The Center for the Arts is bringing Paula Poundstone back for an evening of laughs on May 12, 2023, in the Marisa Funk Theater.  

Paula is recognized in innumerable lists, documentaries, and literary compendiums and is one of the most influential standup comedians of our time. She is known for her smart, observational humor and spontaneous wit that has become the stuff of legend. Paula is the star of several HBO specials, and a regular panelist on NPR’s comedy news quiz, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and is heard weekly on her comedy podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone.

Paula’s stand-up credentials are endless: Cats, Cops and Stuff; Goes to Harvard; Look What the Cat Dragged In; and numerous television appearances including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Last Call with Carson Daly, and Late Show with David Letterman. Famously, Paula provided backstage commentary during the 1992 presidential election on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and was the first woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. 

Poundstone’s first book, There Is Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say, was published by Crown in 2006. Part memoir, part monologue, with a dash of startling honesty, There’s Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say features biographies of legendary historical figures from which Paula Poundstone can’t help digressing to tell her own story. In 2017, Paula released her second book, The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness, in which she offers herself up as a guinea pig in a series of thoroughly unscientific experiments. Kirkus Reviews called the book, “A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises.” The book debuted at #1 on the Amazon Bestsellers List in Humor and 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 AUDIE Audio Book of the Year award.

Paula was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and moved to Massachusetts soon after her birth. Poundstone started doing stand-up comedy at open-mic nights in Boston in 1979. She credits the late Robin Williams as igniting her comedic career after he caught her act in the mid-80s and encouraged her to move to Los Angeles. “Most of us, in my generation at least, would not be making a living at this, if not for Robin,” reflects Paula. 

Poundstone tours the country extensively, performing stand-up comedy in theaters and performing arts centers, and is known for never doing the same act twice. Her standup act is famous for spontaneously interacting with the crowd with a kind curiosity, and a more wholesome approach, admittedly because of her poor memory when it comes to remembering her own act. Expect to hilariously hear about cats, amongst other curious topics, since she has a dozen of them as pets. “They’ve virtually ruled my act for years,” Poundstone said. “I could do two different nights on stage, entirely about cats, and not repeat anything.” 

Paula can be heard on the big screen as “Forgetter Paula” in Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. She has also starred in her own series on both HBO and ABC, is included on Comedy Central’s Top 100 Comics of All Time, and won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. In February 2019, Paula’s stand-up special, Cats, Cops and Stuff was named by TIME Magazine and Tig Notaro as one of The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever.

When she’s not touring, her primary avenue of expression is through her podcast, Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone, which she’s been recording for four years and over 240 episodes.

Don’t miss the return of Paula Poundstone at The Center for the Arts on May 12, 2023, and special thanks to the show sponsor Smarter Broadband. 

WHAT: Paula Poundstone

WHERE: The Center for the Arts | 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

WHEN: Friday, May 12, 2023 | Doors 7:00 pm Show 8:00 pm

TICKETS: $55-65 (member discounts available) |

WEBSITE & INFO: or (530) 274-8384

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.