August 27th, 1992, marked the premiere of an episode entitled, Beauty and the Beast, the first episode to introduce Martin Payne, Gina Waters, Pamela James, Tommy Strawn, and Cole Brown in the classic, Fox sitcom Martin. Here, Martin gets into some hot water with his girlfriend over some misogynistic comments on his radio show; the first of many ups and downs, hilarious antics and relationship tests that would still be celebrated 25 years later. Martin Lawrence introduced many classic lines, keen fashion moments, and unforgettable characters that influenced a generation of comedy and culture. The show also had the hook up for many guest appearances and music moments including some from the talented cast. Check out my top ten music moments from the sitcom below including Little Richard, Jodeci and a young Andre 3000 and Big Boi.
Rest In Peace to Thomas Mikal Ford
10. Gina and Pam’s Patti LaBelle Fiasco
(Blow, Baby, Blow / Season 4, Ep. 3)
Martin’s friends are in the singing mood when they find out the Notorious B.I.G is in town and he’s looking for backup singers. Gina and Pam, who both are talented singers, decide to audition and perform the same Patti LaBelle song which causes major problems.
9. Gina and Keith Washington’s Duet
(Woman with a Past / Season 1, Ep. 8)
Martin is uneasy when he finds out that Gina’s ex boyfriend, R&B singer Keith Washington, is in town. He is even more uneasy when Keith and Gina share a duet of, The Closer I Get to You, right in front of him.
8. Little Richard, The King of Exterminators
(Three Men and a Mouse/ Season 1, Ep. 12)
Only the real know him as the King of Rock n Roll but in this episode he’s the King of exterminating mice. He is the legend, the founder, and the inventor of…Raid! He never received credit for it, they gave it to the exterminator from the south *cough *elvis *cough. In the end, the little mousey he is supposed to kill is too much for him so he decides to pursue a career in something that will suit him well.
7. Martin Crashes Jodeci’s Set
(Hollywood Swinging . Part 2 / Season 2, Ep. 12)
When Martin get’s played by superstar Varnell Hill, he decides the only way to get his attention is to crash Hill’s guest performance by the R&B group, Jodeci. Fun fact: K-Ci and JoJo revealed in an interview that they had no clue Martin was coming out on stage and they were surprised and pissed.
(All the Players Came / Season 3, Ep. 18)
Before their multiple Grammy wins and number one albums, the iconic group Outkast performed their first single, Player’s Ball, at the extravagant, Players Ball. Martin was ahead of his time choosing the young group to perform especially since some of hip hop world weren’t too accepting of the newcomers.
5. Tommy Davidson as Varnell Hill
(Hollywood Swinging . Part 1 / Season 2, Ep. 11)
Did you miss me? Tommy Davidson as former WZUP radio host turned T.V. show host, Varnell Hill caused many laughs including Martin Lawrence who broke character in a scene. What was more hilarious was his little song about…saving children, I think? All of it was a bit confusing but it was funny and Davidson could actually sing!
4. Baby Face Sings at The Payne’s Wedding
(Love Is A Beach / Season 3, Ep. 27)
After leaving their chaotic family behind to get married, Martin and Gina end their bad luck of wedding day mishaps with a beautiful ceremony and a performance from Baby Face who sang a rendition of, You Are So Beautiful. Why did they have to cue the montage?! *tears
3. Brian McKnight
(Love Is In Your Face . Part 2 / Season 2, Ep. 19)
Martin pops the big question, all with help of his friends and Brian McKnight who sings, Never Felt this Way.
2. Reverend Leon Lonnie Love
(Check Lies and Videotapes / Season 1, Ep. 27)
Martin and Gina want to get to the bottom of why Mrs. Payne is borrowing money from everyone. They are led to Pam’s scamming cousin, Pastor Leon Lonnie Love and his elaborate performance of, Everythang’s Gonna Be Alright. The pastor leads his choir in a energetic performance; Moonwalk and Cabbage patch included. I can assume there were many takes of this hilarious scene; Grier let’s out a little laugh at :29 sec.
1. Biggie Performs One More Chance (Remix)
(Blow, Baby, Blow / Season 4, Ep. 3)
After enduring a day of non-stop singing and rapping from Martin’s friends, Biggie ends the episode with his hit, One More Chance (Remix), on Martin’s Television show, Word on the Street.
What were some of you’re favorite music moments from the classic sitcom?