Fancy Ray

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Fancy Ray McCloney
Birth name Ray McCloney
Born Claimed age 29
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Years active 1989–present

Ray "Fancy Ray" McCloney is a comedian and television personality who has built a comedy and advertising career partly by becoming famous for being famous, especially in and near his home town of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Fancy Ray is the self-proclaimed "Best Looking Man in Comedy", known for his androgynous and heavily made-up style as well as a loud, sometimes bizarre, comic persona. His stage personality is made up of the sexual prowess of Prince, the funky style of James Brown, and the animation and expression of Little Richard. He is known to break into verse and recite poetry at his shows, in ode to himself, of course.

Aside from claiming that he is the best-looking man in comedy, Fancy Ray makes many outrageous claims about himself such as his ability to swim in the oceans without getting wet. Fancy Ray's recurring performance themes revolve around his own good looks and sense of style, his outre urban attitudes, and sexual topics.[1]


In addition to "The Best-Looking Man in Comedy," Fancy Ray also frequently calls himself the "Human Chocolate Orchid."

Early life[edit]

Fancy Ray grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from Minneapolis West High School, which was located in Uptown Minneapolis and closed in 1982.[2]

Fancy Ray explained the origins of his name to "Weird Al" Yankovic on Ray's cable TV show in Minneapolis, Get Down With It, as follows: "Fancy comes from the Flamboyant, the Fertile, the Fashion part, and the Fragrant."[3]

However, in a 1998 interview, Fancy Ray claimed he was actually principally influenced by his grandfather, Fancy Wade, a sharp-dressed ladies' man. Upon Wade's 1984 death, Ray inherited Wade's music collection, including Little Richard recordings, which inspired him to become known thereafter as Fancy Ray.[4]

Ray began to perform standup comedy in 1989, then launched his television program ""Get Down With It"" on a Public-access television cable TV channel. He interviewed guests such as Tiny Tim and Whoopi Goldberg. In the ensuing years, Ray cultivated an extremely unusual career in Minneapolis as a flamboyantly dressed advertising pitchman.

Famous for Being Famous[edit]

In a 2009 interview, Ray addressed his career-long phenomenon of being famous for being famous by saying "I'm like Paris with a pretty tan," referring to Paris Hilton.[5]

Fancy Ray ran for the office of Minnesota state governor in 1998 under the People's Champion banner. This election was famously won by Jesse Ventura, a professional wrestler, minor screen actor, and talk show radio host, who then became governor. Ray got 919 votes in the race.[6]

As an advertising pitchman, Ray used the virtue of his celebrity to endorse local products on television.

Comedy career[edit]

Mankato, MN (1996-2007): T.J. Finnegan's - Fancy Ray would consistently perform & dazzle regularly on the stage at TJ's both for dedicated shows and en route between other road gigs. He was always loved by the crowd and a pleasure to work with! (MH)

Recently, Fancy Ray moved to North Hollywood, CA where he appeared on the NBC television show Last Comic Standing[7] in early 2008. Ray was immediately booted off the show.

Fancy Ray auditioned for the third season of America's Got Talent. He got buzzed each time he spoke. The last thing he said on the audition was "I'm a present to the whole world". To which David Hasselhoff responded, "The present to the world is no!".

Ray continues to perform in comedy clubs and television commercials. For 2009, Ray has apparently recorded a DVD celebrating his 20th anniversary in comedy.[8]


  1. ^ a b Jon Bream (2009). "Fancy (Ray) That". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  2. ^ Thatcher Imboden (2010). "History: West High School - Uptown, Minneapolis". Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  3. ^ Fancy Ray McCloney and Weird Al Yankovic (1994). "Get Down With It". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  4. ^ Our Campaigns (1998). "Candidate - Fancy Ray McConley". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  5. ^ Jon Bream (2009). "Fancy (Ray) That". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  6. ^ Our Campaigns (1998). "MN Governor Race - Nov 03, 1998". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  7. ^ Christine M (2008). "America's Got Talent - Even More from the Atlanta and Dallas Auditions (Episode 305)". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  8. ^ Dwight Hobbes (2009). "Fancy Ray McCloney and K Jay: Saying they're funny pretty much amounts to calling water wet". Retrieved 2009-08-02. 

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