Ralphie May Talks Jews, Dancing With The Stars' Man Pumps and Being a "Filthy Fuck"
When you look at Ralphie May, you might see big, and you'd be right. He draws big crowds, brings big talent and has the ability to cross big boarders and be loved by people worldwide. We'd say that's a big accomplishment and this weekend, you've gotta get in on the big laughs that Ralphie May will be supplying at the Brea Improv.
You've been touring all around, you must be exhausted!
[Laughs.] Yeah just a little bit. I just try to make the best of the situation. I'm working a lot so it could be worse.
Your special Too Big To Ignore just came out on DVD too. How long does it take to prepare to tape a special?
My process is that I spend about a year writing it and then I spend about six months honing it and editing it to the best that I can get it. Then I spend the last month running it and trying to clean it up so it's presentable for Comedy Central.
It's crazy that you have to "clean it up" for Comedy Central because they just beep out the "bad" words and then play it unedited two hours later. Seems pointless.
I know! And they are paid cable so they don't really have to do that at all! They had 162 mentions of the word "shit" in one South Park episode. In cartoons it's okay, but when a live person says it, it's not. It doesn't make any sense. You know though, I love South Park and I am just grateful for Comedy Central for giving me the opportunity to do the work. I've done four specials with them and that is more than anybody else so I'm very happy.
I live for South Park. I also wish I aged like those kids. Not to change the subject but, as a Jew I must congratulate you for landing a Jewish wife!
Yeah she's a Jew. I was telling her I wanted to celebrate Easter with the kids and she was saying, "Better than that, let's celebrate it on Monday so we can get all of the Easter candy half-price!" I told her that it is a genius idea, and possibly the Jewiest idea I've ever heard!
That is Jewnius! Super smart!
[Laughs.] And people call me anti-sematic for saying that, but it's my wife! Really, anti-sematic? I married a Jew, we made some Jews. I think I'm doing the work of Christ over here!
Thank you, we can always use chosen people. Your wife (Lahna Turner) is also a comic. Do you two critique each other's work?
She's hilarious! We respect each other comedically and we bust each others balls. We're that honest with each other so that we can go there like, what were you thinking? You know, she's actually written more jokes for me than I've written for her. She's good.
On Stern I heard you say that Sam Kinison gave you your first big break. Who was it before him that got you thinking about comedy?
There was really so many it's countless. Watching Jonny Carson be masterful at a monologue and my grandmother making me watch the news. To see Johnny take the news and make it topical and funny taught me. There was just a huge explosion of stand-up comedy with George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and of course Sam. I guess maybe because I am too Southern, I thought it was too dirty. I laughed but I wasn't really influenced because I didn't think I could be that dirty.
Come now, you're pretty dirty.