Ask any Martin fan to recite their favorite line from the show and you’ll probably hear, “You ain’t got no job, man” or my absolute favorite, “You go, boy.”
25 years ago one of the greatest sitcoms in television history was created. Based in the motor city of Detroit, Michigan, Martin did way more than just make us laugh uncontrollably. Martin showed us what real love looks like and how to enjoy life through the ups and downs. We watched and laughed hysterically as Martin went from broke and unwed to living life with the women that stuck by his side through thick and thin; despite her best friend’s countless attempts to convince her otherwise.
“It was the biggest thing in the world for me,” Lawrence tells Entertainment Weekly of scoring Martin. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Meet The Cast
Two decades later we still can’t believe the impact Martin Payne, Gina Waters, Pamela “Pam” James, Cole Brown and, Tommy Strawn have on the culture. Some of today’s biggest artists ranging from J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Big Sean, SZA, Lil Wayne, and many more still reference the hit sitcom today.
“You felt the energy, realness, and fun,” says Lawrence of why viewers responded so positively. “The audience didn’t just laugh, but it’s how they laughed. They weren’t only laughing, they were stomping and roaring. Just to feel all of that energy we were getting was beautiful.”
Watching an episode of Martin is similar to watching your life play out on screen. The authenticity between five friends trying to find love and maintain a career is relatable to almost anyone’s life. How many of us have that friend that is constantly in out and of relationships, but feels the need to give relationship advice? Pamela James played by the hysterical Tichina Arnold is that friend. Since her days of being taunted by Martin and being labeled as “Weavey Wonder,” Tichnia hasn’t lost her wit yet seeing as she just as funny in the HBO series Survivor’s Remorse.
Cole Brown played by Carl Anthony Payne II is the friend you can’t live with and can’t live without. Over the age of 30 and still living with his mother, Cole Brown is the typical mommas’ boy. Other than being a momma’s boy, Cole is caring, loving and sadly a couple of french fries short of a happy meal. When Martin needs sound advice, Cole is the last person to run to.
Lastly, of Martin’s animated group friends is the tall, bald, and handsome Tommy Strawn. Tommy is Martin’s right-hand man and quite the ladies’ man. After five season and 132 episodes, we still don’t know Tommy’s occupation. For all we know, Tommy works in the white building across the street from the black building.
The Love Jones of Television
Martin and Gina’s relationship is the furthest thing from a whirlwind romance but the epitome of black love. Martin is a hard working, somewhat arrogant disc jockey, who falls head over heels for a beautiful, some might say snobbish marketing executive, played by Tisha Campbell-Martin. It’s a roller coaster to watch their love blossom. We frowned as they parted ways and jumped for joy at Martin’s redemption of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” in an awful attempt to win his lady back. If there is one thing we learned from Martin and Gina is love isn’t perfect.
25 years later and Martin is still one of the greatest sitcoms and most sought out memes on social media. The theme song to the 90’s sitcom is the best ploy to have every man and woman plop down on their couch and relive the nostalgia of the 90s. Let us know in the comments, who your favorite character is.