For a guy who describes himself as “racially insensitive and culturally controversial,” Ralphie May is not at all psyched that Donald Trump is our new president.
The stand-up vet, who will be performing at Goodnights Comedy Club this weekend, is concerned about The Donald now being our commander-in-chief. “He scares the living (expletive) out of me, to be honest with you,” says May, 44, on the phone from Orlando. “I wonder if, in a hundred days into his presidency, he’s gonna bring the Reichs back and start off like Adolf Hitler.”
May has a theory about how we got to this point in our society.
“I’m a student of history,” he says. “I study it, and all I can figure with the rise of Donald Trump is the same thing that happened in the South with the start of the Civil War. Somehow, rich people convinced other people that are broke and will never be rich to fight for him. And that gave rise to Trump’s election. You know, he’s a millionaire who talked the little guy into believing his (expletive) and – boom! – now he’s president. It’s a dangerous thing.”
May also doesn’t like how chummy Trump and Vladimir Putin have gotten. “That bugs the (expletive) out of me. I hate Russians. I’ve hated Russians since ’84, when they killed Swayze in ‘Red Dawn.’”
For a guy who was born in Chattanooga, now lives in Nashville and enjoys playing to Southern audiences, May is not afraid to tick off red-state Trump lovers. As anyone who’s seen his stand-up – whether on the first season of “Last Comic Standing” (where he was a contestant) or the couple of stand-up specials he has on Netflix – can attest, he’s an equal-opportunity offender.
“I do both sides,” he says. “I said I never knew who was gonna win. I just knew who was gonna lose: America. … I think the Republicans nominated the only guy that Hillary could beat and the Democrats nominated the only person Donald Trump could beat. I think it was a race to the bottom this year. I think if Joe Biden got in, I think he would’ve wiped the (expletive) floor with him.”
On the upside, longtime stoner May is pleased recreational marijuana is now legal in several states, including his former home California.
“I think weed should be legal everywhere,” he says. “We should tax the (expletive) out of it. I know tobacco farmers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia – they all grow the hell out of marijuana and make the best marijuana the world’s ever known.”
You could say that weed has been keeping May on the straight-and-narrow. The man has had his share of physical and personal pain. Although he’s lost 100 pounds in the past, May still weighs in at around 400. At age 16, he was in a car accident that left him in a coma with 42 broken bones. Five years ago, he had double pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism, which led to a diagnosis of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). And just last year, he divorced his wife of 10 years, comedian Lahna Turner, who shares joint custody of their two kids. But May insists he’s doing fine, physically and personally.
“I’m a middle-aged fat guy,” he says. “So, as far as that goes, I’m doing the best I can (expletive) be. It’s great. I’m just happy to be still doing stand-up and still kicking (expletive), you know. I love it.”
It’s good seeing Ralphie May trying to take better care of himself, keeping tabs on our new leader and bringing the noise whenever he screws up bigly.
Who: Ralphie May
When: 7 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Goodnights Comedy Club, 861 W. Morgan St., Raleigh
Details: 919-828-5233 or goodnightscomedy.com