“Martin,” premiered on Fox in 1992. The cast included; “Martin” Lawrence, Tisha Campbell (Gina), Tichina Arnold (Pam), Carl Anthony Payne II (Cole), and the late Thomas Mikal Ford.
Martin show went beyond the screen and defined an era of Black culture. It was a cultural force that gave an honest and refreshing view of the Black experience. Unfortunately, the sitcom ended in 1997 due to a rift between Lawrence and Campbell. She accused Lawrence of sexual harassment offset. Nonetheless, both have since come to terms and resolved. “We worked really hard to reconnect, to forgive,” Campbell told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings.
Martin Lawrence’s career was much praised, so his hit ’90s sitcom “Martin” remains relevant to date. He and the surviving cast of the adored comedy series reunited for a 30th-anniversary special centered on the show’s start and growth. This was to celebrate the show’s long-lasting success. The reunion was executive produced by Lawrence, Robert Lawrence, Rae Proctor, and Stacy Lyles through his company Run Tel Dat Entertainment.
Lawrence and his co-stars Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, and Carl Anthony Payne II had an interview with The Associated Press. Here, Lawrence yelled out with enthusiasm. “We’re sitting here three decades in, baby.” He called his show’s impact on black pop culture a “blessing.” Martin also spoke of Thomas Ford, who died in 2016. “It’s a void. He is most definitely missed,” he said. “We love him so much. May he Rest in Peace.” With emotion, Lawrence called Ford a “true spiritual brother” and recalled a time he asked Ford to open for him at a stand-up show.
Tisha Campbell stated her gratitude for filming the reunion special. She said that the show’s popularity, even after decades, amazed her. “When people still pay homage or revere this show, that does it for me,” Campbell said. “I grew up watching ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Brady Brunch.’ I used to think,’ That’ll probably never happen to a Black show,’ but it happened.” Carl Anthony Payne shared that belief by adding that ‘Martin’ left an influential mark on their generation and others “coming after us.”
‘Martin’ embraced and influenced black music. The show entertained a few in the black music industry. They include rapper Snoop Dogg and R&B singer Brian McKnight who, being fans of the show, we’re happy to play roles in it. According to the cast, Singer Maxwell’s song “Sumthin’ Sumthin’” was ‘Martin’ inspired.
Martin has had a lasting impression on the Black community, according to the CEO OF BET, Scott Mills. “Martin is one of the most beloved sitcoms in our community, both because it is hugely entertaining and because it played a pivotal role in changing the narrative of Black voices in entertainment and culture through the portrayal of young, ambitious Black leads and healthy Black relationships,” he said. “Decades later, that representation is still just as important, which is why we’re so excited to honor a series that put Black culture front and center on our platform that embraces Black culture every day.”