Julien Neaves – Editor
After a decade and a half we finally have a third entry in buddy cop action series Bad Boys with the recently released Bad Boys for Life. Now I’m not here to talk about the movie (I ain’t seen it yet but I plan to) but rather one of its stars Martin Lawrence.
We haven’t seen a major role from Lawrence in a while (let’s just pretend those Big Momma sequels never happened) so it’s cool to see him back in the limelight. And seeing him again reminded me what he is most famous for outside of the action franchise and hosting Def Comedy Jam – his eponymous sitcom series that ran from 1992-1997. In the series he not only played the titular Martin Payne but a slew of other comedic characters. And for this list we will be counting down eight of his best characters, as well as two other supporting characters. Here we go:
#10 Elroy Preston
If you don’t know the King of Black Surf Music then you don’t know no good. Don’t you know no good? Elroy only had the one song but that wouldn’t stop him from singing it over and over and over again.
#9 Bob (from marketing)
Bob just wanted to find a rad party, talk his frat boy lingo and show off his white-boy dance moves. So when next you’re having a shindig you should think “What about Bob?”
#8 Edna (Mama) Payne
When Mama Payne wasn’t gossiping with her friends she was haranguing Gina (Tisha Campbell-Martin) for being a “modern woman” who don’t know nothing about taking care of her baby. And her best scenes were with her throwing shade at Martin’s wife.
#7 Hustle Man
We’ve all met a “Hustle Man” at some point in our lives. He’s the kind of guy who would pick flowers from your yard and then try to sell you them for Valentine’s Day. Played by future comedy star Tracy Morgan, it was always fun to see what hare-brained sales pitch Hustle Man would come up with next.
If you had a child like Roscoe you would seriously consider putting him up for adoption. He’s rude, shows up out of nowhere, frequently threatens to beat up Gina and he runs various schemes like a mini-Hustle Man. One time he turned Gina’s apartment into a kiddie casino. Snatty-nose little bastard.
Not to be confused with Hustle Man, Bruh Man (Reginald Ballard) is the worst kind of neighbour. Imagine waking up at 3 am and there is a guy in your kitchen eating a “samwich.” Or you come home early from work and he is there watching your TV. That’s Bruh-Man. And what is he doing? Nuthen, just chillin’.
#4 Sheneneh Jenkins
While this outspoken salon owner may be the best known of the Martin characters, I would argue that she is not the funniest. Sure it is great to watch Sheneneh trade taunts with Gina and Pam (Tichina Arnold) but her ghetto girl shtick feels incredibly dated now. It’s still good for a couple laughs though.
#3 Dragonfly Jones
Karate “master” Dragonfly Jones may be one of Martin’s simpler characters but he was among the most amusing. His overconfidence and complete lack of martial arts skills were a hilarious combination, and a wonderful way for Lawrence to display his physical comedy skills. Still don’t believe me? Si-lence! Si-lence!
There’s a guy from my church named Jerome and every time I see him I think “Jerome’s in da house! I say Jerome’s in da house!” This wannabe pimp (Jerome from Martin, not Jerome from my church) looks like something the 70s threw up. While Dragonfly Jones was convinced he was a karate master, Jerome was convinced that he was God’s gift to women. Spoiler alert – he was not. I remember he once told a woman in a club “You’re name’s gotta be jelly because jam don’t shake like that.” Classic Jerome.
#1 Old Otis
While revisiting these characters no one made me laugh more than Old Otis. This overweight, cantankerous and violent security guard was a real hoot. If he gave you an order you better follow it or Boy he will whoop your a$$. One time two gangsters were holding Gina and Pam hostage and they underestimated Old Otis. They got whoop so bad their grandchildren felt it. Don’t nobody mess with Old Otis.
So who’s your favourite Martin character? And if you enjoyed this trip down memory lane how about a share? Sharing is caring.
For my Top 5 Chappelle’s Show Characters you can click here.
Julien Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel but dreams of being Batman. Also loves creating board games and is an aspiring Caribbean sci-fi author. Says things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”.