Comedian Ralphie May, who first broke onto the national scene thanks to a scene-stealing series of appearances during the first season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, has died at the age of 45. The news, which TMZ initially broke on Friday afternoon, was confirmed by May’s manager Judie Marmel, who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter. According to Marmel, May suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at a private residence in Las Vegas, where the comic had been performing several dates at Harrah’s ahead of a new nationwide tour.
Per THR, May suffered a debilitating bout of pneumonia about a month ago. Since then he’d split his time attempting to recover and preparing for his new tour. May was ultimately forced to cancel several dates because of his sickness, but the comedian pressed on with several back-to-back shows at Harrah’s in Vegas this week. His body was found Friday morning.
May appeared in a 2016 episode of Inside Amy Schumer, though the comedian was primarily known as a touring stand-up. He also released two specials, Ralphie May: Imperfectly Yours in 2013 and Ralphie May: Unruly in 2015, on Netflix — many years before the streaming giant’s recent comedy boom took shape. He is survived by his wife, fellow comedian Lahna Turner, and their two children, April June May and August James May.