Paula Poundstone

Comedian / Writer

Born: 29 December 1959
Birthplace: Huntsville, Alabama
Best known as: The stand-up comedian who was accused of child endangerment
After years as a stand-up comedian, Paula Poundstone took her wry observations about life and her liberal political perspective to TV in the 1990 HBO special Cats, Cops and Stuff. The show won a Cable ACE award and Poundstone became a steady comedy presence on cable and network TV throughout the 1990s. She was never quite a regular -- her 1993 series The Paula Poundstone Show was cancelled after only a few episodes -- but she was a popular guest on programs like The Rosie O'Donnell Show, where she often covered political topics while wearing her signature gaudy neckties. She also appeared in the short-lived TV series Science Court (1997) and Home Movies (1999) and was a panelist on the game shows Hollywood Squares and To Tell The Truth. Poundstone also wrote a regular column for Mother Jones magazine from 1993-98. An adoptive mother of three children, she became a prominent advocate for foster children. Poundstone's career took a nosedive in June of 2001 when she was arrested and charged with drunk driving with her adopted children in the car, along with "lewd acts on a minor." The latter charge was later dropped and she pleaded no contest to a felony charge of child endangerment and misdemeanor charges. She was sentenced to five years' probation and six months of drug treatment. She has since continued to tour with her stage act, and in 2006 published the book There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say. She has also been a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prairie Home Companion.
Extra credit: Poundstone grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts, but was born in Hunstville, Alabama.

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