Ralphie May promises to be honestly dirty in extended Las Vegas run

Ralphie May says they asked if he wanted anything special for his new stand-up gig at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

He did.

“I want you to talk to them Cirque du Soleil boys and get me a harness, so I can fly out over the audience … we’ll call it ‘Fat-manity.’ ”

But he settled for “No Apologies,” and for doing the same kind of stand-up he’s done since “Last Comic Standing” elevated May from clubs to headline gigs: smart observational comedy and old-fashioned dirty jokes, delivered with the grinning zeal of your little brother and tied together with the unique perspective of his never-dull life.

“I’ve always been a destination comedian,” says May, who turns 45 next month. “The people who know me aren’t like, ‘Oh, let’s go see comedy.’ That to me is what I love and what I thrive on. I get more freedom than most comedians, because they love me, and they love me being a nutjob.”

The heavyweight comedian was a South Point regular for a steady eight years, drawing a mix of locals and tourists. Three years ago, May helped the casino launch a free late-night showcase, “The Dirty at 12:30.” (It continues, but with his name no longer attached.)

May had moved up to Treasure Island and had pitched that casino a dirty, old-Vegas-style late show. But Caesars Entertainment executive Damian Costa, who knew the comedian from the South Point days, instead lured him to Harrah’s with a 26-week offer for a 10 p.m. show, sharing the room with the Tenors of Rock.

The new venture will be “a dirty, filthy animal show” in the vein of May’s comedic heroes, Buddy Hackett and Sam Kinison.

“I’m sick and tired of Vegas being a family destination. No, it’s not. If you’re bringing your family to Vegas, you’re a horrible parent. Take your kids to Disney, OK?” he declares with that tickled laugh that leavens such tirades.

May says he visited morning radio stations in Phoenix and Los Angeles on his own dime to promote this gig. “(Harrah’s) was like, ‘You don’t have to.’ Yeah, I do … I’m just trying to be a success. I want to be Ralphie ‘Harrah’s’ May.”

He promises plenty of Donald Trump material, even though he wasn’t fond of Hillary Clinton either. “Trump’s been a comedy godsend,” May says, “but I’m not one of these people that treats him as an enemy. I just think he’s kind of dumb.”

Trump supporters won’t feel like they have to get up and leave. “I say Democrats are sore losers, and Trump people are really sore winners,” he says.

“What I don’t do is let people get sanctimonious or gang up on other people,” he adds. “It’s a line you have to balance.”

May has been learning how to walk that stand-up line since he was 17. He had already worked as Jay Mohr’s opening act when he was invited to audition for “Last Comic Standing,” which Mohr hosted that first season in 2003.

He didn’t win. Dat Phan engaged voter sympathies in the contest that mixed stand-up with “Big Brother.” But May came out of it with a limited run at the Sahara and has maintained a consistent Las Vegas presence ever since.

He hopes the extended run at Harrah’s will draw as many repeat customers as he did at the South Point, once locals figured out how much new material he generates. “If you come and see me next week and come back in a month, there will be a different 45 minutes. Half of it will be new,” he says.

Local fans have also charted May’s offstage struggles. Health and weight issues came to a head in 2011, when pneumonia and blood clots in his legs and lungs had May fighting for his life during an extended hospitalization.

He is upbeat now when talking about his health. “I got really lucky genetics, I’m not going to lie to you,” he says of impressive numbers for his cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. “I’m active and I don’t eat (bad foods). I like salads. I’m a very un-fat guy when it comes to eating.”

But May’s life changed again two years ago when his wife, Lahna Turner, filed for divorce and custody of their two children. Turner had been with him since his breakout days, often doing her stand-up to open his shows.

Turner and their children are one thing you won’t hear May talk about on stage anymore. “Because I am the more popular and I’ve got the bigger voice, it would be amazingly unbecoming, and petty and small, if I said anything about her on stage,” he says. “If I say anything about her, it’s positive. She’s a great lady and I wish it would’ve worked out, but it didn’t.”

This Las Vegas gig puts May closer to his children in Los Angeles, but he really likes living in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s a 2½-hour flight to 85 percent of my work, and I feel at home there,” he says.

So he will wait and see how the half year at Harrah’s works out before he commits to “going full Carrot Top,” working a full-time schedule and maybe buying a house in the suburbs.

“The only reason I might move to Vegas is that I hate that ‘Trail of Tears’ walk at the airport,” he says. “It’s like you land in Bullhead City and then walk back — ‘I’ve crossed the Colorado twice.’ ”

Read more from Mike Weatherford at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com and follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.

Entertainment
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like