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Nobody listens to Paula Poundstone sing barbershop

Comedian’s podcast tries close harmony

Don’t go here looking for a moment in which a comedian transforms magnificently into a world-class singer. But on episode 39 of the “Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone” podcast, she and co-host Adam Felber sing with gusto, fun, and acknowledgment of the quality of great barbershop singing.

You may know Paula Poundstone from her stand-up career, or from public radio’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me comedy panel show. In April, her wide-ranging podcast welcomed the LA Opera’s Jeremy Frank to learn some simple harmony. While they don’t quite make it all the way to full four-part a cappella, the point is that singing together is fun.

Along the way, Jeremy tells the story of barbershop’s founding in African American communities, speaks with admiration for the Barbershop Harmony Society as “a force for good,” and directs listeners to to learn to sing. It’s a fun listen, and a great example of fellow travelers in the music world speaking up for barbershop.

Listen to the podcast. (Note: some language not suitable for work/child environments; barbershop segment begins at 54:04.)