Sad news: TMZ is reporting that standup Ralphie May died today of cardiac arrest after battling pneumonia over the last six weeks. “We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May,” May’s manager told Variety in a statement. “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had canceled 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, cause of death is cardiac arrest.”
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, May got his first big break when, at just 17, he won a contest to open for Sam Kinison, but it wasn’t until his stint on Last Comic Standing in the early 2000s that his career began to pick up traction, leading to multiple specials for Comedy Central (Girth of a Nation, Prime Cut, Austin-tatious, Too Big to Ignore) and Netflix (Unruly, Imperfectly Yours). Here’s a clip from his 2015 performance on This Is Not Happening:
May was 45 years old.