The runner-up of season one of 'Last Comic Standing' passed away on Friday morning of cardiac arrest, after battling pneumonia for six weeks.
"We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May," the comedian's rep 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. "
"Two days ago he won the Casino Comedian of the Year at the Global Gaming Expo and had performances throughout the remainder of 2017 as part of his residency at Harrah's Las Vegas," the rep continued. According to the statement, the stand-up comic "is survived by his wife Lahna Turner and children April June May and August James May."
"As his manager and his friend, I will miss his laugh, his generosity to fellow comedians, his trademark orneriness, and his enormous love of life," the comic's manager, Judi Marmel, added. "He left us entirely too soon -- and we can only wonder where his comedy might have taken all of us. We send our love to his family, his fans, and all the comics who shared stages with him across the country. It's a big loss, one that will no doubt be felt for years to come."
TMZ reported that May had been battling pneumonia over the last six weeks. However, he didn't slow down and kept performing at Harrah's Las Vegas on Thursday night.
Born on February 17, 1972 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, May shot to fame in 2003 after being the runner-up in the first season of "Last Comic Standing". He also starred in several specials of his own, including Netflix's "Imperfectly Yours" in 2013 and 2015's "Unruly".
Following the disheartening news, a slew of celebrities and fellow comedians took to their respective social media accounts to pay tribute to May. "Wow….I was just told that Ralphie May passed. I'm truly saddened by this. He was a good dude. Heaven just got another funny angel RIP man," Kevin Hart tweeted.
Wow....I was just told that Ralphie May passed. I'm truly saddened by this. He was a good dude. Heaven just got another funny angel RIP man— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) October 6, 2017
Whoa... man.. this sucks. Ralphie was a good guy & a very funny person. Condolences to his family & fans. https://t.co/M9s6bneAeA— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) October 6, 2017
Gabriel Iglesias said that he was "at loss for words to hear about the passing of comedian Ralfie May." He went on writing, "He was a friend to many and a father of 2 beautiful children. RIP." Bob Saget, meanwhile, wrote, "Ralphie May. Dammit. You were a funny and sweet mofo man. Rest In Peace."
I'm at a loss for words to hear about the passing of comedian Ralfie May. He was a friend to many and a father of 2 beautiful children. RIP😞 pic.twitter.com/nGsq63xN0c— Gabriel Iglesias (@fluffyguy) October 6, 2017
Ralphie May. Dammit. You were a funny and sweet mofo man. Rest In Peace.— bob saget (@bobsaget) October 6, 2017
"This hurts too much. @Ralphie_May helped me so much. Rest In Peace. Thank you for all the love you have given me. Thank you for everything," Ken Jeong said. He went on explaining how the comedian helped him get in The Laugh Factory, a chain of comedy clubs. "He didn't know me at all and after he saw my set he told Jamie Masada to have me onboard," he wrote, adding that May was "genuinely the nicest most encouraging person you could meet. Always unconditional love from him."
This hurts too much. @Ralphie_May helped me so much. Rest In Peace. Thank you for all the love you have given me. Thank you for everything.— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) October 6, 2017
.@TheIrvineImprov, still my favorite week of standup of my career.— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) October 6, 2017
.@Ralphie_May was genuinely the nicest most encouraging person you could meet. Always unconditional love from him.— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) October 6, 2017