Ralphie May
Girth Of A Nation
Stand-up Comedy DVD
Warner Brothers Nashville / Jack Records 2006

Ralphie May (RIP) Girth Of A Nation stand-up comedy DVD or CD? There’s a conundrum as these Warner Brothers Nashville / Jack Records releases are basically the same. It gets even harder to decide as both versions of Girth of a Nation are excellent, although the intro on the DVD is not that interesting. The advantage to watching Ralphie May live in contrast to hearing him on a CD is that you get to see the pauses and how he physically challenges, dares his audience to go ooo at some of his very edgy comedy.

Though Girth of a Nation is not for the politically correct, anyone who enjoys a stand-up comic who can be edgy without being especially blue will definitely bust a gut watching Ralphie May in performance. This guy takes on material few comics dare to or do successfully. Black Movie Theater, about going to see a Black movie in a hood theater is a brilliant, original, and very perspicacious piece of work. This is dead on observational comedy.

There is not a single weak moment on this stand-up comedy DVD though the last bit on the war in Iraq is not quite up to par with the rest of Girth of a Nation. Ralphie May calls ‘em like he sees ‘em so a midget is a midget and a retard is a retard. Both bits, and this is why May can get away with his kind of material, are perhaps politically insensitive but May manages to slide in a very human, caring take underneath it all.

Just when you think May cannot cross the line any more, he takes on the death of the pope in Popealooza, not the kind of thing you want to share with your parish priest.

May is not one of those stand-up comics who moves a lot on stage but he certainly occupies every inch of it through sheer presence. This is most evident in the three tracks about doing drugs, the second best stand-up comedy bit on drugs ever (Ron Shock still rules in that one). The closer, Smoking Weed With Jesus is simply a brilliant routine that tops a series of great comedy bits.

Ralphie May is an original, one of a kind, edgy, intelligent, superb, hilarious, yet very human stand-up comic and Girth of a Nation is a must.


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