Louis Ramey
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Louis Ramey

Jamaica, New York, United States

Jamaica, New York, United States
Band Comedy




"This comic is still standing despite defeat"

This comic is still standing despite defeat

By Gerry Galipault

Published: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 1:40 p.m.
Louis Ramey has met his enemy, and it is TiVo.

Louis Ramey: 7:30 p.m. today; 7:30, 9:45 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 3333 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $15-$20. 925-3869;

The Atlanta native clearly had experience and stage presence on his side over his fellow competitors entering Season 6 of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" this summer:

He hosted Nickelodeon's "Nick At Nite Road Crew" (2003-07).

He has performed on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," "The View," "Last Call With Carson Daly" and a variety of Comedy Central shows and specials.

With that kind of résumé, he was a shoo-in to win, right?

"I thought so also," Ramey says from his home in New York, a few days before his four-night stint at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre beginning today. "But now I realize the audience I draw, people who say they saw me and loved me on the show, they were watching it on TiVo on Saturday nights.

"C'mon, they're supposed to watch it on Thursday nights and vote for me. Work with me, people."

It didn't quite work out for Ramey, who surprisingly was the first of the five finalists eliminated on the last episode Aug. 7 -- even after his hilarious routine on rednecks dealing with terrorists.

The last comic standing was Iliza Shlesinger of Dallas. She is a chip off the Ellen DeGeneres block, but Ramey was not sure she was champion material.

Shlesinger was predestined to win, he figures.

"It's the show's sixth year and they never had a woman win," Ramey said. "Through the whole life of the show, they kept saying 'A woman has never won. Could it be Iliza?' That's when I went, 'That sounds too planned; we have to get rid of Iliza.' So I pulled the other guys aside (during the second elimination round) and said, 'We've got to stop voting for Iliza.'"

His efforts failed, and Shlesinger quickly became a fan favorite, beating out Marcus for the title.

Ramey may have lost out on the grand prize of $250,000, a talent deal with NBC and a new Honda Pilot, but he's not bitter.

"Overall, I enjoyed every part of it," he said. "I felt very lucky to make it to the house.

"The hardest part for me was just getting past the thousands of people in the parking lot in the beginning. There were so many people trying out. The audition shows were hard ... you have to stand out among this ocean of comics. You had to be good, and you had to be quick. And there's a lot of luck involved."

Ramey will join the other finalists -- Shlesinger, Marcus, Jeff Tavare and Jeff Dye -- on the "Last Comic Standing Tour."

The tour opens Aug. 29 at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minn., and ends Jan. 31 in Kalamazoo, Mich. In between are two area performances: Dec. 29 at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall and Jan. 3 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.

Ramey fell in love with comedy at an early age, drawing inspiration from the usual suspects, such as Richard Pryor and George Carlin.

He also cites Bob Newhart as a major influence.

"He was a huge star in his day," Ramey said of Newhart, whose debut album "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" topped Billboard's pop chart for 14 weeks in 1960 and was the Grammy winner for Album of the Year.

"His stuff is still funny. I always mention him as one of my all-time favorites wherever I go, and people say, 'He's a stand-up?' I'm like, 'Uh, yes.'"

Ramey looks forward to his return to McCurdy's, the longtime comedy staple owned by Les McCurdy.

"I always thought the club would not last," Ramey said. "The original club was tiny, near the airport ... in a hotel. It was still packed every night, and it was run by a comic. If the comic didn't show up, he could fill in. And if the comic was bad, he could always do the show. You gotta like that."

This story appeared in print on page E8

- HeraldTribune.com Sarasota FL

"Standing Room Only"

Standing Room Only
By: Bryan VanCampen
Email to a friendPost a CommentPrinter-friendly
The first time I saw "Last Comic Standing" finalist Louis Ramey was on YouTube, talking about Texas:
"I don't know Bush that well, but I do know Texas. People been to Texas? (applause) Hey, all right - you escaped. Texas is not a bad place, it's just that there's no political apology for anything. I was actually there when Karla Faye Tucker was gonna be executed. First woman executed since the Civil War. People signing petitions, 'You can't do it.' Then the pope called, 'You can't do it, she found God, you can't do it.' And they did it. Welcome to Texas.
"Takes a lot of balls to say no to the pope, doesn't it? (Texas drawl) 'Hey, padre, how you doin', man? Carla? Yeah, she's here. Born again? Hell, we'll fry her twice.'"
Louis Ramey is driving through the Holland Tunnel as we speak a few days prior to the "Last Comic Standing" show at the State Theater on Sept. 4. Ramey will be joined on stage by the other "LCS" finalists, Jim Tavare, Iliza Shlesinger, Marcus and Jeff Dye. Ramey isn't the kind of comic who answers the phone ready to perform, cracking one-liners a mile a minute, but his "are you kidding" me take on life and the craziness of show biz comes through even when he's not being "funny." Performing for a bunch of weight lifters and midgets will do that for you.
The minute I heard him tell his Texas story, I could tell that Ramey had been around a lot longer than "Last Comic Standing." Not exactly Dick Gregory, but edgier than the usual hack fare about airline food and the differences between dogs and cats. He has an ease and a polish in front of a live audience that can't be faked, and indeed he's been working for 20 years. Started out of high school, worked any place that had a stage. If you went to the Punchline club franchise along the southern east coast - Greenville, Charlotte, Norfolk, Virginia - you might have seen him. He opened for R.EM. and the Indigo Girls on the Atlanta circuit when those bands were just starting out, nailed his first appearance on "Showtime at the Apollo" in the early 90s, and got a Comedy Central special in 2001.
He even quit the business, and still had enough sense to relocate to a job in the Cayman Islands, where he was lured back onstage when a club owner needed an emcee. Ramey doesn't work blue (dirty), and had years onstage to become comfortable in front of live audiences.
"A lot of comics have their strengths, either in writing or performing, but very few have the full combination of also being likeable," he says. "I know so many comics that are just angry on stage, and sarcastic, and you really can't be that and be a host."
Ramey swears he's not looking to trade his stand-up career for a sitcom or movie gig, but exposure is exposure. "I really just want to perform," he says, "and the one rule of comedy is that the more television you do, the more money you make.
Right now, there's really nothing on television that gives comics true exposure anymore." On "LCS," Ramey and the others not only had to perform, they had to do team activities in competition with each other. Most of it he dismisses as "just goofy," the silly stuff you have to do to make your mark.
"We had to do 'yo mama' jokes, which most comics think are beneath them," he chuckles.
Well, aren't they?
"Yeah. They're just formulaic, they're cheap and they're stupid. I would have liked it if we actually had a challenge that dealt with something comics deal with. We had to do a show in a Japanese restaurant for female bodybuilders, little people, and frat boys."
He cracks up at the surreal nature of the scene. "It's what you gotta do. You gotta ride the pony. It's amazing, the hoops they made you run through, but the whole time I was just thinking, there's two and a half million people that are watching this show now, and they're going to be able to watch me do stand-up, and that's the most important thing: Just keep your eye on the prize."
Banded together in the glare of reality TV, which loves pettiness and raw emotion, even if it's been artificially created in the editing room, the group gets competitive when it counts, Ramey says, remembering the final moments of elimination on the series.
"We were all competitive in the house, leading up to the final decision," he says. "Once they made the final decision, a lot of people just exploded." He laughs. "Some people burst into tears; others just got extremely angry, and I guess that's where experience really shined through, because Jim Tavare and I were pretty much assuming that it could go either way, that we could win or lose.
"You know how many times I had to look into the camera and say, 'This is the most important performance of my career!' And it really wasn't, I didn't think it was the most important performance of my career. But they make you say it."
"NBC's Last Comic Standing -Live!" with Louis Ramey appears at the State The - IthacaTimes.com

"Politics no joking matter for Ramey"

Politics no joking matter for Ramey
Topeka Capital-Journal, The, Oct 9, 2008 by Bill Blankenship

By Bill Blankenship


Although the weeks leading up to an election often are called "the silly season," comic Louis Ramey says he avoids writing jokes about campaigns.

It isn't that Ramey, who will perform tonight at the Topeka Performing Arts Center with the other four NBC's "Last Comic Standing" finalists, doesn't find plenty to poke fun of in the campaigns.

Instead, he says election jokes just don't have much of a shelf life.

"You could write a joke about the election, and in November, it's gone," Ramey said Tuesday by telephone from a stop on the tour that brings him, Marcus, Jeff Dye, Jim Tavare and Season 6 winner Iliza Shlesinger to TPAC.

Instead, Ramey likes to stick to more evergreen material, such as sex and race.

About the former, he said during one of his "Last Comic Standing" sets: "I remember my first sexual experience. Back seat of my Dad's car. I was young. I was in love. I was alone. I was. No, no, actually not quite. Dad was driving."

And about race, he credited rednecks as the United States' best defense against foreign invasion.

"Good ole boys with an arsenal in their basement that have been waiting for just such an occasion since 1775," Ramey said. "Believe me if foreign troops land in south Florida, there will be a line of pickup trucks and NASCARs."

Ramey already had his own half-hour comedy special on Comedy Central and for four years served as host of Nick at Nite's "Road Crew" before "Last Comic Standing."

However, Ramey said he couldn't resist the opportunity to reach a broader audience.

"I realized you could have 9 million people on prime-time television watching my set, and that's what made it attractive for me," he said.

Although he didn't win the "Last Comic Standing" title, Ramey said, "I got a standing ovation every time I performed, so when I look back on it, I can't see myself doing any better than I did."

So does Ramey want to do more television or perhaps movies?

"All that other stuff? It could happen. It could not happen. But really stand-up is my biggest love," Ramey said.

That means Ramey will continue to make his living on the road, which means taking his shoes off thousands of more times at airport security checkpoints.

"You realize early on that they don't pay you to be funny. They pay you to get there," he said.

Bill Blankenship can be reached

at (785) 295-1284

or bill.blankenship@cjonline.com.

Copyright 2008
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.




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Comedy Veteran and World Traveler, Louis Ramey loves what he does for a living, performing Standup Comedy for over the past 20 years.

Louis can be seen currently hosting TV Land Prime Movie Block's. Other recent TV appearances include TBS Presents: A Very Funny Festival: Just For Laughs, and TBS Promo's "Bitcoms.

He has been all over TV and the Net. You have seen him as a finalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ABC Daytime's "The View" and NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly;" among many other television appearances in the US, Canada and abroad. Voted by students as “Campus Performer of the Year," Louis Ramey is a strong headliner who is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

LOUIS RAMEY Television appearances include:

“Last Comic Standing” - NBC

“The Nick At Nite Road Crew" – Nickelodeon Host 2003-2007

“THE TONIGHT SHOW,” with Jay Leno - NBC

“LAST CALL with Carson Daly” - NBC

"The View” - ABC

“40 Most Awesomely Bad Love Songs Ever” - VH1

“20 Most Awesomely Bad Songs of 2004” - VH1

The Halifax Comedy Festival 2004 - CBC

“The World Stands Up 2004” - Comedy Central

“Premium Blend” - Comedy Central

“USO Tour” - Comedy Central

“World Comedy Tour” - Comedy Central

“Comedy Central Presents: Louis Ramey” - Comedy Central

“TOUGH CROWD with Colin Quinn” - Comedy Central

"It's Showtime at the Apollo,” - NBC

"48 Hour's" - CBS