The comedy world is bidding farewell to Ralphie May. E! News confirmed the stand-up comic who became a household name thanks to Last Comic Standing passed away Friday at 45-years-old. He leaves behind children April June and August James as well as his wife, fellow comedian Lahna Turner. May’s rep shared in a statement, “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. Earlier this morning at a private residence in Las Vegas his body was discovered, cause of death is cardiac arrest.” Only two days ago, the Global Gaming Expo honored May with the Casino Comedian of the Year award and was preparing to continue his residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
In the wake of his untimely passing, May’s celebrity colleagues and other members of the comedy community have flocked to social media with heartwarming tributes to their friend. From his larger-than-life personality to unmistakable generosity, stars like Bob Saget, Ken Jeong, Kevin Hart and more are sharing why they’ll never forget Ralphie May.
In 2015, May reflected on life as a stand-up comic and his future in the industry during an interview with Bent Source. “Well, you know, stand-up comedy was never work until I had children,” he shared. “Being a great stand-up means there’s a price to pay in that that I have to pay, too, and that’s that I’m not with my children and my wife. That takes a toll. You miss the things that matter. From pulling teeth to being there in the night for nightmares, snuggles. To sports triumphs, school triumphs. Shows. Things you should be a part of as a parent. Bathing and getting dressed and brushing the teeth of your children and reading stories before bedtime.” “You know, and that’s what it’s really about, man,” Ralphie continued. “That’s something that I miss a lot and I don’t wanna miss it anymore. It’s really hard. So, if I could find something else that would pay as much, or a quarter as much, as what I’m doing now, I’d do it in a heartbeat just so I could sleep in my bed next to my wife and hug and kiss my babies and see them everyday.”