Ralphi May is easily the most famous funny guy from NBC’s Last Comic Standing...
Oddly enough Ralphie, weighing in at 700 pounds at the time, didn’t win. He came in third. But after the run with Last Comic Standing, Ralphie was everywhere, The Tonight Show, several TV specials, including three on Comedy Central and on and on.
By 2009 Ralphie was the top act in clubs, selling out everywhere.
He was scheduled at Stanfords that next March, but as it always seems to happen, the big offer finally came his way. A national tour at theatres. Yep. That means 2,000 to 5,000 people a night at places like the Midland in KC. No more morning radio, no more flying in early for media and best of all much bigger paydays. Theatre acts usually command $20,000 a night and up. Some like Lewis Black make $60,000 to $80,000 a night.
Not a bad gig.
Comedy clubs usually only seat 200-350 so paying anything over $20,000 a weekend is tough. There just are not enough seats. Yes, we have paid more, like Lewis Black and Larry the Cable Guy. We paid Damon Wayans $30,000 for four shows in 2000 at Westport. It’s scary for a club to promise that when weather can kill your sales in the fall/winter and even Spring.
So Ralphie will team up with Saturday Night Live star Jim Bruewer to cross the country in theatres this spring/summer/fall.
And he’s had to cancel his club shows. HOWEVER, Ralphie being a good guy said, "Craig I know your show is just a couple weeks out, I don’t want to screw you guys over, so I can come in Monday/Tuesday and do a few shows to make up for it. Is that cool?"
Man, that was so nice of him.
Even though we have contracts with our bigger name stars, they mean nothing when someone wants to move a date or cancel.
I can tell you this rarely happens. They usually just bolt. So Ralphie proved that in this greedy, often hateful world, there are still some decent people and he is one of them.
He will be at Stanfords, likely for the last time, Monday at 8 PM and Tuesday at 7:30 and 9 PM. Nice.