•Last Comic Standing
•The Tonight Show
Ralphie May: Voted one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” Ralphie May recently released his record-setting fourth one-hour special for Comedy Central titled “Too Big To Ignore,” proving that his relatable comedic genius is in higher demand than ever. The special is currently available on DVD from Image Entertainment. Later this year, he’ll be releasing a vintage recording on vinyl, taped in Houston, TX in 1998. He will also be coming out with his own line of barbecue sauce called “Fat Baby Jesus” timed for Valentine’s Day. Since his debut on season one of “Last Comic Standing,” audiences can’t get enough of the larger than life comedian. Ralphie has a proven track record of selling out multiple shows in 1,500 to 3,000 seat venues. He has a no nonsense point of view and the ability to connect with a diverse audience by pointing out society’s hypocrisies. Ralphie doesn’t shy away from touchy topics or ethnic jokes, nor does he bite his tongue when society suggests, because he sincerely believes that as long as what he’s saying is true, people need to hear it. Born on February 17, 1972 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and raised in Clarksville, Arkansas, Ralphie was one of four kids raised by his single mom. At the age of seventeen he won a contest to open for his idol, Sam Kinison. He later moved to Houston to develop his comedy routine, at Kinison’s suggestion. “All the comics I’ve ever admired, whether it be Kinison, Lenny Bruce, Buddy Hackett or Richard Pryor, all share a commonality,” says May. “They’re a tour de force. When they speak, there’s no room for rebuttal. They’ve thought it all out. Even the pros and cons of their argument, they raise openly and debate in the midst of their conversation and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.” On the small screen, Ralphie has worked as a writer and producer on ESPN's “Mohr Sports” starring Jay Mohr and performed stand-up on numerous late night talk shows including four appearances on CBS's “The Late Late Show w/ Craig Kilborn” as well as eleven appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He has appeared on “The Man Show” and MTV’s “Bash” as well as guest-starred on NBC’s “Whoopie.” As if that’s not enough, he’s also one of a handful of comedians to have received a standing ovation on “The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno.” When he’s not on the road, Ralphie divides his time between Nashville and Los Angeles with his beautiful wife Lahna, their wonderful dog Hoochie Mama, and their two children, April June May and August James May. He contributes much of his time and energy to helping others. Since establishing a residence in Nashville, he has been actively involved with the 100 Club of Nashville, various youth organizations and the Humane Society. For additional information, please visit http://www.ralphiemay.com or his online press kit at http://activepitch.com/profile.php?sn=16f2ec4b706bec570e755a2ab9193e02606f3991
Last Comic Standing
For 25 years now, Ralphie May has appeared at the biggest venues, slayed every late-night audience multiple times, recorded a special for every comedy-loving network on television, traveled the world for the USO and reached the level of popularity few standup comedians have attained. Yet little compares to the amount of exposure May received when Netflix exclusively launched his new comedy special “Unruly” on Februrary 27th, at the same time it released the new season of “House of Cards.”
“That’s the biggest launch in Netflix history,” May said. “The wave for ‘House of Cards’ is a tsunami and I’m the fat guy trying to body surf. These guys are taking me to the middle of the country. They’re taking me into people’s homes. I’m the luckiest guy in America.”
You could make the argument May already was among the luckiest, with a charmed career that’s equal parts sweat equity and choking the life out of every opportunity that came along. He fell in love with comedy after performing at a church conference at age 13, and winning unexpected rewards. He turned professional at 17 when he opened for Sam Kinison after winning a contest as a dual-enrollment student at the University of Arkansas.
“He told me to move to Houston,” May said, “so I didn’t wait till graduation. I just left: ‘I’m going to Houston to do standup.’ And that was 25 years ago. It’s crazy.”
Houston was a comedy Mecca at the time with seven clubs and a thriving, competitive scene. May could work all the time, and he did, also landing a radio gig that helped expand his reputation. He eventually earned a spot on the first season of “Last Comic Standing,” and though he finished second, he might as well have won (anybody remember who won that year?) with the way fans fell in love with his over-the-top persona.
The raw, uncensored hallmarks of his mentor Kinison are evident in May’s set, laid out brilliantly over two hours in “Unruly,” recorded in front of a raucous, fist-pumping crowd of thousands in Atlanta. But May doesn’t deal in simple outrage, building a routine that’s rich, deep and fearless. He’s able to balance boyish charm, withering introspection and compassion for his fellow human being with some of the dirtiest, most honest observations you’ve ever heard.
“When I was a kid, my grandmother taught me how to crochet and how to quilt, and that’s kind of how I do an act,” May said. “I have one-liners, I have dirty jokes, but I also have long stories that are 10 or 20 minutes long and the laughs come every eight seconds. It’s a different set. And it’s a different life than most people have led.”
In the uncensored and unfiltered “Unruly,” he riffs on pop culture, race, his own excesses, the dangers of meeting Anderson Cooper and the mesmerizing deliciousness of Chick-Fil-A. With the increased visibility of the Netflix partnership, May hopes to fill the next 25 years of his career with even more breathless moments.
Viewership expectations are high. May debuted five specials over a decade on Comedy Central with each drawing record ratings. He also tours extensively and has made 19 trips into war zones to perform for troops with the USO and Wounded Warriors charity. And his popularity continues to grow. He and his family split their time between Nashville and Los Angeles, where he has television development deals for an unscripted reality show with Ryan Seacrest Productions and a scripted series with Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions.
May is currently on tour in North America. For more information about May or to buy tickets, visit www.ralphiemay.com.
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