06-13-12-ralphie-may.jpgFans of Ralphie May are in for a treat. On June 17, the funny man is scheduled to perform at Sports U.S.A. The audience can let off some steam and watch him do what he loves best. “My favorite thing in the world is making people laugh,” said May. “To get on stage and tell a joke and then see the audience laughing and smiling is awesome.”

A strong supporter of the military, May performs for the troops whenever he gets a chance. “It is a big thing for me to perform for the troops,” said May. “I benefit from having freedom of speech and it is an honor to entertain the people who give that gift to me.”

The entertainer is great at cracking jokes, but he is serious about his dedication to military members and their families. May’s father was a sniper in Korea and his grandfather died in France in WWI.

“When soldiers volunteer to serve they volunteer their famlies too, and these people didn’t sign up,” said May. “But they have to endure an empty chair at the table on Thanksgiving, an empty place in the bed for months at a time and the sad faces of their kids when mom or dad misses a birthday or school award ceremony.”

Like other families who face separation, May does his best to squeeze in family time when he can. “Its tough when I am away from my family, my favorite thing in the world is just getting back to see them — or bringing them to see me. It’s hard being away from them.”

Born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and raised in Clarksville, Ark., May is about as far away from the “you might be a redneck,” humor that people associate with the south as you can get. In fact, he started his professional career at the age of 17, opening for Sam Kinison. Encouraged by Kinison, May packed up and moved to Houston, Texas. May’s next stop was Los Angeles, Calif., where he scored a spot in Last Comic Standing as the show premiered. He finished in second place, and then moved on to shows like The Wayne Brady Show and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

May’s current tour is titled Too Big to Ignore. He pulls no punches as he highlights society’s hypocrisies. May covers a lot of ground in Too Big to Ignore … The children’s show Dora the Explorer, Chaz Bono and bongs are a few of the things May finds to poke fun at.

Tickets are available at Sports U.S.A. and Leisure Travel Services. The show is for those 18 and older. Tickets cost $25 if purchased in advance and $35 at the door.

Photo: Ralphie May is set to perform at Sports U.S.A on June 17.

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