Make no mistake, pretty it was not…
Size XXL funny guy Ralphie May stormed out of Kansas City Tuesday, no-showing two sold out comedy shows at Stanford & Sons in The Legends. That following two days of ill health and ill-advised put downs of Stanford’s owner Craig Glazer.
"Well, shockingly I’ve worked with Ralphie for about 10 years and consider him a friend in the way that you can be friends with comedians," Glazer says.
On May’s Web site, he apologized to fans – but not Glazer – and vowed to return to Kansas City soon.
Here’s how it went down, drugs, threats of fisticuffs, insults and all…
"Ralphie was booked for the week of March 23rd and so I got a call about a week ago that he didn’t want to do it," Glazer says. "He was too tired and was doing all these theaters. And I was pretty pissed and I wrote a harsh email back to Ralphie and his manager and said something like, I think he should do something to make up for this. And he agreed to come in on some off nights."
The off nights being Monday and Tuesday of this week at Stanford’s.
Having graduated to theaters affords May the opportunity to do far fewer shows for far more money.
"So he came in and the first day he did radio and everything was fine," Glazer says. "But he was 30 minutes late to the show Monday night and since he brought his feature act with him I had no way to start the show – it was just me. So I had to do like 15 minutes and I normally do 5. It wasn’t awful, but I was nervous. Like how long can I stay up here?"
Everything was already "a little cold," Glazer says.
"Ralphie looked awful – his skin was white and he looked like he was going to pass out in the green room. He looked so bad that I ran back and got towels and ice. We couldn’t have been nicer.
"He was on pain killers – he said his shoulder was out. And you know, the guy weighs between 400 and 500 pounds, so anything he has is acute."
After a day of dealing with May’s pain and medication issues all systems appeared to be go "and he seemed to come around and he did two hours (Monday night) and was very funny," Glazer says.
Here’s where it gets ugly…
"Well, on Tuesday morning I went to pick Ralphie up at the hotel for the radio appearances – him, the feature act Billy Wayne Davis and the road manager. And they came down late. I had coffee for them. And they followed me to Westport where we did the Mix morning show. That’s where it all started.
"Ralphie started attacking me on the air. He said, ‘Look at Craig. Look at his hair, it’s feathered like T.J. Hooker or Tom Selleck.’ He said, ‘In your town Craig’s flashy and stands out, but in our town – in Hollywood – he’s just another douchebag.’
"And Rocket and Teresa all looked at me like they weren’t sure what to make of it. Like, ‘Should we laugh?’ They knew something was wrong but they were on the air, so they giggled just to make it fun. And I mean, he just went on and on. And when it was over Ponch came over and said, ‘Just let it go’ – he knew I was getting pissed.
"Then we went and did Johnny Dare. And even Dare – who jokes pretty hard with me – took a step back and kind of defended me. Dare said, ‘Yeah, but Craig gets some pretty hot chicks.’ And Ralphie said, ‘Yeah, but they’re all strippers and hookers.’
"Then we went back to KSHB TV and that’s where it all blew up. Ralphie was with his little posse and the show got delayed by 20 minutes and they weren’t happy about that. So we’re sitting in the lobby and Ralphie started in on me."
In an effort to change the subject, Glazer noted an attractive woman on TV looked like his ex wife Connie.
"Did you ever meet her, I asked him," Glazer says. "I was just trying to get the conversation more upbeat and off this attack mode. And Ralphie said, ‘Oh yeah, that blonde girl – wasn’t she a stripper or a hooker or something?’ And I said, ‘No, Ralphie, she wasn’t. That isn’t nice.’
"Then he started in on my old club in Overland Park and said that’s why he’s moved to the Improv. Then we all started to go back to do the TV interview, and the lady from the station said there wasn’t room for all four of us – they just wanted Craig and Ralphie. And that didn’t go over well, and there was some crack made about me – I didn’t hear it – and they all started laughing like jackyls.
"Then I spun around and I went, ‘Boys, when you throw stones at a gunfighter long enough, he’s gonna turn and fight you.’ And I said, "I can’t do anything to Ralphie,’ so I looked at the cowboy comic, Billy Wayne Davis. He was the bigger guy, and I said, ‘You’re 20 years younger than me, let’s step outside.’ Then I said to the Asian (manager) guy, ‘You can come with him and you can be next.’
"And they said, ‘We don’t want to fight.’ Then Ralphie said, ‘Hey, you threatened my staff, we’re going home.’ So they got in their car and they all left and left me with their hotel bill. Afterwards I called and texted him and tried to get him to do the shows. And I called his manager. Everyone was apologetic but the damage was done."
Glazer’s bottom line:
"I do feel sorry for Ralphie because underneath his problems, he’s a good guy. But when you’re tired and medicated like that…I think if it’d just been me and Ralphie, nothing would have happened. Ralphie is a big star but these other little sycophants, they’re nobodys. They couldn’t carry my jockstrap.
"I just feel bad for the people who wanted to see the shows. The good news is next week an even funnier comic is here, Jim Jeffries."
The $64 million question: Would the younger, cowboy comic have cleaned Glazer’s clock had the fight gone down?
"I doubt it," Glazer says. "You saw me fighting three guys at once in Overland Park and I was on my feet. I mean, that was a pretty vicious fight."