October 4, 2022

—Comedian Paula Poundstone brings the laughs to Fairfield (Contributed).Although she’s been making people laugh professionally for more than four decades, comedian Paula Poundstone, who makes a tour stop next week in Fairfield, always has a fresh take on things.

From the early days of her career, starting on the East Coast, then moving out west to San Francisco and Los Angeles, Poundstone caught the attention of several already established comedians, including Robin Williams, who brought her on as a guest when he hosted “Saturday Night Live.”

In the late 1980s, Poundstone taped several HBO comedy specials, and in 1992 she was a special correspondent for Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” covering that year’s presidential election.

Poundstone’s live shows — where she’s known for interacting with the people in the crowd and making them part of the show — have remained her favorite outlet over the years. That was one of the main aspects of her career that she missed during the COVID lockdowns.

“I was jealous of musicians because they could do you know, an intimate concert from their living room — even if I had an act that didn’t involve talking to the audience, which is my favorite part of the night,” said Poundstone. “It’s really the heart of it. You just can’t do stand-up comedy — it’s a conversation and if you don’t have the person on the other side then it’s not going to have that reaction. They came up with the laugh track for that, and you know, for in life in general. Even the Flintstones had a laugh track, for God’s sake.”

Now that she’s been back out on the road again, she’s finding that her fans have missed her just as much as she’s missed them.

“It’s been really nice being back with audiences, they’re saying things to me like, ‘Thank you for being here!’ It’s like a relationship,” said Poundstone.

“Everything that happens in the show is just sort of thrown into the mix — there’s the great experience of talking to the individual audience members. I’ll ask “What do you do for a living?’ Biographies emerge, and I use that from which to set myself. Somebody will tell me something that reminds me of a story or a piece of material that I have somewhere in my head. No two shows are the same,” said Poundstone.

If You Go: Paula Poundstone, 8 p.m. Saturday, August 20, Downtown Theatre Fairfield, Tickets are $45-$55. For more information, visit ftpresents.com.

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