Paula Poundstone makes Monroe cry from laughter

It may have been rainy and dreary outside Saturday night, but inside the Meyer Theater, Monroe could not stop laughing.

Comedian Paula Poundstone was the woman behind the laughter. She walked onstage to a full crowd with a can of Diet Pepsi in hand.

She was dressed in a bright red jacket and black pants with a Cat in the Hat tie and colorful suspenders over a red and white striped shirt.

Most people were expecting to have a good time. After all, Poundstone has starred in many comedy shows on HBO and has appeared on Saturday Night Live. She eventually got her own show on ABC in the early 90s, and became the first woman to perform at the White House Correspondents dinner.

Monroe resident Juanita White is a big fan of Poundstone.

“I saw her a long time ago in Vegas,” she said.

White was very excited to see Poundstone perform again.

“She talks about cats, kids; things I can relate to,” she said. “She’s not dirty. She’s funny without being raunchy.”

Poundstone walked on stage to a lively greeting from the audience.

“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know where I am,” she joked.

Before Poundstone had walked out, a Pure Michigan advertisement had played over the theater speakers.

“In the past, was Michigan mixed with something?” Poundstone joked about the ad.

It was not long before she began including the audience in her act, which Poundstone is well known for doing.

Poundstone had made a joke about passing an auto repair shop in Monroe with a sign that read, “We treat every customer like family.”

“That’s a horrible idea,” Poundstone said.

The first audience member Poundstone spoke to happened to work at an auto repair shop, which received much laughter from the audience.

Poundstone then spoke about a job she used to have at the International House of Pancakes.

“When people were rude to me, I would touch their eggs,” she joked. “They didn’t know; I felt better – it all worked out.”

Poundstone jumped from one topic to another in a seemingly random order, which Poundstone later joked was due to her Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, where she cannot stop talking and everything reminds her of something else.

She included the audience consistently throughout the show, asking people questions about their jobs and making jokes out of any hesitations or anything odd they would say. She incorporated their responses into her show and made references to them throughout.

At one point, an audience member said he had gone to Ohio State, which resulted in boos from the audience.

“I’ll handle this,” Poundstone said.

She asked the audience why they had responded that way, and it was revealed to her the intense rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan.

Poundstone joked about her own life as well, telling the crowd that she owns 16 cats. She told stories about her children too, many of which were about school.

“All my kids are on the weasley side,” she said after telling a few stories about the lies her children had told her.

Toward the end of the show, Poundstone kept saying that she really should go, but then she would continue on with another joke.

“My show was once reviewed as a hostage crisis,” she joked.

She then laid on the floor, put her feet up on the stool, and played out a puppet show for the audience. The puppet show referred to a previous joke she had made from an audience member.

“I’m trying to think of something to leave you with that’s meaningful or deep, but I can’t think of anything,” Poundstone said shortly before thanking the audience and heading offstage.

White was pleased with Poundstone’s show.

“I love her,” she said. “She’s just as funny. I got tears from laughing so hard.”

Newport resident Jo Jaworski also loved the show.

“I thought she was very clever. She kept the show fresh for herself too,” Jaworski said, referring to how Poundstone includes the audience members in each performance.

Poundstone sold her book after the show, titled There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say, and her CD, as well as signed autographs for fans.

Anyone looking for more information on Paula Poundstone can visit her Web site at www.paulapoundstone.com.