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Who was Ralphie May?

Ralph Duren May was born on 17 February 1972, in Chattanooga, Tennessee USA, and was an actor and stand-up comedian, best known for releasing numerous comedy specials through Netflix and other outlets. He also toured extensively to promote his stand-up act. He passed away in 2017.

The Net Worth of Ralphie May

How rich was Ralphie May? As of mid-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is at $5 million, mostly earned through a successful career in comedy. He also appeared in numerous other television shows, such as “The Wayne Brady Show”, but all of his achievements helped ensure his wealth prior to his passing.

Early Life and Comedy Beginnings

Ralphie grew up having a lot of tough times. He was raised in Clarksville where his mother worked as a florist, but his parents didn’t get along very well and they eventually hated each other, leading to divorce, but meantime he along with his three siblings were often the target of the fallout. She later sued his father for not paying child support. which he eventually stopped sending.

Ralphie and his siblings became very close with their grandmother, whom he credited as the one who really helped him and his siblings in growing up. It was also with his grandmother that he started learning about comedy, but she also taught him how to crochet and quilt. At the age of 16, he was the victim of an automobile accident which led to him breaking 42 bones, which added to his already growing obesity problem. The following year he bounced back, and won a contest to open for comedian Sam Kinison, who would later recommend him to try his hand at developing comedy in Houston. Ralphie subsequently matriculated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.

A Comedy Career

In 2003, May was chosen to become a part of the first season of the show “Last Comic Standing”, which is a competition between numerous upcoming comedians, which would lead to a television special and a cash prize. He would get second place in the competition, losing to Dat Pha, but drew a lot of attention, and would be featured in television shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Wayne Brady Show”.

Posted by Ralphie May on Friday, March 1, 2013

Two years later, he was then invited to become a part of “The Big Black Comedy Show”, which featured Dennis Rodman, Vince Morris and Mo’Nique, the only white comedian invited onto the show. During the same year, he released his first comedy album, entitled “Just Correct”, and would later go on to record four Comedy Central specials, including “Too Big to Ignore”, “Prime Cut”, “Girth of a Nation”, and “Austin-tatious”. He also worked on two Netflix Specials, including 2013’s “Imperfectly Yours” and “Unruly”, and made an appearance in “For Da Love of Money”, and “Gathering of the Juggalos”.

Personal Life and Health Problems

Ralphie married fellow comedian Lahna Turner in 2005, and they would have two children but  filed for divorce in 2015, seeking joint custody of their children, but the divorce was never completed. He is known to have struggled with obesity for most of his life, even reaching 800 pounds after the car accident when he was 16 years old. Due to his obesity problems, he became a part of “Celebrity Fit Club” and underwent gastric bypass surgery, which lowered his weight to 450 pounds. He also lost 40 pounds after battling viral pneumonia in 2011.

During the same year, he suffered a near fatal pulmonary embolism while on a cruise ship, as a blood clot developed in his leg which became lodged in an artery. Two years later, he started a podcast with his wife entitled “Perfect 10”, a project which both of them enjoyed before their marriage started hitting turmoil.


It was noted that prior to his death in 2017, May’s physical condition had been suffering and he showed signs of a deteriorating condition. He had already canceled several shows over the last month before his death, and was scheduled to have events in Las Vegas. He went on a cruise, and during that time contracted pneumonia which he battled for several weeks before dying from cardiac arrest, survived by his wife and two children, his mother, two sisters, a brother, a stepmother, and two step siblings. Later in the year, a memoir about him was published entitled “This Might Get A Little Heavy”. In interviews, he often mentioned that he wanted to help people, and that he preferred not using fat jokes in his routines as he wanted to be known as a comedian who happens to be fat, not a fat comedian.

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