Ralphie May Talks Bronchitis, Health Problems Weeks Before Death

10/7/2017 2:10 PM PDT

Ralphie May Discussed Health Problems in Radio Interview Weeks Before Death

Ralphie May was so sick a couple weeks before he died that he was forced to call in for a radio interview instead of being in studio ... and he sounded awful.

The comedian's interview with Albuquerque's "Carlos & Kiki in the Morning" from September 22 is telling -- he reveals he's been battling bronchitis for several days and is completely worn down. Still, he tells them he fought through it and did 8 shows in 6 days ... despite struggling to walk.

Ralphie's poor health didn't stop him from doing what he always did best during the call, though -- cracking jokes.

We broke the story ... May died of cardiac arrest Friday at a private residence in Vegas. He was 45.