Comedian Ralphie May on Jesus in Arizona, Gays in Midland and His New Barbecue Sauce
Comedian and former Houstonian Ralphie May says comedy depends on your point of view. "It's my job to take that point of view and flip it, so people can see how ridiculous they are. Especially when it comes to racism and discrimination, I don't even have to change what they're saying. I just flip it on 'em and people see, 'Hey, that ain't right.' Well, hell, that's the same exact thing you've been saying.
"Like Arizona, they don't want any immigrants, right? I bet you if Jesus went to Arizona, they wouldn't let him in. They'd be like, 'He ain't from here? Naw, he can't come in. Look at him, all that long hippie hair. Hanging out with a bunch of dudes all day, ain't none of 'em got jobs.'
Somebody could tell them, 'Hey, I think that's Jesus.' 'I don't care what his name is. You can't come in here, Jay-soose. Walking around wearing a dress. What's the matter with you, boy? You gay? We don't want your kind in here.' And then Jesus wouldn't get in Arizona."
The reaction to football player Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend during the ESPN broadcast of the NFL draft last month proved that Arizona doesn't have a corner on stupidity. "He kissed his boyfriend and people lost their minds," May laughs. Referring to Dallas television host Amy Kushnir who walked off the set during a heated on-air discussion about the kiss, May says, "What did she say when she was walking off? [I'm going to Midland.] Guess what, honey, there are gay people in Midland. Yeah, you go to Midland. There are some gay people there waiting on your ass."
May has stepped into the celebrity food arena with his new Fat Baby Jesus barbecue sauce. ("A molasses-based barbecue sauce with just a hint of jalapeño," he tells us.) The label features a fat black baby. "Black folks wanna say, 'That ain't right, Ralphie. Why fat baby Jesus gotta be black?' I tell them, 'Hey, it could be another picture of a white Jesus, all blond and shit. This way he represents.' They think about it for a second and then say, 'Aw, hell, good looking out, Ralphie.'"
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A recent impromptu tasting session left May sure that the sauce will be popular. "Somebody said, 'Hey, break out a bottle of your sauce, Ralphie.' So I did and they loved it. They were practically drinking it. People were dipping potato chips, cookies, all sorts of stuff, in it.
"I know everybody always says they wouldn't put their name on something they don't believe in but I'm being honest. I believe in Fat Baby Jesus [sauce]. I wouldn't try to sell people something that wasn't good - especially food. How would that look? Man, people would tear me up."
There's interest from comedy clubs to carry Fat Baby Jesus, both as a gift store item and as an on-table condiment. "How cool would that be?" asks May. "Me on stage and Fat Baby Jesus on the tables."
8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Improv Comedy Showcase, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713‑333‑8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $25 to $50.
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