Paula Poundstone Stand-Up

Paula Poundstone Stand-Up

… Paula Poundstone


Robin Williams: Ladies and gentlemen, here’s avery, very special lady, a good friend of mine fromSan Francisco, Miss Paula Poundstone.

[Applause for schnooky brunette stand-up comic in amannish gray suit who enters and grabs a microphonefrom a stool.]

Paula Poundstone: Thanks very much. Thanks verymuch! It’s really nice to be here. I’m havin’ aterrific time already. I love it here. Nice crisp,cold weather like that. I live in San Francisco, Ihate it. It’s, uh, it’s like foggy and rainy and coldall the time. [Someone in the crowd goes “Awwwww!”]This year, it rained January through April. I don’tthink I’m a wimp about weather. When it first startedto rain, I said, “Terrific. It’s sort of romantic,really. I’ll break up an old chair for kindling, buy abottle of wine, sit in front of the fire for the day.”Two months later, a hopeless alcoholic with nofurniture … No more of this for me but thanks. Itrains there. We had blackouts. My lights went out onenight. I was all by myself in the house. I – I freakedout. I said, “There’s a guy in the basement. Heflipped a switch. He’s comin’ up to kill me and that’sall there is to it.” Then I looked out the window andI saw the whole neighborhood was out and I was kind ofrelieved ’cause I thought maybe he’ll start at the endof the block. …

Kind of a raving paranoiac and I admit that openly. I,uh– That’s why I never used to drive. I had a licensefor six years and I never drove ’cause I alwaysthought that I would hurt somebody. And finally Idecided, I don’t care, I don’t even like people thatmuch. … If a couple people have to die because Ihave to get to a Jack-in-the-Box, I’m sorry. … I,uh, I’m only kidding. I’ve actually really tried to besafe about this. I took driving lessons with Norm fromSears Driving School. And I’m still a really baddriver. When I parallel park, I have to use up a tankof gas. … And I have to take up a couple o’ lanesfor a little while. I don’t want to — I haveto. That’s the only way I can do it. I bring thoseorange detour cones, put ’em out in the area I’m gonnabe usin’ … and I get to work. Fortunately, my cardoesn’t have power steering so I can actually loseweight while parking … which is helpful. And peopleare so mean to me: Even if they can pull around me,they won’t. They pull up and yell. Like I’m therapyfor everyone. I don’t like this. … I don’t know whatthey’re so mad about. I’m the one whocan’t drive. … I’m furious! I roll down my windowand get into it with them. I say, “Hey! What thehell do I think I’m doin’ here?! … Am I gonnamove my butt or am I gonna have to move it for me?!… Where’d I learn to drive anyway — Sears?!”

My car actually has been a total nightmare. I’ve hadit for– It’s my very first car. I’ve had it for fourand a half months and it’s been in the shoptwenty-three times. … The brakes have been donethree times. Obviously, I’m being ripped off but Idon’t know enough on the subject to, er, to argue withthe mechanics. All I know is that I vacuum it twice aweek, so it’s not the interior. … See, don’t evenbother checkin’ that carpeting, that baby’s clean butthank you so much. … I fixed one thing myselfonce. Ah, used to make a noise when you hit the brakeand so I put in a stereo. … It’s really not aproblem any more. Actually, having a car has made meappreciate walking, for one thing. I, uh– The otherday, I walked smack into a tree. I said, “Good thingI’m not drivin’.” … Probably saved a couple thou’right there. [cheers and applause] Thanks. Thanks,that was a very special moment and I think we touchedright then. … Not – not physically, ’cause thatwould be gross. …

Yeah, I actually think my best friend in the wholeworld is my car, though. I named it “Dave” after myfriend Evan. And, uh … I don’t know, I know thatthat’s kind of weird and I figure someday it’s gonnabreakdown and then I’ll have a breakdown rightafterwards. And they’ll find me standing on the sideof the road ranting and raving, yelling at it like I’mits parent. Saying, [as if to a child] “Do you haveyou any idea how much money I’ve spent on you thismonth alone, hm? … I give and give and give to you.Could you maybe take me two, three more miles? Oh, no!… Look at all the other cars — they’re moving! …Had to have brake shoes. I buy them for you. You won’twear them!” …

It’s so frustrating ’cause I think mechanics are thebiggest rip-off in the entire world and, uh, they canget away with it. [applause] Now they’ve gone and madeus mad! No, they do. They get away with it likecriminals get away with everything. Remember the fivehundred and sixty pound criminal who was released fromjail because he had asthma? So, jail was “bad” forhim? … Who made up this rule? … I thought that wasthe whole idea – was that jail was at least supposedto be a little bit bad for ya. … Apparently,not any more. Apparently, now, it’s like, “Sorry! Gotclaustrophobia. Can’t go. Wish I could. Sorry.” …”Electric chair? No way! Even a heating pad givesme a rash!” … And they let Hinckley off. Andthen Sirhan Sirhan, the guy who shot Robert Kennedywas actually up for parole again this year. Not onlythat, he told the parole board he thought if Kennedywere alive today, he would speak in his favor and say”Let the guy go.” What a tough break, huh? The one guywho woulda supported this guy — and he shot him! …[applause]

You’ve been a terrific crowd. Thank you very much.Thanks a lot.

[cheers and applause – fade]

Submitted Anonymously

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