No matter where you’re from or how old you are, Martin will forever be a classic.
“Martin” ran for five seasons on Fox from 1992 to 1997. During it’s runtime it would garner some of Fox’s highest ratings ever. Martin was seen as the next great black sitcom on television, following shows from previous generations. It has touched millions of television sets worldwide.
The show followed Martin (played by Martin Lawrence) and his girlfriend Gina (played by Tisha Campbell) through the ups and downs of their relationship. We can’t forget about the supporting actors: Tommie, Cole, Pam, Shanaynay (also played by Lawrence) and many other weird but hilarious characters and neighbors! Musical artists like Snoop Dogg, Babyface, Bushwick Bill, Notorious B.I.G., and Method Man even made cameo appearances. Although these artists would often times play themselves, it added a dynamic to the show that most shows on TV didn’t have at that time. We are taking a look at the amazing show in retrospect, as well as seeing where the main characters are now in their careers.
Martin Lawrence created, wrote, produced, and starred in the show himself. The comedian had become a household name by the time the first season was halfway finished; adults and children could tune in on Thursday nights and laugh alongside Martin and Gina as they seemingly would always be in some type of trouble. Culturally, the show pushed forward how people perceived relationships, worldly issues, friendship, as well as other topics. The show was also famous for the improvisation and natural humor that was within the cast. Reviews of the show were hardly ever negative, there was a sense of chemistry between the actors on set and how they made the show come to life.
Another aspect of the show that the audience enjoyed were Martin’s gag styled characters. There was Sheneneh Jenkins, Jerome, Dragonfly Jones, and my personal favorite, Roscoe, just to name a few. These roles would be played by Martin Lawrence as well, and they would leave EVERYONE in laughter. Jerome and Sheneneh are talked about most in conversations; the trademarked sayings, “…because I’m a laaady,” and “I SAY JEROME’S IN THE HOUSE”. These characters gave Martin a host of story lines and versatility that made the show timeless!
Although the show ran for five phenomenal seasons, the decline very slow and drawn for the actors. The quality of the show did not decrease at all during its final season, but the quality of the personal relationships between the actors fell.
Martin influenced multiple communities, in ways we wouldn’t have been able to imagine back then. It is not rare that a person could walk into someone’s home and they have all five seasons on DVD. The syndicated show will never be forgotten, Martin Lawrence’s stamp on TV has been set and will never be covered. Timeless shows with legendary characters cause them to be remembered forever.
Rest in Peace Thomas Ford.
You can catch reruns of Martin on MTV2. Be prepared to laugh until your stomach hurts!