With seven stand-up comedy specials under his belt and the ability to sell out theaters across the country, Ralphie May is one of the most prolific comedians of our time. He’s only 43 and already has 25 years in the business. His latest special Unruly is now streaming on Netflix, so we thought it was the perfect time to catch up with Ralphie on The Laughspin Podcast.
Below are just a few excerpts from our far-ranging chat. To get the best experience, you’re going to have to listen to the entire episode here or get thee to iTunes. Enjoy!
On his status as veteran comedian:
“I still think a lot about quitting. I’ve done it for 25 years. What more do I have to prove? I’m in the top one percent of stand-up comics. I never conquered New York and I never conquered LA, but that’s ok. I never really gave a shit about conquering either one of those. I was really happy about the 300 million in between…I was never the cool, hip comic. The guys I thought were cool are either dead or they quit.”
On getting kicked out of high school:
“All the statues of limitations are over. The way America is now, it would be on CNN and the ATF would be involved. We did a lot of very destructive stuff to our rival school and they did very destructive things to us—to the point where we got our bus stopped, they rolled burning bales of hay in the street and then pelted the bus with bricks, rocks and eggs. It was an old-school ambush. Supposedly there was gunplay but I don’t know.”
On hanging out with Sam Kinison:
“You can hang out with Sam until 11:30 at night and then he’d get a little evil. And for me, going to a Sam Kinison party at 17, it was no place for a 17-year-old boy. I’m 43 now and it’s no place for me now. I mean, rails of blow and a lot of craziness. He’d be nice until about 11:30. That fourth or fifth key bump and he’s starting to rage and get angry. That’s when I would just disappear— because that’s when the gun would come out. He had a 45 that he liked to tote around. The gun would come out and shit would happen. Not good.”
On growing up poor in Arkansas:
“I remember so many times in the winter waking up at night and seeing my breath and the frost forming on my face. We were under so many blankets to keep warm. Unless somebody turned the oven on there was no heat.”
Each week on the Laughspin Podcast, Dylan Gadino and Mike Gogel bring you comedy news, the most recent audio clips from the comedy world and a few laughs (and the occasional special interview episodes). Be sure to subscribe to the Laughspin Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher.