Comedian Paula Poundstone has one memory of Eugene that stands out more than the rest. “There was a billboard that said ‘The wages of sin are death,’ Poundstone tells EW, of the Romans 6:23 signage near the airport. “The Bible can be so uplifting.”
It’s that kind of irreverent humor that has kept Poundstone relevant in comedy for over 30 years. Poundstone is still very much a working stand-up comedian, in addition to her panelist gig on “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” she’s on the road every weekend hitting stages across the country, including Eugene’s McDonald Theatre on Friday, Jan. 18.
Poundstone, who was the 1992 Democratic and Republican convention correspondent for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and a former columnist for Mother Jones, would not describe herself or her act as political. “I’m an adult, so you’re supposed to pay attention to what’s going on in the world. Presumably, most people in the crowd are adults,” she says. “My act is autobiographical.” And autobiographical for Poundstone means, “raising a house full of kids and animals.” She speaks about her electronics-happy 14-year-old son who recently posed her the question: “If I can’t use the computer, what else is there to do?” Now, she says, her son wants “World of Warcraft,” an online role-playing game that many consider to be especially addictive. “He can’t even shut up about it,” she muses. “Over my dead fucking body he’ll get that.”
The Massachusetts-raised comedian does have another distinctive memory of this fair city. “It’s a bizarre mixture of conservative and artsy — my high school teacher was from Eugene,” she says. “There was this funny trap door between Eugene and South Massachusetts.”
Paula Poundstone performs 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 18, at the McDonald Theatre; $24-$44 adv., $27-$47 door.