Too BIG to ignore
Adrian Holtzman, Staff writer
March 7, 2012
Filed under Arts & Culture
Renouned comedian Ralphie May is bringing his “Too Big To Ignore” comedy tour to the Barrymore Theatre.
May was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. but was raised in Clarksville, Ark. When he was 17 years old, he won a contest to open for comedian Sam Kinison, whom he considered his idol.
May detailed the advice Kinison gave him before his first performance to get over being nervous.
“He said, if they aren’t laughing at your jokes, just start cursing at them, they will love it,” May said.
About half way through his routine, he noticed that nobody was laughing so he decided to use Kinison’s advice and start cursing at the audience who, to May’s surprise, got angry and outraged at his language.
The audience booed May off stage. When Kinison came on stage as the headliner, he acted surprised that May chose to use such vulgar language and basically threw him under the bus as a prank. The situation proved to be a major friendship building process. Kinison gave May advice about his situation.
“Don’t be a fat comedian, be a comedian that just happens to be fat,” he said.
Kinison suggested May move to Houston, Texas to further develop his comedy routine. May studied at the Performing Arts in Houston and graduated. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.
In 2003, May was chosen to participate in the first season of Last Comic Standing. He finished in second place in the competition. After that, he started appearing in numerous comedy shows like The Wayne Brady Show and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2005, he was the only white comedian to perform on The Big Black Comedy Show.
In 2005, May released his comedy album, Just Correct. After that, he has recorded three Comedy Central specials: Girth of a Nation (2006), Prime Cut (2007), and Austin-tatious (2008). He has also appeared on films like For Da Love of Money.
Even through his long road to fame, Ralphie has still made time to give back to his community. May currently supports The 100 Club of Central Texas, which leads the community in providing support for first responders and their families when tragedy strikes. He also supports the Humane Society because of his love of animals.
Ralphie May said he is excited to come to Madison because he likes the comedy scene that exists here in the upper Midwest. May told me that one of the things he likes most about being a comedian is that he is “not sure what is around the next curve.”
May has definitely reached the apex of the comedy industry and is looking forward to the day where he can spend more time with his wife, two kids, two dogs and tending to his garden.
The show at the Barrymore is intended for mature audiences and ticket prices start at $32.50. The show on March 10 will begin at 8 p.m.