Ralphie May, the popular stand-up comic who rose to fame after competing on the first season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, died today in Las Vegas of cardiac arrest. He was 45 and had been suffering from pneumonia. He most recently had a residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas and was in the middle of a nationwide tour.
“We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May,” his publicist said in a statement. “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. Earlier this morning at a private residence in Las Vegas his body was discovered; cause of death is cardiac arrest.”
The rep said May just this week won the Casino Comedian of the Year at the Global Gaming Expo.
May, from Tennessee, got his break in 2003 when he was picked for the first season of NBC’s stand-up competition series. He finished second. He later was talk-show regular and had several stand-up specials, most recently 2015’s Unruly on Netflix.
May is survived by his wife Lahna Turner; and children April June May and August James May.