''"Wuzup, Wuzup, WUZUUUP!!"''Martin is a sitcom that aired on FOX during The Nineties, starring Martin Lawrence as Martin Payne, a Detroit disc jockey (later TV talk show host) and his various misadventures with his girlfriend (later wife) Gina (Tisha Campbell), homeboys Tommy (Thomas Mikal Ford) and Cole (Carl Anthony Payne II), and Gina's friend Pam (Tichina Arnold). For about four seasons or so, it was one of FOX's most popular shows.And then it was discovered that Lawrence was abusing drugs. Even worse, Campbell sued him for sexual harassment. At that point, she refused to be in the same room as him, even when filming. Needless to say, the writers had a difficult time writing around this (they basically had the couple interact by yelling from different rooms or talking on the phone with a split screen).These events did not bode well for the series. In fact, they spelled the end of the series in just one season. Still, reruns air on syndication all over the U.S., and the show is still popular even today among certain crowds. It should be noted that the series did conclude with Martin and Gina moving to Los Angeles.Not EVER to be confused with the cult vampire film Martin by George Romero.
This show provides examples of:
Acting for Two: Besides the title role, Martin Lawrence plays a ridiculous amount of recurring characters.
Actor Allusion: In the first two seasons, Martin always kept a framed poster of Do the Right Thing in his living room. It was one of Lawrence's first film roles and he played Cee.
When Christopher "Kid" Reid of Kid n Play and House Party fame guest starred, Sheneneh begs him to kiss her "like the way he did with that light-skinned girl in House Party," referring to Campbell of course.
Marla Gibbs once guest starred as an inept new housekeeper. Her sassy attitude was similar to her character on The Jeffersons, and when she first appeared at Martin and Gina's door, the couple said "You got the wrong apartment, you probably want 227" (another sitcom she starred in) and "You'll have to move on up" (or something along those lines).
Aerith and Bob: The main characters, and Sheneneh's brood which includes Keylolo, Bonquisha and Laquita.
The Alcoholic: Recurring character Marian, who been in a least four episodes showing up at parties, club and even on Martin's talk show in the audience. However, she stated that she was on medication.
Anti-Hero: Unlike a lot of sitcom protagonists, Martin is the furthest thing from mild-mannered. He's a Type II.
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Dragonfly Jones. Subverted hilariously in that he gets his ass handed to him most of the time.
Berserk Button: In the episode "C.R.E.A.M.," Martin flies into a murderous rage whenever Cole mentions his idea of a soup restaurant where the soup is free but the spoons are rented out, hence the name "Rent-'Em-Spoons." MC Hammer nearly suffers a similar attack at the end of the episode when he has the same idea and name.
Celebrity Paradox: As pointed out in the Actor Allusion section, Martin used to keep a framed poster of Do the Right Thing in his living room, yet no one seem to notice how he looks so much like Cee (one of the four teenagers Lawrence portrayed in that film).
One episode had Christopher "Kid" Reid, Lawrence's co-star from the first two House Party movies, guest star. He doesn't notice how much Martin resembles his co-star/Bilal or how much Gina resembles his character's Love Interest Sydney (both played by Campbell).
Another example is where Martin watches School Daze on TV and wants to see the scene where "the light-skinned girl lick that guy's head." The girl in question is played by Campbell.
Probably the most complex example is where Martin receives a handheld TV and comments that he can now see "Def Comedy Jam and the Martin show." What Martin show?
Cherubic Choir: When Pam meets the artist Michael Angelo, the lighting changes and a dramatic wind blows (even though it is indoors), followed by one of these playing in the background.
Clean Pretty Childbirth: An episode lampshaded this while Leaning on the Fourth Wall. A woman gave birth to what was obviously a baby doll that Martin caught in a catcher's mitt. When Tommy asked about the umbilical cord, Martin said "We don't need an umbilical cord! This is TV!"
Corpsing: Several times you can see the other actors attempting to keep straight faces when Lawrence gets into his more outrageous physical comedy, good examples being when he's playing Dragonfly Jones. Martin does it himself while interviewing another comedian.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A whole episode is dedicated to this. It's Martin's birthday, and no one wants to show up to his party because he's...abrasive. Throughout, contrasting clips are shown of Martin's meaner and kinder sides. Turns out it was all a trick to get him to come to a surprise party.
Girly Bruiser: Or at least Pam thinks herself as one; she is sensitive about her hair and nails, but is still as violent and confrontational as Martin.
Large Ham: Much of the main cast could qualify, but especially Martin and Cole.
Don't forget all of the other characters Martin played.
Law of Inverse Fertility: Martin and Gina panic when she has a pregnancy scare, but just as they warm up to the idea of having kids, it turns out she wasn't pregnant after all and they're deeply disappointed.
Let's Get Dangerous: Otis the Security Guard is out of shape and inept. When insulted, though...he gets deadly.
Hypno Fool: She ends up taking all of Martin's character tics because of this. The fact she could be hypnotized this way and Martin showed little issues with her behavior was a hint they really did not dislike each other that much.
Poorly Disguised Pilot: That one Pam-centric episode seems to count, as it revolves around her taking on a A&R position and finding a singing talent played by Tyrese Gibson.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Because of the backstage tensions between Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell (the actress who played Gina), a lot of the later season episodes were written so that Martin and Gina don't appear in any scenes together.
Romance on the Set: Averted. Lawrence wanted this with his costar, but Campbell felt quite differently, leading to the tensions mentioned above.
It has also been said that there was tension due to her new husband at the time, Duane Martin, being jealous of Lawrence and Campbell on the set and not liking him (he also wanted to be on the show but Lawrence said no). None of the other cast members supported her allegations, though. It does seem like something was going on between them at some point, though. She is very close to him at 2:55 of that clip.
Shout-Out: The Do the Right Thing poster in Martin's living room (see Actor Allusion above) as well as a reference to the film where Martin, who's been fired from his radio job by the new manager, throws a small trash can at the window just like how Mookie smashes the window at the pizzeria, but with no effect. Martin says "It looked fly when Spike did it."
Another occurs in the episode "Suspicious Minds" where Martin had himself and his friends dressed in black and sitting around a table to emulate a scene from New Jack City to confront them on who took his expensive CD player. Martin even does the "SIT YO FIVE DOLLAR ASS DOWN OR I'LL MAKE CHANGE!" line.
Small Name, Big Ego: Martin uses his popularity as a radio personality to show other people up, and convinces himself that he has the number one show in the world to the point that he shouts his "WHAZZUP!!" Catch Phrase to expect people to recognize him. They don't.
Split Personality: Pam temporarily develops one, and the two do not realize the other one's existence despite being brought to their attention.