Paula Poundstone

On this day in 1959, Paula Poundstone was born in Huntsville, Ala. She dropped out of high school at 17 and began her career as a stand-up comedian when she was 19. She entered the public eye after appearing on shows such as “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live.” She was awarded the 1989 American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-up and became the first woman to be awarded the Cable ACE Award for best comedy special for her first HBO performance, “Cats, Cops, and Stuff” (1990).

She gained a second Cable ACE Award for her talk show, “The Paula Poundstone Show” (1993). Poundstone wrote a monthly column for Mother Jones (1993-98), published the book There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say (2006) and has been a panelist for quiz program “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me” on NPR. 

“There is no God. At least, I’m practically certain there isn’t. I don’t believe there’s a heaven or a hell either,” Poundstone, a self-described atheist, wrote in an article for the May/June 1994 issue of Mother Jones.

In 2016 she voiced the character “Forgetter Paula” in Disney/Pixar’s Academy Award-winning animated feature film “Inside Out.” Later that year, her first double-live CD, “North By Northwest,” debuted at No. 1 on two Amazon lists. Her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness, was published in 2017.

Poundstone  has fostered eight children and adopted two daughters and a son. She told EDGE online (Aug. 21, 2013) that she’s asexual: “I don’t like sex. Therefore, I don’t have sex. It frees up time, but that’s not by design, it’s just a bonus.”

In 2018 she was a recipient of an FFRF Emperor Has No Clothes Award and spoke at the national convention in San Francisco.

Freedom From Religion Foundation