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Tyler Perry and his alter ego Madea

Darnell: You know, when that man puts on a muumuu, I'm just transported.
Doug: I gotta tell you, I love those movies. I bought a box set at Walmart. And if I can laugh and pray in 90 minutes, that is money well spent.
Saturday Night Live, “Black Jeopardy”

Tyler Perry (born Emmitt Perry, Jr. on September 13, 1969) is a mega-successful writer, director, producer and actor whose film Diary of a Mad Black Woman shocked mainstream box office watchers by opening at #1. It was perhaps less of a surprise to his African American fanbase, who are familiar with his popular stage plays (from which Mad Black Woman and several other of his subsequent films were adapted), as the demographic for his films centers on black America.

Perry is perhaps most physically recognizable as his alter ego Madea, a violence-prone, loud-mouthed grandmother who has appeared in many of his films. Madea is a contraction of 'Mother Dearest' = "Ma" Dea(r), a term used in the vernacular of many black Americans in the Southern U.S.

Perry is also the owner of a film production studio "Tyler Perry Studios", created in 2006 and is based in Atlanta (though the specific area has changed over time), and eventually made history by becoming the first African American man to own a major studio. In 2019, Tyler Perry acquired Fort McPherson as the new grounds for the studio, which once served as US Army base and is now one of the largest lots in all of Hollywood. While the studio has, naturally, worked on Perry's own projects, it has also contributed work for additional films and TV programs, such as The Walking Dead (2010) and Black Panther (2018).

Perry is the godfather of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter, Lilibet Diana. The Duke and Duchess honored Perry this way after he came to their aid in early 2020, providing their family with a private plane flight and a secure place to stay during the early days of the covid pandemic, after they had stepped away from their royal duties and the royal family pulled the couple's security detail.

He has nothing to do with Those Two Guys from Aerosmith.

Tyler Perry's films:

TV Shows

  • Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2007-2012) – ran for 254 episodes, surpassing The Jeffersons for the longest run, as measured by episodes, by a black sitcom.note  (Several black sitcoms, including The Jeffersons, have had longer runs when measured by seasons.)
  • Meet the Browns (2009-2011)
  • For Better or Worse (2011-2017)
  • The Haves and the Have Nots (2013-2021)
  • Love Thy Neighbor (2013-2017)
  • If Loving You Is Wrong (2014-2020)
  • Too Close to Home (2016-)
  • Tyler Perry's Young Dylan (2020-)

Tyler Perry's works contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Author Appeal: Majority of his works are influenced by his faith and they are filled with Baptist Christian influences.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Jokes on prison rape, most prominently in Madea Goes to Jail.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Another staple in Perry's plays, nearly to the point of Running Gag. Madea has been known to stop giving lines and fuss at people who came to the play late in character. There are also points where Perry will go off script and point out that they are in a play.
    Vienne: Madea, go upstairs to your room and close the door!
    Madea: Girl, dis a play, there ain't no room and no door! (cue audience and cast laughter)
  • Broken Bird: Many of his heroines.
  • Catchphrase: His character, Madea, has a few of them:
    • "Hellurrrr!"
    • "I ain't scared of no po po, call the po po ho, CALL DA PO PO HO!"
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Usually centered around Madea's violent tendencies and belief in corporal punishment.
  • Cool Old Lady: Tyler’s character Madea most certainly counts.
  • Darker and Edgier: Boo 2! A Madea Halloween is this compared to its predecessor. Instead of having Madea scaring the fraternity students into going to jail for their recklessness, she goes to a haunted campsite to retrieve her grandchild and her grandchild's friend from being killed by a serial killer. It turns out that it was Brian, his friend and two women that he hired to place the petting zoo earlier in the film staged the serial killer stunt. Unlike the first film, Madea had no involvement with the situation and ended up falling victim to the setup. In addition, there was also a killer in the campsite that was revealed to be real at the end of the film.
  • Darkest Hour: One in every play, and if Madea hasn't been in the play since the start, this is where she generally shows up.
  • Death of a Child: In For Colored Girls, Crystal's two young children are killed by their father because his PTSD-fueled delusions have led him to believe that the children aren't his and that this was the reason why Crystal refuses to marry him. He drops them from the sixth-floor of their apartment building.
  • Deep South: Most of his films take place in Atlanta, and several jokes are made about Madea's Southern black accent ("Good mornting!" "Hallelujer!").
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Madea loves to do this to anyone who is rude to her. Good examples are in Big Happy Family when she destroys a window of a restaurant to get her food because of the manager being rude to her. Another one is Goes to Jail when she tows and destroys a woman's car because the lady not only took her parking spot, but she was rude to Madea as well.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: One of the biggest criticisms against Perry's plays. He toned it down in the films. However, in the film version of Why Did I Get Married?, a scene of Marcus choking Angela is Played for Laughs. The purpose of this scene is to probably negate the complaining.
  • Dramedy: Most of his sitcoms are this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: His movies tend to be advertised as being about Madea and her wacky hijinks. In reality, she usually serves as simple comic relief in otherwise heavy dramas.
  • Oscar Bait:
    • His adaptations of Push and For Colored Girls.... Succeeded the first time.
    • Although in the case of Precious (the adaptation of Push), the film had already been finished, screened, and reviewed by the time he had signed on as Executive Producer. He had no input on the actual film, but his name recognition (along with that of Oprah Winfrey) allowed it to get a better theatrical distribution deal.
  • Rags to Riches: He had a rough childhood and was abused by his father, was molested as a child, and was homeless for a period of time. He now is rated by Forbes magazine as being the sixth highest paid man in Hollywood, and his movies have grossed more than $400 million worldwide.
  • Rape as Backstory: In most of Perry's works, there is at least one character that went through some form of sexual abuse or assault in the past. Heavily implied to be a part of his own history during his struggling days.
  • Rape as Drama: A consistent theme in Perry's movies is the trauma women suffer from sexual violence and how a loving relationship and faith in God can bring spiritual healing.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Madea has this attitude.
  • Series Fauxnale: Perry claimed that Family Funeral would be the final Madea film, though the actual finale for the character was the subsequent play Madea's Farewell, which was later televised. As it turns out, though, Madea quickly returned with A Madea Homecoming, just three years after Family Funeral.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Most, if not all, of the female protagonists in his movies are this.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Somewhere in the middle. Perry tends to combine harsh black culture with genuine human heart and humor.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: Many of the movies are titled after Madea and are advertised as being about Madea, despite the fact that she is usually not the main character.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Perry's films are not exactly progressive when it comes to women's issues. Any woman who steps out of the role of mother and homemaker or pursues a career instead of family is always punished by the narrative.
  • Team Mom: Madea always serves as these in both the films and plays.
  • Token White: This video lovingly parodies the five white characters in any given Perry film.
    • Subverted in Witness Protection, where the main character is white and his family play big roles.
  • Writer on Board: A lot of these films are his biases, and things taken from his life.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Madea initially. Over the years, Perry has begun to focus less on Madea, even if her name is still in the title.
  • You Look Familiar : Tyler Perry often reuses many of the actors from his previous works in new shows, movies, and stage plays that he makes. He has said he does this because he likes to give the actors and actresses who work with him a chance to play many different diverse roles in different types of works.

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