Comedian Ralphie May is living his dream. A contestant and finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2008, May is a favorite of many for his jokes -- from those about race to the mentally challenged -- which cross the line into what could be considered downright offensive territory. The Comedy Zone and Blumenthal Performing Arts Center will present a performance by Ralphie May at McGlohon Theatre on Aug. 27. For more information, call 704-372-1000 or visit www.blumenthalcenter.org.
Creative Loafing: I heard your wife just had another baby. Is he keeping you awake at night?
Ralphie May: Yeah, he is a little bit, but he's phenomenal.
So have any of your fatherly experiences made it into your comedy acts yet?
No. The reason I don't really go into it so much is because I can't outdo Mr. Cosby. Bill Cosby is a genius and he's a hard act to follow. If you can't do it better than Mr. Cosby, you don't need to do it.
What have you been doing since Last Comic Standing?
I've been doing a lot of touring. I was on another TV show called Celebrity Fit Club and I've done DVDs for Comedy Central since then.
Your newest DVD is called Austin-tatious. Why the title? Do you talk about Austin in the show?
You know, I don't really talk about Austin or Texas at all in this show, I do it because ostentatious is a word that means overly robust to the point of humiliating others and himself and that's kind of me. People always describe me as ostentatious. Right now, I'm in my BMW 750 special car with super charge and everything and I'm driving wearing Prada sunglasses. That's ostentatious. That's expensively, annoyingly robust. And I can't really apologize for it, because it's kind of who I am. But at least I'm self-aware of it. I think that counts for something.
Do you ever offend people or do you think most understand that it's just an act?
I think most people realize that it's an act and that it's not real. If they need to be angry, well, good for them. I can't really do anything about it; I can't change their minds. Over the years, parents of retarded people have been upset with me, but I don't think they really listened to everything I had to say. I say that with a lot of respect. I say lines in that set like "Retarded people have a lot more to teach us than we do to teach them. They are so much better people than what we are." And they just look over that, like I didn't even say it. It just doesn't make any sense. But what do you do? If everybody loves you all the time, you're probably not doing something right. I think it's better when you get all of them mad at you. That's when you are doing it great. People lose their fucking minds normally when stuff comes out of my mouth, and then they aren't so upset about it. It's weird. I think I'm the only person who gets that free pass. The only white guy who does, at least. It's a little odd, but it's who I am.