Girth of a Nation by stand-up comic Ralphie May (RIP) is wickedly brilliant. Raphie May does not believe in sacred cows and if he finds one he is more than willing to sacrifice it on stage. Girth of a Nation is a brilliant, very edgy but clean stand-up comedy CD that proves you can push the comedy envelope, or in May’s case shove it, without using a litany of four-letter words. May does not replace a lack of funny with blue language and relies on his wit and bizarre charm to make his audience laugh and laugh it does.

In Girth of a Nation, the follow-up to his first stand-up comedy CD Just Correct, Ralphie May proves he is more than a fluke and, thank god for comedy fans, here to stay. Girth of a Nation is 60 minutes of original, edgy, unusual, fresh, different, and very funny comedy that surprised even this veteran stand-up fan. In Black Movie Theatre, May tries to convince the white folk in his audience to attend a black movie at a black theatre, claiming that the entertainment in the theatre is usually better than the movie being shown on screen. I am more than willing to believe this stand-up comic after hearing his experience.

Ralphie May does not mince words and the material on midgets and retards is definitely edgy. The reason May can get away with such material is because he elegantly lists his own credentials before slamming politically correct thought and people. He is right when he says ‘tards are ‘tards. If you do not bust a gut listening to Mentally Challenged Americans, Tard Happy, and Rusty the Retard you simply have no soul. What really works in this material is May is as often the butt of his own jokes and, in Rusty the Retard, hoisted with his own petard.

Another brilliant and possibly controversial track on Girth of a Nation is Popealooza on the death of John Paul II. If May were doing a bit on a Muslim religious leader he would certainly be under a fatwa (yes, I know, Islam is peace) but in western society going after how much money the church made with the last few days and marathon funeral of the pope makes for some extremely funny stuff.

Few comics can do good drug jokes. The best of the best is Ron Shock and his Drug Story but on Girth of a Nation and with Drugs – The White Portion of the Show, Tips for an Acid Trip, Tripping with Mitchell, Stupid Questions, and Smoking Weed With Jesus, May becomes a serious contender for best drug material by a stand-up comic in a live performance.

May closes Girth of a Nation with Iraq, Terrorism: A Fury of Mullets, his take on the war in Iraq George Bush claimed to have won a few years ago. This is the only weak moment in an otherwise brilliant stand-up comedy CD.

Girth of a Nation by Ralphie May is an extremely original, brilliant, fresh, edgy, funny, hilarious, solid, great, amazing stand-up comedy CD

Girth of a Nation
Ralphie May
Stand-up Comedy CD
Warner Brothers Nashville / Jack Records 2006
60 minutes

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