There was a time when Ralphie May was one of the biggest standup comedians in the country, both by ticket sales and by tonnage. While some things changedRalphie lost half his body weightothers did not: he will be remembered as one of the most successful comics of his time. Completed just months before his untimely passing, in This Might Get a Little Heavy, Ralphie takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of his life and career, one that winds across the country, over obstacles, beyond heartbreak, and through the golden age of stand-up.
Raised in poor, rural, Arkansas by a single mom who struggled to make ends meet, Ralphie’s early years were the perfect breeding ground for the kind of pain and stress and adversity that only comedy can cure. Bitten by the comedy bug at a Methodist sleep-away camp when he was 12 years old, Ralphie seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity six years later at an open-mic in a pizza parlor. Mentored and inspired by legendary comedian Sam Kinison to move to Houston, where he got his start, Ralphie packed his bags and never looked back. A major headliner for over twenty-five years, in This Might Get A Little Heavy, Ralphie finally tells the world how a chubby poor kid from Clarksville went from Arkansas to Houston to Hollywood and beyond. Full of never before told stories from Ralphie’s life, This Might Get A Little Heavy will bust your gut, pull at your heart strings, and touch your soul.
RALPHIE MAY was a stand-up comedian who burst into America’s living rooms when he finished runner-up in the first season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Since then, he had five specials on Comedy Central and two with Netflix. He toured extensively, doing more than 250 shows per year, and signed on for a Las Vegas residency at Harrah’s in 2017, for which he won Casino Comedian of the Year. Ralphie passed away suddenly in October 2017.
NILS PARKER is a writer and editor of multiple New York Times bestsellers. He splits his time between Milwaukee and Los Angeles with his wife and two dogs.
Part 1 Arkansas: 1977-1990 1
1 My Mom Killed Santa Claus with a Pair of Shoes 3
2 Rusty Was Retarded Good 23
3 The Lord Giveth and He Taketh Away 39
4 The Legend of Sweet Dick 53
5 Who Needs College When There's Life? 69
Part 2 Houston: 1990-1998 89
6 The Showcase Was the Workshop 91
7 Yes, and… 101
8 The Road Can Be an Asshole 117
9 The Channelview Hell Gig 131
10 A Bucket of Crabs 139
Part 3 Los Angeles: 1998-2010 155
11 Los True Angeles 157
12 Houston, We're Gonna Have a Big Fucking Problem 165
13 1440 North Gardner 181
14 Bob Sugar Changed My Life 193
15 Second-to-Last Comic Standing 209
Part 4 Back Down to Earth: 2010-2017 225
16 Sit Doggy Sit, Good Dogg 227
17 Eleven Days and Nights 245
18 The Mays Go Gay 255
19 This Is the End 269
20 Back to the Future 283
“I loved Ralphie. He was a true comic. Loved the road and his fans. I’m really going to miss him.” Bill Burr