Cry, LA comedians: ‘Last Comic Standing’ icon Ralphie May dead at 45

“Last Comic Standing” legend Ralphie May once said: “I live in a very dangerous part of Los Angeles. It’s called Los Angeles.”

Ralphie May lost hundreds of pounds after hitting a high of 800. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Now the laughter has died in many parts of LA.

The once-morbidly obese comedian lost his life Friday in Las Vegas to cardiac arrest after a brief battle with pneumonia. He was 45.

“We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May,” said a spokesman on Facebook. “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. Earlier this morning at a private residence in Las Vegas, his body was discovered.”

Rolling Stone said: “Known for his distinct delivery and outsized personality and stage presence, May finished second on the inaugural season of ‘Last Comic Standing’ in 2003.

“Over the next 15 years, the Arkansas-raised May went on to star in four Comedy Central comedy specials as well as a pair of Netflix specials, ‘Imperfectly Yours’ and ‘Unruly.’ In 2016, May appeared alongside Amy Schumer, another one-time ‘Last Comic Standing’ contestant, in an ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ sketch.”

Wikipedia recounts: “May suffered obesity throughout his life. His weight increased to 800 pounds following a car accident at age 16. May participated on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club and had gastric bypass surgery in 2004, which brought his weight down to 350 pounds.”

Tributes poured in via Twitter from the likes of Kevin Hart, Arsenio Hall and Bob Saget.

RiP Ralphie May. Great guy. Supportive, warm hearted & real. Everything you hear about him today is true. Loved by the comedians. Very sad.

— Steven BRODY Stevens (@BrodyismeFriend) October 6, 2017

Oh NO. Ralphie May, comedian. RIP. As much fun to hang out with as he was to watch. GODDAMIT.

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 6, 2017

Ralphie May. Dammit. You were a funny and sweet mofo man. Rest In Peace.

— bob saget (@bobsaget) October 6, 2017

Ralphie May fell asleep during Bonnaroo concerts. The only day I couldn't see this coming was August 21, when he passed in front of the sun.

— Ari Shaffir (@AriShaffir) October 6, 2017

RIP my brother & friend @Ralphie_May. Just devastated.
I feel for his kids. Last time I saw him was at my wedding.

— Felipe Esparza (@funnyfelipe) October 6, 2017

Thank you for always caring. And thank you for all the wise words and kind gestures, @Ralphie_May. I promise they will stay with me.

— Sal Vulcano (@SalVulcano) October 6, 2017

I live in a very dangerous part of Los Angeles. It's called Los Angeles.
– Ralphie May

Rest in Peace Big Guy

— Jeff B. Cohen (@Jeff_B_Cohen) October 6, 2017

We’re sad to learn to learn of the passing of Ralphie May. Grateful to have had such a great comedian and amazing person at our clubs.

— Funny Bone (@FunnyBoneClubs) October 6, 2017

RIP Ralphie. Thank you for the laughs. #ralphiemay

— All Things Comedy (@allthingscomedy) October 6, 2017

1 of the hardest times I've ever bombed was when I followed @Ralphie_May at the LA Improv. I still haven't been back. #RIP #HeOutBlackedMe

— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) October 7, 2017

Tonight, let's all dedicate our #standup sets to #RalphieMay. 🎤🙏🏾🃏

— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) October 7, 2017

In 2006 a restaurant manager comped my meal. No clue why. on our way out he said thanks for eating here ralphie may. True story.

— BooGHOUL2988 (@Boogie2988) October 6, 2017

Thank you, Ralphie May. You were a world-class comedian.

— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) October 6, 2017

Wow….I was just told that Ralphie May passed. I'm truly saddened by this. He was a good dude. Heaven just got another funny angel RIP man

— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) October 6, 2017

rip. we should make today“ralphie may day“, which is also what his knees used to yell at him

— rob whisman (@robwhisman) October 7, 2017