Audio by Valerie Lopez, Words by Richard Goodwin
Whether you know him as Ralph, or Ralphie (he doesn’t mind either), Mr. Hardesty is a name you don’t soon forget. Valerie Lopez grabbed time with him in January, before he opened for the very funny Mac Blake, to find out a bit more about what makes this comic tick. (And it’s just possible Blake makes a surprise appearance.)
As a child of the Chicago suburbs, Hardesty was a self-professed “TV watcher”, The Simpsons maniac, and loved comedy favorites like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Roseanne. While he also absorbed some stand-up through his parents’ habits, he didn’t yet have the glimmer of performance in his own eyes.
After a stop to nab a Master’s degree in Alabama, Hardesty took some hints the world was giving him and soon after landed in Austin. Once he dipped a toe in the local comedy scene at the urging of the fantastic Katie Pengra, as so many before him, he was hooked and started performing regularly.
You may since have seen Hardesty in a regular role at the ongoing Austin favorite movie-roast-along Master Pancake, the yearly local Moontower Comedy Festival, or the renowned Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He also co-hosts the sincere and popular LGBTQ-friendly Greetings from Queer Mountain monthly at Cheer Up Charlies.
Life keeps throwing signs at Hardesty, and luckily for us, the ones he chooses to follow have led him to quit his “day job” and focus entirely on comedy. He’s developed a personal ethos: “just keep doing the things that excite you, and run from anything else”. Solid words to live by, no matter your passion.
Get out and see Ralphie at his upcoming and ongoing shows:
- Jan 31st (and ongoing): Greetings from Queer Mountain @ Cheer Up Charlies
- Feb 2nd-3rd: Master Pancake @ Alamo Ritz 7pm & 10pm
- Feb 9th-10th, 16th: Master Pancake @ Alamo Ritz 7pm & 10pm
- Feb 18th: Special Greetings, from Queer Mountain @ OUTsider Fest 8pm