Ralphie May Biography: Age, Net Worth, Partner, Instagram, Death, Height, Kids, Awards

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye March 2, 2024

Ralphie May, whose real name is Ralph Duren May, was a renowned American comedian and actor who entertained millions of fans with his hilarious jokes and stories.

He was one of his generation’s most successful and prolific stand-up comedians, with numerous specials on various media platforms.

He was also a frequent guest on popular TV shows and podcasts and appeared in several films and documentaries.


  • Full name: Ralphie O. May
  • Date of birth: February 17, 1972
  • Age: 45 years old (at the time of death)
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Stand-up comedian and actor
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
  • Parents: Sue Ann May and Charles May
  • Siblings: Three older siblings
  • Spouse: Lahna Turner (m. 2005; div. 2017)
  • Children: April, June, May, and August James May
  • Relationship status: Divorced at the time of his death
  • Net worth: $4 million

Early Life & Education

Ralphie May was born on February 17, 1972, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and grew up in Clarksville, Arkansas.

He was the youngest of the four children of Sue Ann May and Charles May, both civil servants. He had a difficult childhood, as he faced bullying, poverty, and domestic violence.

He also suffered from a severe car accident at the age of 16, which left him with 42 broken bones and a coma for several days.

He discovered his talent for comedy early and used humor as a coping mechanism. He was inspired by comedians like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Sam Kinison.

He started performing at local clubs and events when he was 17 and won a contest to open for his idol, Kinison. Kinison encouraged him to pursue his comedy career and advised him to move to Houston, Texas, to hone his skills.

He graduated from Clarksville High School in 1990 and then attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he majored in drama and communications.

He dropped out after a year and moved to Houston to join the comedy scene there. He later moved to Los Angeles, California, to further his career.

Personal Life

Ralphie May married fellow comedian Lahna Turner in 2005 after dating for four years. They had two children: a daughter named April June May and a son named August James May.

They also collaborated on several comedy projects, such as a podcast called Perfect 10 and a film called Teacher of the Year.

However, their marriage was not without problems, as they faced issues such as infidelity, addiction, and financial troubles.

They filed for divorce in 2015, but it was not finalized before his death. They also had a bitter custody battle over their children and accused each other of abuse and neglect.


Ralphie May had a long and successful career as a stand-up comedian and actor. He rose to fame in 2003 when he competed in the first season of the reality show Last Comic Standing and finished in second place.

He then appeared in several comedy shows, such as The Wayne Brady Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

He also recorded four comedy specials for Comedy Central, and two for Netflix, with titles such as Girth of a Nation, Prime Cut, Austin-tatious, Too Big to Ignore, Imperfectly Yours, and Unruly.

He also performed at venues and festivals, such as the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, the Gathering of the Juggalos, and the USO Tour.

He also ventured into acting and appeared in several films and documentaries, such as For Da Love of Money, Gas, The Best and the Brightest, The Escort, and The Life of Lucky Cucumber.

He also lent his voice to characters in animated films and shows, such as Squidbillies, Family Guy, and The Simpsons.


Ralphie May won several awards and accolades for his comedy and acting. Some of them are:

  • Casino Comedian of the Year (2012)
  • Comedian of the Year (2013)
  • Best Comedy Album for Unruly (2016)
  • Best Comedy Special for Unruly (2016)


Ralphie May died of cardiac arrest on October 6, 2017, at the age of 45. He was found unconscious in his hotel room in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was performing at Harrah’s Casino.

He was rushed to the hospital but could not be revived. He had been battling pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism for several weeks before his death. He also had a history of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

His death was mourned by his family, friends, fans, and fellow comedians. He was cremated, and his ashes were divided among his family members. A memorial service was held for him at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 9, 2017.


Ralphie May was known for his edgy and controversial humor, often touching on race, religion, politics, and sexuality.

He was unafraid to offend or challenge his audiences and sometimes faced backlash and criticism for his jokes. Some of the controversies he was involved in are:

  • In 2005, he was banned from performing at the Stardome Comedy Club in Birmingham, Alabama, after he made jokes about the Ku Klux Klan and the Confederate flag.
  • In 2011, he was sued by his former manager, J.P. Williams, for breach of contract and fraud. Williams claimed that May owed him millions of dollars in commissions and expenses and had fired him without cause. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2013.
  • In 2014, fellow comedian Carlos Mencia accused him of plagiarism, claiming that May had stolen some of his jokes and used them in his Netflix special, Unruly. May denied the allegations and said he had never watched Mencia’s comedy.
  • In 2016, he was criticized by some Native American activists and comedians, who claimed that he had made racist and insensitive jokes about their culture and history in his Netflix special, Unruly. May defended his jokes, saying that he respected and admired Native Americans.

Social Media

  • Instagram: @ralphie_may
  • Twitter: @Ralphie_May


  • For Da Love of Money
  • Gas
  • The Best and the Brightest
  • The Life of Lucky Cucumber
  • The Escort
  • I Am Comic
  • Just Like Us
  • Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy

Net Worth

Ralphie May had an estimated net worth of $4 million.

He earned wealth from comedy specials, tours, TV appearances, and film roles.

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