Special Photo. Comedian Ralphie May, who catapulted into the national spotlight after appearing on season one of the NBC reality TV series "Last Comic Standing" will give two stand-up comedy shows Saturday at the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center.
Ralphie May admits his brand of stand-up comedy isn't everyone's cup of tea.
Especially those who are easily offended.
"I am racially insensitive, politically incorrect and culturally controversial, but I'm funny," the 37-year-old said. "I'll make you laugh real hard, but if you're sensitive, just stay home or go watch (ventriloquist/comedian) Jeff Dunham."
That kind of blunt, tell-it-like-it-is, non-sugarcoated delivery is what audiences get with May. A turn-off to some, it rouses guffaws from others.
"I think it's because it's refreshing to have somebody voice an honest opinion, give an honest appraisal on current events," May said. "You know, without dancing around the obvious."
No topic, no matter how touchy or sensitive to some, is off limits for May as long as what he speaks is truth.
"You might not like it," he said, "but it's always going to be true. (And) I don't leave myself out of the mix. I'm included in the equal opportunity offending."
May knew he wanted to be a comedian at the impressionable age of 9, when his grandmother would let him stay up late Friday nights and watch Johnny Carson's monologues on "The Tonight Show."
"I did not know that he would build a joke that was intentionally a bomb because he had these amazing recovery lines," May remembered.
His own attempts at similarly fashioned punch lines, May said, garnered laughs from his mother and grandmother.
"It just ballooned from there," he said.
May hit the professional stand-up stage at 17. A move from the small, Arkansas town where he grew up to the big city of Houston, Texas, allowed a then-18-year-old May to expand his career. His catapult into the national spotlight came when he appeared on the inaugural season of "Last Comic Standing." After a runner-up finish on the NBC reality TV series, May has gone on to record his own Comedy Central specials, make multiple appearance on late-night TV shows and perform in sold-out shows throughout the country. May is currently working to develop his own TV show while also touring. He will be stopping in Duluth on Saturday for two back-to-back shows. May issued the following disclaimer for Gwinnett residents:
"I don't want people driving in that expect some cutesy version of comedy who will be disappointed and be upset," he said. "But I'm funny. It's crass, the language is (crude), but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's hilarious and it's a different viewpoint."