“Martin” The Show Was Great, But Martin Payne The Character Was Trash » VSB

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“Martin” The Show Was Great, But Martin Payne The Character Was Trash

Hey you! Yeah you over there. Are you sitting down? If so, great! Stay sitting down. If not might I suggest you find a nice comfy lumbar-supporting transcendental meditation cushion and commence to sitting your ass all the way the hell down because I’m about to drop a truth bomb on your said seated asses. 

You ready?

Okay, here goes…

Martin Payne, the beloved character from actor-comedian Martin Lawrence’s hit show of the same name, is garbage. Bag him up, put one of those little twist-ties on him, and sit him out at the curb because the man is trash. Yes, the man who made, “Oh my goodness”, “Jerome in the house” and my personal favorite, “Don’t be alarmed, we’re Negroes.” famous played the most trash character ever in the history of Black television. And I’m including Lamont of “Sanford and Son” fame.

Also, note that I am not referring to any of the other characters that Lawrence played on Martin. I think most of us can agree that Otis was comedy cold. But Martin Payne? Yeah, he was actually the worst part of his own show. 

Why? Well…

1. Because “Wazzup, Wazzup, Waaaaaazzzzuuuuuppppp”

Is there anything more early to mid-nineties than hearing Martin Lawrence screech his most popular catchphrase every 7.4 minutes on camera? I’ll admit that initially, before Martin ran it into the ground, I chuckled at it through the first half of season one. “Wazzup!” was a joke of diminishing returns, however. I don’t care if Payne’s radio show was on a station called WZUP. That radio show was basura and you know it. You know what would have been “wazzup”? Basically anything else. Twenty-two minutes of nothing but the City of Detroit b-roll would have been more wazzup than “Wazzup!” Shea butter on ashy Hotep ankles is wazzup. You know what’s not wazup? Screaming in people’s faces. Cut it out and use your inside voice, Marty-Mar.

2. Because “Get to steppin, insert your name here!”

What kind of narcissistic sociopath throws a party, invites their dear friends over for food and drink, and then proceeds to emotionally abuse them by kicking each person out before their car engines can even cool off? Martin Payne, that’s who. One of Martin’s favorite gags was pulling the social rug out from underneath his friends nearly every episode, lulling Pam, Cole, and Tommy into a false sense of security and then flipping the script quite ceremoniously whilst reneging on the very invitation he had so disingenuously extended in the first place. Martin would seemingly fly off of the handle at the smallest infraction. Then it was all, “I know you drove all the way from across town and brought out your good fake fur for this but get to steppin’, Stan and Myra!

No wonder Bruhman used to sneak in from the fifth flo. Can’t get kicked out if nobody knows you’re there.

3. Because “Not my mamma’s biscuits!”

I recently went back and rewatched the episode where Martin’s live-in, long-suffering girlfriend Gina Waters attempts to seduce her man with a plate of raisin-butter biscuits from his mother. Although Ms. Payne was rude 10/10 times, audiences loved her theatrical pre-Madea antics and “not my mama’s biscuits” is still my go-to reaction whenever I’m having a bad day. Ms. Payne’s relationship with her son and the horrific way she treated Gina, god bless her lighskinneded heart, were a different story, however. No woman was ever good enough for Ms. Payne and sadly Martin could never see how evil his mamma really was, opting to side with his mother at every turn. Mama Payne and Martin’s almost oedipal codependency was always the worst part of any season and made viewers question why Gina chose to stay with a man who would always put another woman before her. Martin’s inability to stick up for his woman and stand up to his enabling mamma is just another reason why Martin Payne was the weakest link of his own show.  

4. Because “Yes, Gina. I will marry you. Damn! Are you happy now?”

After fifty-eleven long seasons of waiting with baited breath, audiences were finally treated to the proposal that almost wasn’t. Every Black kid who grew up watching Martin remembers where they were when Martin finally popped the question to Gina and proved to America that Black love does still exist. We conveniently forget that the proposal only came after Martin bungled his relationship with Gina so badly that it caused her to leave him after suffering so much embarrassment and heartbreak. No woman wants to feel like she’s forcing a marriage on a man unready to commit. Gina was a catch and Martin nearly missed the boat. And no, Brian McKnight guest- starring to help Martin with his mulligan does not negate that garbage. Nope. Nawl. Nein.

5. Because “Beedeebees!”

Lest we all forget, Pam was Gina’s best friend, and Martin was projecting his own racial self-hatred onto his girlfriend’s best friend every episode. How was this cool? Even for the mid-nineties. How did Gina just shrug this off every episode? What kind of friend was she? Okay, okay okay. I hear you saying, “But Pam was dishing out as good as she could take it. She called Martin short all the time!” First off, this is a false equivalency. Calling a man that is taunting you “short” when he is in fact short is not the same as going out of your way at every turn to humiliate your so-called friend for being too promiscuous, having hair that’s too “nappy” and intimating that her more Afrocentric-looking features made her a man or worse an animal. You can disagree with me and then you can fight me on the schoolyard because ish is not the same.

They say hate is the other side of love so it was quite possible all of that hate came from a latent desire to smash because I mean, come on… datass… but alas viewers were left with episode after episode of a Black man berating and ridiculing a Black woman in much the same way the world does and other than that one time he called Pam “Ripley’s Be-Weave-It-Or-Not” I didn’t laugh once.  

Okay, maybe twice.

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Jordan Kauwling

Jordan Kauwling is an early thirties Philadelphian but she tells everyone she’s in her late thirties because she doesn’t understand how math works. When she’s not busy writing, singing, eating all the falafel or unsuccessfully finishing another craft project you can catch her talking junk on Twitter.

  • Sigma_Since 93
  • Sigma_Since 93

    Q: “What kind of narcissistic sociopath
    throws a party, invites their dear friends over for food and drink, and
    then proceeds to emotionally abuse them by kicking each person out
    before their car engines can even cool off?”

    A: George Jefferson, Archie Bunker, and Eddie Murphy’s Daddy

    • Digital_Underground

      I’d add Carl Winslow, Al Bundy, and most of the TV characters from that time. Particularly the male ones. But Rosanne could have given Martin a run for his money. This was TV from that era. I think it appealed to the jaded nature of Gen X. It was hilarious to me. I guess its out of style now.

      • rhymeswithbrucelee

        I HATED that type of television. It represented men as moronic

        • Digital_Underground

          For comedy to work usually there has to be something absurd in the mix. If everyone is trying to be respectfully represented you end up with a show like “Reed Between the Lines”. It tried so hard to present a functional and professional Black couple that show was boring.

          By contrast Black-ish works because Dre and his mom are the absurd characters. Tracey Ellis Ross basically plays the same character she played in “Reed”. But that character works so much better when pitted against the over the top characters on Black-ish.

          I think comedy needs moronic elements.

          • I LOVE Blackish!!!

          • dmcmillian72

            I think Tracey Ellis Ross’ character in Blackish can be equally absurd as Dre’s and his Mom’s sometimes…to a hilarious extent. Now that’s a show that does comedy really well.

        • Cleojonz

          Have a you watched a commercial lately? They still portray- and this is particularly true of dads – as hapless, clueless and hopeless lol.

          • rhymeswithbrucelee

            Yes I have, and I hate those too

          • YvMaria

            As with many cartoons, The Simpsons, Family Guy, to name a few.

    • LogicalLeopard

      Don’t forget Uncle Phil. Oh wait, she mentioned invited, didn’t she? Nevermind…

      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Sk0JwqQXZw4/UWdSO_qDsVI/AAAAAAAAAKo/AH0c9TLNs3U/s1600/jazzy_jeff-1319648566+2.gif

      • Digital_Underground

        RIP to James Avery. I loved him as Uncle Phil. Whenever Jazz walked in with his wanna be dashiki shirt on you knew he was getting thrown out at some point in the episode.

        • LogicalLeopard

          *LOL* Exactly!

      • charisma_supreme

        Thank you for your donation

    • NoPlaysOff

      Was thinking the same thing as I read this.

    • LaLaMeans

      “Eddie Murphy’s Daddy”

      Yes! “This is my house Lill, if you don’t like it you can get the f*** out”

      My favorite part of Delirious and Raw were the dad jokes.

  • Yahmo Bethere

    I always felt like the only person who didn’t find him picking on dark-skinned Pam to be funny.

    • LadiDD

      Yeah after watching a few reruns I kinda got annoyed.

      Also, why Pam, the dark skinned one, had a stank attitude too while Gina is calm reasonable one???

      • Yeah…

      • Minx

        *whispers* Colourism and the Angry Black Woman Trope…

    • TJ

      As I’ve gotten older, it really bothered me. It’s always the show from the childhood you watch as an adult and see how effed up it was.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        What show isn’t like that? Bugs Bunny was talking about p o r n and we laughed and laughed. Ralph was always talking about sending Alice to the moon. just sayin

        • Quirlygirly

          I did not like the HoneyMooners or I Love Lucy. I did not find them funny But did laugh at the racist sexist WB cartoons.

        • Digital_Underground

          The great irony of it all is the only show that would stand up today’s criticism would probably be The Cosby Show.

          • JustGiveIn

            Read Stamped from the Beginning. The Cosby Show was some assimilationist b.s.

            • Digital_Underground

              And that’s the interesting part of this. The least offensive shows go hand in hand with the respectability politics many say they hate. “Martin” and other shows were the anti-Cosbys for the very fact they were offensive.

              People have to decide how they want it. You can’t want edgy with no offensiveness. That doesn’t compute.

          • King Beauregard

            You ever read the lost episode of “The Cosby Show”? It’s definitely worth the 15 minutes or so it takes to go through it …

            http://thelostcosbyshowepisode.blogspot.com/

            • Madame Zenobia

              Well damn. Go on that brotha, for real. That took b@lls.

            • Yay Radley

              Stopped reading at “Now do you know how seldom first names with apostrophe’s appear on university diplomas?”

              • King Beauregard

                Don’t stop reading too soon, because the whole thing starts off as a regular boilerplate episode just to lull Cosby into a false sense of security. By the end it’s … well it’s something.

              • Yay Radley

                Started back reading…I knew this would only anger me further.

                • King Beauregard

                  I’m sorry. If you don’t like the thrust of things by the bottom of page 16, it’s not for you.

                  • Yay Radley

                    Oh, by page 16 it THOROUGHLY redeemed itself. I heart this man so hard, and I want to know what name he is currently working under in Hollywood so I can support all of this works. ALL OF THEM.

                    • King Beauregard

                      Yay!

                      Gotta love how pages 1-14 must have lulled Cosby into a false sense of security. Masterful work!

            • orchid921

              Oh. My. Goodness. Is that REAL?!!

              • King Beauregard

                To my knowledge it is real. Per the Web site, the script was written precisely to pss Cosby off, and it succeeded; it never got filmed but that was never the intention anyway.

    • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

      Not just you. One of reasons I couldn’t be a regular watcher.

      • LadiDD

        He basically called her a dog.

        Which I never understood because Pam is gorgeous. Martin came across as one of those fucc boi that liked the girl, but was rejected so now he’s extra salty and extra mean.

        But still wants her.

        • Valerie

          Pam had hips. Pam had style. Pam had jokes. And I liked Pam’s hair.

        • Blueberry01

          “Martin came across as one of those fucc boi that liked the girl, but was rejected so now he’s extra salty and extra mean.”

          Where is Iyanla?

    • Val

      I’ve always wondered if I was the only one who didn’t find Sheneneh Jenkins funny? Felt too much like mocking.

      • Yahmo Bethere

        You ain’t the only one! They always put on that dress.

      • KeyBrad

        Way over the top!

      • Cleojonz

        I HATED Sheneneh. She was just too much. I also didn’t like that snotty nosed kid.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Yes, and yes. The other characters though, gold!

        • Brother Mouzone

          Did you ever notice that those two characters had the exact same voice?

          • Cleojonz

            You’re right! They did!

    • Brother Mouzone

      Pam was dark? We need to have another COLOR SPECTRUM post.

      • Blueberry01

        Compared to Gina she was, but in actuality she was brown

    • Blueberry01

      Where is your avi from?

  • Ess Tee

    I think number 5 gets at what the trend had been for lord knows how long. I was just thinking the other day* about how Sharane on House Party was seen as the fast one while Sidney (Tisha Campbell) was seen as the more respectable girl. I have to think that colorism played a role there as it did with Gina and Pam in Martin.

    *Yes, I actually was thinking about House Party because it’s been too long since i last watched it lol.

    • JennyJazzhands

      That’s in every show. The light skin girl is the savior who can do no wrong and the dark skin girl is the problem, drug addict, or can’t have a relationship like everyone else. Look at every show on tv. Empire: Tasha plays the can’t get right drug addicted sister, taraji has it all together. But even they play 2nd fiddle to every white and Latina woman on the show who actually gets to be married or engaged. Greenleaf: The light skinned sister is going to save the city, both dark skinned women are being cheated on. Even the dark skinned daughter has a drug problem while the light one is the innocent lamb. The proud family: Dijonay. Need I go on?

      • Lex

        I agree with this. See also: Lisa’s sister in Coming to America.

        • JennyJazzhands

          Exactly. Almost every show follows this. That’s why as a chocolate girl it was nice to see lisa turtle be the spoiled princess on saved by the Bell and aja (can’t think of her characters name) be the high maintenance brat on how to get away with murder.

          • Brother Mouzone

            Lisa Turtle? Ya’ll views of dark and light are throwing me off here.

            • JennyJazzhands

              Anybody that matches or exceeds the darkness of a brown paper bag is considered dark, especially in the south. I’m the color of lisa turtle and I was called darkie, blackie, mud/dirt in my childhood. In my adulthood it’s chocolate drop, sessy chocolate and “you’re so pretty for a dark skinned girl”.
              lisa has taken a few pictures where it looks like she might be lighter (lack of sun, wrong foundation, etc) but she’s a good brown.

      • Medium Meech

        I have to disagree slightly. Boomerang, House Party, CB4, Boyz in the hood, the Inkwell, the Best Man, Soul Food. There were a lot of instances of darker sisters holding it down and lighter sisters being the off brand. But Coming to America… I can’t vouch for that one.

        • JennyJazzhands

          There are a lot of examples but it’s not the majority.

      • Brandon Allen

        You right but…Taraji is light? And has it all together? Compared to Tasha?

        • JennyJazzhands

          Compared to Tasha and Vivica. Of the three Tasha just so happens to be the darkest.

          • Brandon Allen

            I mean I gave up after 1.2 seasons but at first Taraji was a jailbird and Tasha was just an regular person with a family. Guess they drugged her out tho…

            • JennyJazzhands

              They definitely drugged her out and implied that she always had that problem. In flashbacks, they she their father telling taraji she’s the chosen one. He’s busting his back to send her and only her to Howard to be a doctor. The other sisters didn’t stand a chance. The boy taraji left for Terrance Howard was dark. They just play us out all the time. I made it through season 2 and the 1st few episodes of 3. (I wanted to see who fell off the ledge) but just couldn’t take anymore.

      • Wise Old Owl

        And how does Tyler Perry cast dark skin Black Men…always the abusers of mostly dark skin women and leaves them for an evil light skin women, but at the end, the Dark skin Sister is saved by a light skin blue collar Brother with abs…in 90% of Tyler Perry movies the Dark Skin Brother is evil, violent and abusive and in 95% of his movies, the Light Skin Brother is the perfect guy and savior….he can’t get that New Orleans out of him…always color casting…

        • wanderlust

          Not the case for Daddy’s Little Girls because IDRIS. Also how did I get married. Jill Scott’s love interest (not her husband , the other guy), was dark skinned. With that said, I can’t believe I’m defending Tyler Perry smh lol

          • Wise Old Owl

            What color was the thug on Daddy Little Girls…dark skin and Idris was a semi reformed rapists and thug…moreover, the Jil Scott husband, the darkest husband was the worse husband and abused her until she was saved by a blue collar brother, who was dark, but not as dark as her husband…I knew the Colorism deniers and TP defenders would name thone 2 films, that is why I said 90%…now name his films and characters were 5% of the light skin male characters are the bad guy and abusers of the Dark skin or overweight Black female character….

        • JennyJazzhands

          Very true. His whole cast always as awful wigs as well. (unrelated but still)

          • Wise Old Owl

            Yes, indeed….however, he has some defenders, who deny that he cast his movies and television shows based upon color stereotypes…

      • brothaskeeper

        Dijonay, though??

        • JennyJazzhands

          Am I lying?

          • brothaskeeper

            I detect none.

    • Valerie

      Sharane was me. I really liked her character lol

    • Madame Zenobia

      Add New York Undercover to that list too. Baby mama – dark skin & struggling. Fiance – light skint lawyer.

      • But that was my show.

        • Madame Zenobia

          I mean, it was the show… #butstilltho

        • Ess Tee

          Lowkey been waiting for that one to drop on Netflix or something too…

    • brothaskeeper

      Sidney was a tad fass herself, seeing as how she nearly did the dew with Kid THAT night in her sleigh bed. We had never seen Sharane bring a negroid all up and through her corner of the PJ’s.

      • Ess Tee

        Lol. Trueeee. But the perception was that Sidney was the good girl to crush on.

        • brothaskeeper

          Right. Me myself, I like a project chick.

    • Me

      I might’ve been too young for this analysis. My take on it was that Sharane was the confident popular girl (extrovert maybe), and Sydney was the lame (introvert maybe) that Kid settled for because he was a lame too (just trying to hard all the time). The only difference was that Kid was unaware of his lameness, but Sydney was aware and mopey about it.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    Not bad trolling. Needs a little more “sus” in the suspect though

  • Freebird

    Oh boy….
    Living Single is next.

    • TJ

      We do need more Living Single pieces on the Internets.

      • Freebird

        Truuuuuue. Kyle Barker was problematic.

        • Not Playin Witchu Piggy

          lets make this happen

          • Freebird

            I’m comfortable letting yall lead the way.

        • Not Playin Witchu Piggy

          he was KING Hotep

        • Epsilonicus

          Maxine was gorgeous though

          • Brother Mouzone

            In real life, she doesn’t like “your kind” if ya know what I mean.

            • Brother Mouzone

              Meaning she likes wydudes. I just realized that could have been interpreted differently…lol.

            • Epsilonicus

              Booooooooo!!!

      • Ess Tee

        First off, why isn’t Living Single offered on Netflix or Hulu or some such platform? It’s a travesty.

  • KeyBrad

    #4, I remember that..it was awful!

  • TJ

    Definitely a fuccboi. Definitely a forefather of fuccboi-ardry.

    That first proposal was TERRIBLE. Gina better than all of us.

    • Valerie

      He proposed to her like Gucci Mane did with Keyshia. HERE GURL

      • TJ

        Exactly!!!!

  • disagreeing with 5, for the reasoning you gave…pam stayed calling out martin’s dumbo ears and height challengement…imo the back and forth was equal (and i think off camera they were/are/still cool with each other)
    *drags himself to the corner*

    • Madame Zenobia

      My argument with that is, if you binge it you realize at some point Tichina Arnold must have pushed back against how he talked about her and wanted to stand up for herself. For the first season and a half she pretty much takes whatever he dishes out. Mid Season 2 is where she starts clapping back but initially she was pretty much a punching bag.

      • i’ll definitely admit i’m not a hardcore watcher, so something like that where after a certain amount of time they add in extra layers (like Pam snapping back) because they might have had that same convo, that it’s not fair that the character didn’t snap back..i could see that happening

        • Madame Zenobia

          I was home sick from work a few years back and decided to binge it. That’s how I noticed it, season one can be REALLY cringeworthy because of the things he says to her and her not saying anything back. But yeah, if you just watch sporadically you may not notice.

      • Brandon

        She claps back at Martin from jump. Very first episode she calls him out for what he says about Gina on the radio…then she clowns him for being insecure about Gina making more money than him I’m season 1….

        • RaeRae

          And she would roll up in HIS crib like it was her right. And would throw her hand in his face if he even looked like he wanted to protest.

          • Brandon

            Exactly..Pam’s character was never just a punching bag…from episode 1 she didn’t take sh** from anyone. She threw Cole in a headlock in the very 1st episode for coming at her wrong lol

    • Valerie

      Making fun of height and ears should not correlate to making fun of my skin color and hair texture doe lol

      • so there’s levels to the dissing?

        i mean no matter how reckless a short dude start talking, you snap on his height, that’s like talking on his skin colour, d*** size and IQ in one fell swoop

        jusssssss sayin

        luckily i just passed the threshold of being cracked on for my height…just barely

        • Valerie

          There are levels to dissing. I don’t call men short because I’m short myself. What I look like being all of 5 ft calling a man short? LOL

          • i totally agree smurfette ma’am

            • Valerie

              Smurfette was cute and always wore heels so I’ll allow it.

          • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

            As if people don’t make fun of short girls/women. I’m 5’0 and I got teased relentlessly until I was in my mid-twenties. You’d think height is a choice or point of character. Heck, I still get it now, just not as much.

            • Valerie

              My point was that short jokes don’t really bother me and I just don’t make fun of short men because I understand the struggle. I felt Martin’s character went too far sometimes off someone just calling him short lol

              • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

                I was agreeing with you, short jokes aren’t reserved for men, so while it’s a bigger deal for guys to be called short, Pam didn’t go after his race.

                • Valerie

                  Men are so sensitive lol. I don’t see how Pam stayed friends with sensitive Martin

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        The victimizer always trying to make rules for the victims.

        Once again the Pams of the world are going after the poor put upon Martins

        • Valerie

          Read my response to -h.h.h.- and the victim should not send for me if he does not want his feelings hurt.

  • Digital_Underground

    The biggest sin from “Martin” was that it was on two seasons too long. The first two seasons were great. After that it went downhill.

    • Brother Mouzone

      1,2, the best…3, still good….., 4, average..5, below average…after that, unwatchable.

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