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Friday, January 14, 2011

Ralphie May Gets the Munchies

Ralphie May has never had a hard time getting noticed. He’s huge, he’s hilarious and he’s been on popular shows like NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” A recent trip to Guam involving customs agents and a bag of sticky-icky found him more publicity than the he may have cared for though. Now, May is ready to tell his side of the story, and he’ll be doing so in his newest comedy special, which is coming to the Gwinnett Center Saturday night.

Did you really get caught in Guam with half an ounce of weed?
Yep, I did. I honestly forgot I had any pot on me, and when we arrived the customs dog was sniffing around. I went right up and pet him on the head. They’ve never seen a drug smuggler just come up and do that. That’s why they told me in 100 years of shared customs experience, you're the first drug smuggler that we've busted that we believe didn't mean to bring it into the country. Because I just walked right up to the dog and pet him.

So were you scared when all this was happening?
Well, they all knew who I was and knew I wasn’t trying to actually come to Guam to smuggle drugs. I was making them laugh and being fully cooperative, and you know, Guam is a U.S. territory, so luckily I got out of there with just a $100 ticket.

To be traveling with half an ounce, you must be a pretty serious smoker. You’ve never really talked about it or taken on any kind of pothead persona on stage though, so is this new?
No man, I’ve been a stoner for … honestly, 23 years. But there was always a lot of backlash to it, and now it’s mainstream so people don’t talk about it like it’s a big deal. It used to be like, “Oh my God, weed... he’s a drug addict.” Now people know it actually helps and has medical benefits.

What medicinal purposes do you use it for?
They wanna put me on prescription medicines and that shit kills comedians, man. My buddy Greg Giraldo died from that [in 2010]. I suffer from anxiety, and they wanted me on Xanax two times a day. I had a car accident when I was a kid and got permanently injured and they want me on Vicodin four times a day, and because I go from time zone to time zone, they wanna put me on Ambien. My doctor said, “If you can do the pain management by smoking weed, it's doable. If you take one of these pills you're jacked up for hours.”

Doesn’t smoking give you the munchies? Isn’t all that hard work you did on “Celebrity Fit Club” going to waste now?
I can't eat like that anyway now, I had gastric bypass. I've got beautiful children and a beautiful wife, and I love them more than drugs or comedy or anything. I wanna be around for them so I keep close tabs on my weight. I don't have diabetes, I don't have high blood pressure, I eat properly, and I exercise. I'm down probably 100 pounds from “Fit Club.”

So is this tour for any particular reason, or are you just working the road?
Well I’m touring because that’s what I do. I’m just always on the road, but I actually have three separate hours ready to go and film for specials, two of which are a collection of weed stories.

Do you have any other weed stories that can top the Guam experience?
Well yeah, actually. A few years ago at the Chelsea Piers when the Miracle on the Hudson happened, and everybody was in a panic, I snuck off to get stoned. And I come back and people are running and I look at my wife, and she's like “There's a plane in the water!” I missed all of that because I was around the corner smoking, and then I came back and had no idea what was going on.

So if you’re telling your stories, are you planning on performing for two hours?
I don’t know, I’ll tell the Guam story. I'm only contracted to do 45 minutes, but I think that's kind of a gyp. My fans don't make a lot of money, and if I'm a paid headliner, and I only do 45 minutes to an hour, it's like stealing money from my fans. If they have jobs and make $20/hr and it takes 'em two hours of work to pay for a ticket to my show, then I at least owe them that much back of my time.

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