Metro Weekly

Paula Poundstone hates needles (but she got her vaccine)

The vaxxed comic is excited for her return to the Birchmere next weekend for three days of shows

paula poundstone
Paula Poundstone — Photo: Michael Schwartz

As “a really needle-phobic kind of person,” Paula Poundstone says it can be hard just watching the news these days.

“Every time they talk about [COVID] numbers, or the virus, they show someone getting a shot. I wish they would stop that,” the comedian says. “For somebody like me, it’s not only a turn off, it creates anxiety and nausea.

“It’s just weird that they can’t talk about it for a second without showing pictures of people getting a shot. We all know what a shot is. We don’t need to see a picture. It’s not like every time they talk about somebody giving birth, they show a placenta falling out of somebody.”

Poundstone suspects the syringe-happy news media has dissuaded some of her fellow needle-phobic folks from getting vaccinated. Fortunately, it didn’t do that to her. She’s even planning to get a booster. Ultimately, she has little patience for those who are still not vaccinated.

“The anti-vaxxers and the perils that they’re causing,” she says. “People seem so happy to be able to go out to a live show and laugh again. I hope that the anti-vaxxers don’t screw it up and take that away from us again. Because you know what? Being with others is so important. I knew that already, but it’s been reinforced with a big old yellow highlighter.”

Generally speaking, Poundstone’s comedy routine since returning over the summer has gotten less political, with droll insights about pandemic psychology.

“Every now and then I’ll say something about Trump. Mostly, I just sort of talk about what we’ve all been through during the stay-at-home orders. As you talk to people, they’ll say, ‘Well, it was during the lockdown…’ No one was ever locked down. I don’t know about everybody else, but my house locks from the inside.

“America’s so funny. We are in the midst of this very, very dramatic, dramatic time. And still, people have to ‘big fish’ story it. They have to add something to it: ‘Oh, it was a lockdown.’ They have to make it just that much more dramatic. Like, no, it was dramatic enough!”

Next weekend, Poundstone returns to our area and one of her favorite venues to play.

“I’m lucky enough to get to go to the Birchmere annually,” she says. “The thing about the Birchmere: a) I’m treated very, very nicely — the crowds are fantastic, just so much fun to talk to. And b) I love all the pictures on the wall of all the musicians that they’ve had there. It’s just such a terrific setting.”

Paula Poundstone appears Friday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., in Alexandria. Tickets are $55. Call 703-549-7500 or visit Follow Paula on Twitter at @paulapoundstone.

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