BWW Reviews: Few Things Are Off-Limits to Comedian Ralphie May
A health scare in 2011 and a rehab stint in 2012 did little to clean up comedian Ralphie May's act. The 2003 LAST COMIC STANDING runner-up ripped through an hour set of new material that left few taboos standing Sept. 13 at the Funny Bone in Columbus.
"I'm like a finger up your butt," May told the nearly sold-out 10:30 p.m. show. "It's uncomfortable at first, but eventually you get used to it."
It's an unpleasant but an accurate description for May's DIRTY, FILTHY ANIMAL tour. Twin comics Chad and Cory Smash, the opening act, and May's bawdy monologues weren't for everyone as a group of front-row guests found out.
Gathered to celebrate one of the group's 50th birthday, the group cast a gray-haired shadow across the front of the stage. The age of some of the members of the group seemed to catch May off guard.
"What did you do? Invite every old person you knew?" May asked the birthday boy. "I feel like I have the cast of COCOON 2 in front of me. Some of these people look like they're (angry) because they're missing the History Channel right now. 'We could be home watching AMERICAN PICKERS right now.'"
A white-haired octogenarian, who May decided to rename "Dot" for the rest of the evening, proved to be a foil for many of the comedian's barbs.
"You don't look very happy to see me," he said. "It's like performing in front of my family. Do you want to something to drink? A soda pop or maybe some Ensure? Dot, things are going to get dirty now. Is that OK with you?"
When she didn't respond, May quipped "These aren't difficult questions, ma'am. This is going to be the most uncomfortable night. I can only hope she doesn't remember most of it."
"Dot" laughed but many members of the party didn't.
May was a man of his word. As the show wore on, things got raunchier and more and more uncomfortable for the people in the front row.
May didn't touch on his health scare when he spent nine days in a Tampa hospital recovering from pneumonia and blood clots in his lungs or his trip to a rehab center to kick his marijuana and food addiction. He did, however, pick apart a variety of different topics, most of them too off color for this website. He took pot shots at Whitney Houston, heath care, and cash bars at weddings.
"I just spent $600 on some juicier from Williams-Sonoma and you have a cash bar? Seriously? I prefer gay weddings," May said and then targeted one of the stone-faced members in the front row. "Some people may have a problem with this, but I think you sir should be able to marry whoever you like."
But the end of the evening May had won over most of the audience, including most of those in the front row.
"Some nights you walk off stage and go 'That was a good crowd,'" May said with a smile. "I'm going to remember this one for a while."
Ralphie May appears at the Funny Bone, 145 Easton Town Center, Saturday and 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The DIRTY FILTHY ANIMAL tour continues to Dec. 31 with Ohio stops in Perrysburg (Sept. 16-17), Lima (Sept. 18), Cleveland (Sept.19-21).
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