“Martin” was one of the most iconic sitcoms on television during the 90s and thirty years later the cast reunited to celebrate its legacy.
It was a show that Snoop Dogg admitted he watched more than making music. The groundbreaking show fused skit comedy and sitcom to create a unique blend of entertainment never before seen on television. Ironically, the show’s two main stars were first presented on screen on the classic hip hop film, “House Party”, in the early 90s.
As hip hop grew in popular culture with rap acts such as Kid ‘N Play, a new generation of viewers were targeted by the entertainment world. Television got into the act of getting with the times when Will Smith got his own sitcom by the name of “Fresh Prince Of Bel Air,” and another irony is that the classic show had their reunion in recent years.
Another similarity with the show was the major fallout between the leading ladies of the sitcom with the main star. Fans were in tearful joy when Will Smith and Janet Hubert finally put aside their differences from the early 90s. Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell had a huge fallout that led to legal issues after Campbell accused Lawrence of sexual harassment on the set. In a recent interview, Tisha explained that the two of them “worked hard to forgive.”.
THE BEGINNING OF A LEGENDARY SHOW
Arsenio Hall Show was another platform that hip hop lovers would gravitate towards in the early 1990s. After becoming a known figure for his role as Prince Akeem’s assistant in the classic “Coming To America” film, Hall became known as the “Black Johnny Carson.” In the video below, Martin breaks down what fans could expect at the time of his new sitcom.
As he described the source for some of his skit characters such as Sheneneh, fans did not realize just how iconic the characters would become before the premiere. Lawrence would derive from the world of skit comedy that was popular at the time in the hip hop world Fox television’s “In Living Color.”
He would inspire Jamie Foxx with the multiple character routine on his own sitcom “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Lawrence would also use stars from “In Living Color” such as Tommy Davidson and David Allen Grier.
Tommy Davidson would appear on the reunion show and reveal that their classic segment of Varnell Hill on Martin’s radio show was strictly improv from Davidson’s side of the dialogue. Everyone remembers Varnell Hill’s classic line of “Did Ya Miss Me?” as seen below.
Davidson said he was told to “Don’t read nothing that’s on the page” in terms of the script for the segment. He was told to bring want he wanted to the character and he revealed he did “nothing on the page,” but it all worked out as Martin played off his routine.
The sitcom also paid homage to the all-time great stars of comedy when they would bring on the incomparable Marla Gibbs. She recently received her own star on the walk of fame. Of course, she is known for her iconic work on “The Jeffersons” as the maid Florence and her own show “227” as Mary Jenkins.
Marla Gibbs portrayed the maid from hell on Martin, as Miss Minnie she tried to control the home of Martin and Gina. During the reunion, Gibbs made an appearance to an applause as Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold praised her for paving the way for black women on sitcoms. Arnold stated that her role as Florence had some of the best zingers on television and how she always wanted to be a character with the funny one liners.
IN MEMORY OF TOMMY
The most emotional segment of the broadcast came when the cast finally made a public statement concerning Thomas Mikal Ford. The man behind the character of Tommy Strawn, passed away in October of 2020 at the age of 52.
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The cast left the main set of Martin, to have a celebration of life for Ford on the set of Nipsey’s restaurant. It was a somber presentation that highlighted the spiritual aspect of Ford. His wife and children were also apart of the segment as seen below.
— Bald William Dent act right heffias (@bougiegentleman) June 17, 2022
Martin and Gina represented love in the 90s with a hip hop twist. Their chemistry felt real and no other segment portrayed it more than when Martin proposed to Gina. To make the moment iconic, Brian McKnight made his television debut to sing for Gina in the park. During the reunion, McKnight sang the song and revealed that his record sales spiked after appearing on the classic episode. He thanked Martin for the opportunity which was his first ever television appearance.
Brian McKnight still makes my heart skip a beat. Love and miss all the cast..THE MARTIN show will always be THE BOMB 💣 💜
— 4everlovable (@4everlovable1) June 17, 2022
As illustrated at the beginning, Martin represented the hip hop generation when future rap legends would make guest appearances. The Notorious B.I.G. was featured and so was Snoop Dogg at the height of their popularity in their primes. The newly appointed Death Row Records owner was asked to make a live performance. Snoop stated he would do anything for the show and charged it to the game by giving a free performance at Nipsey’s restaurant.
Check out the reactions to the reunion on social media below.
The Martin Reunion was so good. If you know me, you know I can watch Martin episodes over and over and laugh like I’ve never seen them. I was literally smiling the whole reunion. #MartinTheReunion
— Girl, that’s Hal. (@COOLASHAL) June 16, 2022
This is sooo hilarious….ICONIC
— DiDi (@NacoleDiana___) June 17, 2022
— Chris Cooper (@PirateCoop) June 17, 2022
Baby! When Tisha Campbell came through in the cat suit! That girl look good! She look healthy! She looks blessed! Hair, face, body! #MartinTheReunion https://t.co/fECqoe0GLR pic.twitter.com/6lh7hbTCJw
— ʍɛɨռɛ ʟɨɛɮɛ (@emquegeeaye) June 17, 2022
#MartinTheReunion was really good! So many little-known facts were shared. The chemistry with the cast is still there. The tribute to Tommy had me giving an ugly cry. Definitely a must-see!
— purple_reign (@SugarNSpice114) June 17, 2022
The Martin 30-year reunion was EVERYTHING!!! I laughed my ass off! Long live the best sitcom of all time! @realmartymar @TichinaArnold @TishaCampbell #MartinReunion #MartinTheReunion pic.twitter.com/OWKbBcFCZV
— Nita the Diva (@nitaboogee) June 17, 2022