Stand-Up Comedy Preview: Tom Papa (01.28.22) & Paula Poundstone (04.30.22)

Jesus Christ, I need a laugh. I think we all do. I got nary a laugh when driving East on 44 when I said, as is the law, “Hey kids – it’s the Arch”.

Not even a chuckle.

Luckily, we have two amazing comedians coming to town. Maybe my mom humor will improve through osmosis.

Paula Poundstone is coming to The Sheldon (3648 Washington Blvd.) on April 30th. The first woman to win the ACE award for best comedy special, as well as an author, actress, activist, and spokesperson for the American Library Association, she is also the only woman comedian I remember seeing consistently on television in the 1990s. It wasn’t this “gosh, boobs, men are hard, I like sex, ha ha boobs” kind of humor that surfaced in the 1980s. This was clever storytelling that regardless of the topic, you wanted to hear the rest of the story. You became invested, because there are two things that storytellers have that people who tell jokes do not: their smiles reach their eyes, and they’re relatable from folks who might be vastly different from them. Their stories rest on emotions, after all, and those are hard to fake.

Tom Papa—also coming to St. Louis on Friday, January 28th at the Sheldon, you lucky bastards—is one of these as well. He talks about being the only man in a house full of daughters, and doesn’t make jokes of them. He tells stories about them. Even though I could never relate to someone living on the East coast who travels for a living and bakes, I also have raised a mean girl, and as long as they’re pointed in the right direction, it’s actually pretty awesome. Although we both feel kind of bad for unleashing them on the world. St. Louis, I’m sorry, but my daughter is fierce and will set you on fire with her brain. Fair warning.

So, let’s put our GODDAMNED MASKS ON, St. Louis, and go have some laughs. These folks are experts at creating them. | Melissa Cynova

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