Ralphie May
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Ralphie May
Ralphie May
Ralphie may.jpeg
May on August 2, 2009
Birth name Ralph Duren May
Born (1972-02-17)February 17, 1972
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
Died October 6, 2017(2017-10-06) (aged 45)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, television, radio
Nationality American
Years active 1989-2017
Genres Observational comedy, wit, word play, satire, sexuality, race, religion, family life, obesity, politics, medicine
Subject(s) Observational comedy
Spouse Lahna Turner (m. 2005)
Children 2
Website ralphiemay.com

Ralph Duren May (February 17, 1972 - October 6, 2017) was an American stand-up comedian and actor, known for his extensive touring and comedy specials on Netflix and other outlets.

Early life

May was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on February 17, 1972[1] and raised in Clarksville, Arkansas,[2] the youngest of four children.

When he was 16, 42 of his bones were broken in an automobile accident. At 17, he won a contest to open for Sam Kinison, whom he considered his idol.[3] Kinison suggested that May move to Houston to further develop his comedy routine.[4] May graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.[5]

In 2008, May reflected on his childhood with Arkansas Online; at the time, he was shy of his 36th birthday. He said, "I had fun growing up in Arkansas. Now that I live in L.A., I dream of traffic being equivalent to a busy day around the malls."

Career

In 2003, May was chosen to participate in the first season of Last Comic Standing. He finished in second place in the competition, with Dat Phan winning first place. Afterwards, May appeared in comedy shows, such as The Wayne Brady Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2005, he was the only white comedian on The Big Black Comedy Show, which also featured Mo'Nique, Rodman, and Vince Morris.[6]

In 2005, May released his first comedy album Just Correct. He later recorded four Comedy Central specials titled Girth of a Nation (2006), Prime Cut (2007),[7]Austin-tatious (2008), and Too Big To Ignore (2012),[8] as well as two Netflix specials titled Imperfectly Yours (2013) and Unruly (2015).[9] He appeared in For Da Love of Money.[10] May also performed at the "Gathering of the Juggalos 2012".[11]

Personal life

On July 3, 2005, May married comedienne Lahna Turner. The couple had two children: daughter April June May[12][13] and son August James May.[14][15] The couple filed for divorce in October 2015 and sought physical and joint custody of their children, but the divorce was never finalized.[16]

May suffered from obesity throughout his life. His weight increased to 800 pounds (360 kg), following a car accident at age 16.[3] He participated on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and had gastric bypass surgery in 2004, which lowered his weight by 350 pounds (160 kg).[3][17] A bout with viral pneumonia on a cruise in October 2011 made May lose 40 pounds.[17]

In November 2011, he had almost died of a pulmonary embolism after contracting serious pneumonia on a cruise ship, then suffering a pulmonary embolism where a blood clot from his leg got lodged in an artery.[18]

May discussed his grandmother in a number of interviews and credited her with helping take care of him and his siblings as they were growing up. Speaking to the Arkansas Times in 2012, May said, "Thank goodness for my grandmother, she was a hell of a woman. She was really beneficial, she kept us in a stature way above our means and made sure we were taken care of as far as clean clothes and shoes." His Facebook bio also references his grandmother. "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. 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 an interview with the Arkansas Times in 2012, he discussed growing up in Clarksville, shedding light on some of the hardships he faced. He shared, "It was a hard life growing up. It was a similar story to a lot of people in Arkansas. My mom was a florist. I'm the youngest of four. My father and mother hated each other, and they took it out on us. She'd sue him for not paying child support, then he didn't pay, and that ended up costing us a lot..."

In 2013, May and his wife Turner started a podcast together called Perfect 10. Asked by Las Vegas Weekly how the podcast was going, May said, "It's going great! We love doing it. It's fun, it's something different, it's something that my wife and I get to work on. And I think it's different than a lot of podcasts. We do a lot of crazy sh*t, and have a lot of fun and it's a real blast."

Death

On October 6, 2017, May died of cardiac arrest; he had been battling pneumonia for several weeks and had cancelled previous shows over the past month. His publicist Stacey Pokluda had confirmed this. He was 45 years old and is survived by his wife and two children.[19][20] It was later published that hours before his death, May was scheduled to do a meet-and-greet after his final performance at Harrah's in Las Vegas around midnight, but May had already shown signs of his deteriorating condition.[21]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2002 For Da Love of Money
2003 Just Correct [22]
2005 Big Black Comedy: Vol. 2 [22]
Big Black Comedy: Vol. 4 [22]
2006 Girth of a Nation
2007 Prime Cut
Bangin' With Ralphie May [22]
2008 The Best of Comics Unleashed With Byron Allen [22]
Austin-Tatious [22]
2012 Too Big to Ignore Himself
2013 Imperfectly Yours Himself
Squidbillies P-NUT [22]
2015 Unruly
2016 Inside Amy Schumer
2017 Penn & Teller: Fool Us [22]

Discography

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Just Correct
2006 Girth of a Nation
2007 Prime Cut
2008 Austin-Tatious
2012 Too Big to Ignore
2013 Imperfectly Yours
2015 Unruly

References

  1. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (6 October 2017). "Ralphie May, 45, Comedian 'Who Happens to Be Fat,' Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ "Comedian and Clarksville Native, Ralphie May Dead at 45". Arkansas Matters. October 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Rusnak, Jeff (May 7, 2004). "Ralphie May Succeeds On Stage, But Not By Throwing His Weight Around". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ralphie May Dead--Dies 45". Huffington Post. October 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Comedian Ralphie May dies at 45". ABC. October 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  6. ^ "Ralphie May". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ Ralphie May: Prime Cut (2007). The New York Times
  8. ^ "Comedian Ralphie May Dies at 45". Variety Magazine. October 6, 2017. 
  9. ^ Nicholas Hautman (October 6, 2017). "Ralphie May Dead: Kevin Hart, Gabriel Iglesias, Bob Saget and More Pay Tribute to Comedian". US Magazine. 
  10. ^ "Film in Review: For Da Love of Money". New York Times. April 26, 2002. 
  11. ^ "Insane Clown Posse Fire Up the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos". Rolling Stone Magazine. August 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ Comedians Ralphie May and Lahna Turner are new parents celebritybabies.people.com. September 17, 2007
  13. ^ "Lahna Turner, Ralphie May's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy.com. 
  14. ^ Ralphie May welcomes a son celebritybabies.people.com. June 26, 2009
  15. ^ "Lahna Turner, Ralphie May's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy.com. 
  16. ^ Ralphie May's wife Lahna Turner files divorce tmz.com
  17. ^ a b Cridlin, Jay (December 5, 2011). "For comic Ralphie May, health scare in Tampa was life-changing experience". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ Ho, Rodney (October 6, 2017). "Ralphie May almost died in November 2011 of a pulmonary embolism". AJC. Retrieved 2017. 
  19. ^ "Comedian Ralphie May Dead at 45 of Cardiac Arrest". tmz.com. 
  20. ^ Nemetz, Dave (October 6, 2017). "Ralphie May, Stand-Up Comic and 'Last Comic Standing' Finalist, Dead at 45". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ "RALPHIE MAY FRAIL AND PALE At Final Meet-and-Greet". tmz.com. October 11, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ralphie May". IMDB. 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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