Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
This Might Get a Little Heavy

This Might Get a Little Heavy

A Memoir

Ralphie May with Nils Parker

St. Martin's Press


There was a time when Ralphie May was one of the biggest standup comedians in the country, both by ticket sales and by tonnage. While some things changed—Ralphie lost half his body weight—others did not: he will be remembered as one of the most successful comics of his time. Completed just months before his untimely passing, in This Might Get a Little Heavy, Ralphie takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of his life and career, one that winds across the country, over obstacles, beyond heartbreak, and through the golden age of stand-up.

Raised in poor, rural, Arkansas by a single mom who struggled to make ends meet, Ralphie’s early years were the perfect breeding ground for the kind of pain and stress and adversity that only comedy can cure. Bitten by the comedy bug at a Methodist sleep-away camp when he was 12 years old, Ralphie seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity six years later at an open-mic in a pizza parlor. Mentored and inspired by legendary comedian Sam Kinison to move to Houston, where he got his start, Ralphie packed his bags and never looked back. A major headliner for over twenty-five years, in This Might Get A Little Heavy, Ralphie finally tells the world how a chubby poor kid from Clarksville went from Arkansas to Houston to Hollywood and beyond. Full of never before told stories from Ralphie’s life, This Might Get A Little Heavy will bust your gut, pull at your heart strings, and touch your soul.

Praise for This Might Get a Little Heavy

"I never believed a word Ralphie said to me. I never believed he actually made love to a woman—much less an attractive woman—even after they were married with children. No comedian has ever been more kind to me. I'm not buying it. He must have had some kind of angle. I don't even believe that he is actually dead. I think it's all for attention. I will only be reading this book to see where he slips up and we find out the real truth." —Doug Stanhope

“I loved Ralphie. He was a true comic. Loved the road and his fans. I’m really going to miss him.” —Bill Burr

Reviews from Goodreads

Ralphie May with Nils Parker

RALPHIE MAY was a stand-up comedian who burst into America’s living rooms when he finished runner-up in the first season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Since then, he had five specials on Comedy Central and two with Netflix. He toured extensively, doing more than 250 shows per year, and signed on for a Las Vegas residency at Harrah’s in 2017, for which he won Casino Comedian of the Year. Ralphie passed away suddenly in October 2017.

NILS PARKER is a writer and editor of multiple New York Times bestsellers. He splits his time between Milwaukee and Los Angeles with his wife and two dogs.

Nils Parker

St. Martin's Press

Latest on Facebook