masks on the plane? And like the the antagonism with traveling and you know, it just seems like, you know, what I really think we need Paula, I think and I can’t believe Biden hasn’t done this. But I just think we need a massive marketing campaign using athletes using, you know, trusted figures for different areas of our society, different elements, like you get the sports guy, you don’t need all the NFL, you just need a couple of stars to get on with Biden or get on by themselves and say, do yourself a favor, do your family a favor, get facts, you know, and then you do the same thing with the Republican governors, you know, they’ve all been Vaxxed. And that could be a great bipartisan effort to get more people vaccinated in the country. If you would use the bully pulpit of the White House and just meeting with those people on camera and Ted Cruz and telling people in Texas, I got vaccine, you know what your choice, but I highly recommend it. I just think it would help with different people who have trusted in their own communities.

Unknown Speaker 7:14
Yeah, I do, too. Although maybe the overall the nation’s overall intelligence level may have declined so much that they might it might be more effective if cartoon characters don’t Iron Man or something like somebody from the Marvel Universe.

Jimmy Tingle 7:31
Fine. I think that’s a brilliant idea. I really do. Get cartoon characters to do it. Yeah, that would be great.

Unknown Speaker 7:39
Yeah, I think we’re, I think we’re there. I’ll tell you, I am this Saturday, starting back on the road, and we’ll see how many, some of the jobs had already been moved forward, you know, to I don’t even know when some of them are already moved to 2023. But anyways, I’m starting in what you know, my experience, my experience, when I last started up again, travel is entirely different. And it’s I’m saying this because there’s something you just said, which is, you know, the FAA now has a rule, there has to be two assholes on every flight. And I was on a flight one time, and we only have one asshole. And so they said, We need volunteers. You know, I raised my hand. I said, you know, I won’t put my seat back forward, no matter what you say. And they said, thank you. And then we took off.

Jimmy Tingle 8:36
Just have to beautiful. You did your job.

Unknown Speaker 8:39
Yeah, I just I want to help out. That’s the thing about me, I want to help. Here’s the

Jimmy Tingle 8:43
other thing, Paula, if we would treat this again, in a national messaging manner, like after 911. Okay, we have we have some new rules for flying. Now. Everybody takes off their shoes, it’s like a new thing we’re doing. And everybody at the time basically took off their shoes. It’s that type of messaging. I think that’s just solely lacking. And it’s unfortunate, I hope, I hope Biden can get some good advisors around him who can just talk, you know, common sense. And, you know, what, what’s going to resonate with the average person and keep the politics out of it. Just get people, you know,

Unknown Speaker 9:20
regular people. I don’t think you you know, it’s already for the people, the people for whom it is a political issue, have already glommed onto it. It’s like, you know, it’s like black mold in your house. It’s, it’s, it’s beyond the surface, you know, it’s up in the it’s up in the attic. Now. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t think you can and politicize it because people think of it as part of their right wing uniform. You know, and they don’t even think about whether scientifically it’s accurate or not. That’s besides the point to them. I was listening to somebody the other day say They thought that the right wingers are so interested in owning the libs, like just like setting people off that they would actually die for that. Yeah, I’m not, I’m not sure that’s inaccurate.

Jimmy Tingle 10:13
Right? Have you worked in any of the states? Like, have you worked down in Florida or any of the states that are much more relaxed? How do you feel? And what’s the vibe?

Unknown Speaker 10:22
Well? Yeah, back in the spring summer, I did a few jobs in Florida. And I remember I forget which city it was exactly. But I flew in, and I had a town car service, pick me up at the airport and take me to the hotel and the driver. As soon as I get in the car, he says, Do you need me to wear this mask? And the thing is, we’re in an enclosed car. And so, but I was so irked by it, I’m not going to tell a grown man what to do. And so I just said, you know, I had my mask on, but I said, You do whatever you want. And then he kind of chuckled. Maybe he sensed that I wasn’t all that happy. And he kind of chuckled, and he said, Well, we’re kind of spoiled here in Florida. Then I couldn’t keep my thoughts to myself. I said, Sir, you have dead people. That’s desert spoiled. You know, that’s like, you know, that’s like if you went to your friend’s house when you’re a kid, and they live on a busy street, and the kid says my mom lets us play on the street. Come on. That’s not a privilege.

Jimmy Tingle 11:34
Oh, my goodness. Yeah. It is pretty amazing that we I mean, it’s like the downside of freedom on a certain sense, in certain way that you can’t get everybody in the country on the same page to agree on something that is for our own good. It seems so counterproductive. And

Unknown Speaker 11:53
it is counterproductive. But we’re in a different place. You know, who did I hear the other day? Say something about? Oh, I was listening to maybe a podcast, actually. And they were having a conversation about how well now that Trump’s not president anymore? Well, they were talking about how Biden keeps getting such terrible press. And I think that’s true. I think there’s a real, there’s some very strange bias. And somebody said, Well, that’s because they’re judging him on normal President standards now, you know, like, you know, historically, we’ve got, we’re going back to a normal time. And I thought, what we’re not, we’re not anywhere near a normal time, this guy, this poor president has faced historic abnormalities. It’s not remotely the same as how it used to be. And you know, all this, again, the very fact like you just said that we’re dealing with something, it where it would keep people alive to get vaccinations. And they’re still saying, No, that’s no.

Jimmy Tingle 13:04
That is no. And the other thing is another simple messaging, tactic or approaches, listen, everybody wants to get back to the economy be normal. So we can go out to shows we can go out to theaters, or we can go out to games and kids ballet and everything that people want to do. The way to do that is to get 100% as close as 100% to vaccination that we can, and just taking that economic approach with businesses. And again, the messaging to the general population. I think it’s got to come from, you know, the the people who make whatever we’re the, it doesn’t matter what industry it is, I think that would be a big help.

Unknown Speaker 13:50
No, you know what, you know what industry is good at selling stuff, even when it makes no sense. I can say this as a comic who came up in the 80s. I am often accused, and rightly so, of having worn big, huge shoulder pads in the 80s. That’s true. Yeah. And I’m not proud of that. But the fashion industry, I mean, I look back on it. Now I remember at one point, I was sort of cleaning out my closet, and I just couldn’t believe what was in there. And, and I thought, you know, I don’t know why that seemed like a good idea at the time. I think it made my head look smaller. I think it was supposed to make your way it was supposed to be like some sort of optical illusion to make your waist look smaller, I think was the goal. I didn’t achieve the goal. But my point being the fashion industry convinces you that you need stuff like you could already have stuff. Like I have a red sweater that I wear, you know, pretty much through the month of December, every day, and maybe into January every day, every year for many years. And I don’t need another sweater. I have that sweater but the fat fashion industry tells me I need more than one sweater. I’ve gotta, um, so they told me that I’m supposed to wear a different sweater on another day, which doesn’t make any sense. I don’t need another sweater. But the fashion industry tells you if you don’t have another sweater, man, you are not looking good. So what if we put it in the hands of the fashion industry? And they just tell us point blank, the lower part of your face is unattractive? Right, just you know, from here down, and man in particular, your noses, because that’s one thing you see a lot at the airport is the nose papers, people who bother putting it over their mouth, but don’t put it over their nose. And by the way, when you get tested? Where do they stick swab?

Jimmy Tingle 15:44
Right? Right.

Unknown Speaker 15:48
Yeah. So I think the fashion industry would do a great job with this. Yeah.

Jimmy Tingle 15:52
You know who else would be helpful is they could sell anything is the tobacco industry. They convinced people to inhale smoke. When hail, smoke, they convinced us to inhale smoke. Yeah, well ultimately hurt us and can kill you. If they can convince us to inhale smoke that could kill you. They could possibly encourage us to take a jab in the arm could save your life.

Unknown Speaker 16:21
Yeah. Or is it for that matter? It’s so nice. We’re going there. The fossil fuel industry? Just got to have it. You know? Yes. But it’s gonna end the Earth doesn’t matter. Yeah. Right. Don’t you want to go for a drive before the scores? Oh,

Jimmy Tingle 16:39
you know what else? The alcohol industry if we can figure the drink the vaccine? Yep. The fascinating. Yeah, sliding a Budweiser.

Unknown Speaker 16:49
If you want to get shots. You can do jello shots and vaccines. There isn’t good idea.

Jimmy Tingle 16:53
Yes. There’s lots of innovative things I think we can do. But it comes down to marketing. It comes down to creativity. It comes down to innovation. And you got to think outside the box like you and I Paula think we can think outside the box.

Unknown Speaker 17:07
I feel like we’ve solved so much. Why are we in the Oval Office having this discussion right now?

Jimmy Tingle 17:12
Because we’re on zoom on the tingle podcast. This is the Jimmy tingle show. You know, this has always been my dream, Paula to have my own show. Finally, the pandemic has allowed me to have my own show. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 17:25
I wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t behind the whole pandemic. All to make this dream happen.

Jimmy Tingle 17:32
Right. Right. Well, you know, Dr. Fauci is, I think he went to Holy Cross out here in Massachusetts city, and as a Massachusetts native Paula, any idea when you’ll be coming back this way? I saw on your website today. You’ll be you’ll be in Maine in May, Maine, New Hampshire. If those dates hold up, right. Yeah, that’d be great. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 17:50
I like to do the dicier states like, that’s why some of the first states I went back to in the spring and summer, I went to Florida and Texas. And people kept saying, Well, why would you go there? And I said, because I want to see them before they die. So I like to do the more endangered states,

Jimmy Tingle 18:08
right. Those are the only states that will let you actually perform now.

Unknown Speaker 18:11
No, no, no, I performed all over. Until Yeah, until December 8. In fact, the last job I did was in Boston on on December 20. Had a great time,

Jimmy Tingle 18:24
folks on her website, Paula Not only do you get her tour dates coming to a town near you, not only do you get the podcast, nobody listens to Paula Poundstone. But she also has all these great exercise videos and exercise produces natural serotonin, natural endorphins, natural dopamine. And so she follows like a self help person. She doesn’t call herself one. But she’s kind of like a self help guru. And she’s also on Twitter and the other thing you got to do if you’re overwhelmed with the digital world, take a media break. You know, that’s why I started doing a podcast. I’m not watching anything else. I’m watching me. That’s all on me.

Unknown Speaker 19:05
Yeah, me and nobody listens to Paula. That’s right. Nobody listens to Paula Poundstone.

Jimmy Tingle 19:10
Paula, thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker 19:12
Thank you. It was great talking with you tingle. Thank you for joining

Jimmy Tingle 19:15
us today. This has been a humor for humanity production. I am the founder of humor for humanity, a social enterprise that raises spirits, funds and awareness for nonprofits, charities, and social causes. You can find out how we can help you or your organization, raise spirits, funds and awareness for you and yours. Our mission is your mission humor for humanity at Jimmy Thank you

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