Legendary Comedians: Martin Lawrence

Introduction By @TrueGodImmortal 
-Some comedians are praised for films. Some praised for stand up. And some are praised for TV. Very rarely are they praised for all three. One comedian that received high praise for all three is Martin Lawrence. Over nearly 30 years now, Martin has entertained us in starring and significant roles in movies, television, and a set of stand up specials that were quite big. Today, we look back at his career and reflect on his best moments as well as some of his missteps. Without further adieu, let's get into it.

Martin Lawrence as a comedian can be classified as an acquired taste. Not everybody will appreciate his style and that's to be expected. His sitcom, Martin, is one that I can watch without ever growing tired of it. Whenever there's a marathon, you can guarantee I'll be right there tuned in like it's my first time watching.

Martin got his start like many comedians do - on a small stage. His authenticity and raunchiness made an avenue for him. As an actor, I remember his early role in the House Party installments. While he wasn't the star, he added that pinch of seasoning that was needed to make the movie good.

I believe he shined the brightest in Martin. He played multiple characters and had the perfect cast. It was reflective of the generation with timeless material. My favorite episode? Chilligan's Island. "That ain't no damn puppy"! That scene always leaves me in tears!

Martin again played a feature role in Boomerang alongside Eddie Murphy. It wasn't as significant as the role he would play as Claude in the movie Life. Again, he partnered with Eddie Murphy as two city boys wrongfully sentenced to life in prison in Mississippi. I prefer his role in Life over who he played in the Bad Boys installments.

When it comes to his movies, Martin's hit or miss. While I loved It's a Thin Line Between Love and Hate, Black Knight never happened in my mind. That's the way Hollywood works. You have to take the good with the bad. But Martin has positioned himself as one of the most talented comedians in the game.

Martin is still my favorite comedian of all time. His career spans for 2 decades and he's brought us many classics(and some flops). His self titled sitcom is still top 5 greatest of all time. The longevity speaks for itself as we have all seen these episodes countless times and still laugh. His movies such as the Bad Boys series and Blue Streak are classics. His Def Comedy Jam stand ups are still crazy to this day. Unfortunately, due to his drug use you can notice the decline in him more these days. The forgettable show Partners with Kelsey Grammar showed Martin as a shell of himself, which kinda hurts from a fan perspective. All in all, I wish him well for future endeavors, like the 2 new Bad Boys films that are on the way.

It’s not easy to develop the ability to make people laugh all the time, or to constantly be expected to add humor to serious topics, and it’s even more difficult to do this day after day, year after year for 28 years, but Martin Lawrence definitely perfected this ability. Since 1988, he’s been in front of the screen in some way and throughout the years has truly brought entertainment, feel good comedy, and most of all an abundance of laughter. Not only has Martin been an actor, he’s also been a producer, a writer and even a director. These endeavors make for a very extensive catalogue, and although the talent is there, I feel like Martin has been type-casted, as he sort of always plays the same type of role, a short-fused, always annoyed, loud family man turned cop who brings humor through his over exaggerated reactions and responses. Regardless I enjoy watching his movies, stand-ups and sitcoms. Here are my most favorite and the most notable, in my opinion.

Of course I’m going to say Bad Boys, I loved this movie franchise, and although I liked the first one largely because of Will Smith, the sequel was largely because of Marcus Burnett. We got so used to seeing Martin Lawrence in this role as a rough around the edges, often annoyed, no patience cop that in the sequel it was hilarious to see the things that happened to him. From the first scene of getting “shot in the ass” to mistakenly taking the E pills, Martin did a great job of lightening up and having some fun. As a viewer it was great to see he could step out of his comfort zone and show slight range in his acting.

I know everyone loves “Big Momma’s House” and with good reason, both the first and second were great, but they weren’t exceptional movies to me so I never really got into it like that, but I did love his stand up comedies. He did “You So Crazy” in 1994 and “Runteldat” in 2002/2003. These are easily my favorite projects he’s done. His personality is great, his crude humor is on point and his delivery is just so natural. He had the entire audience engaged and between the two he addressed pretty much every topic you would expect: women, sex, media, racism, Bin Laden, Morgan Freeman, his impersonation of white people and everything about them was beyond funny to me! Again, it doesn’t really surprise me, I’m a huge fan of stand up and Martin does this flawlessly. Personally, I think this is where he shines the most.

I can’t end this without mentioning the show “Martin”. This was a television staple. This would be the longest consecutive run he would have on TV. It was on for 5 years and quickly became a favorite and a classic. His relationship with Gina was GREAT. Their dynamic and chemistry is still referred to and mentioned 19 years later after the show's end. Personally, I don’t feel the show would have had the same impact and success had without Martin Lawrence. He really did carry the show. Everything about it was fantastic.

As much as Martin Lawrence is type-casted as a “detective/cop” with a rough-around-the-edges style of humor in what seems to be EVERY movie he’s been in since the end of his sitcom, he is still great and still appreciated. He brings a personality and humor that isn’t quite like anyone else and seems to work perfectly for the roles he’s given. None of his movies are that spectacular, but they are consistent. Will he ever win notable awards? No, of course not, but you can absolutely expect that every movie/show he’s in will be enjoyable and definitely get some laughs.

Outro By @TrueGodImmortal
-Martin personally is one of all time favorite comedians for a few reasons. While his films are hit or miss, he's been consistent in most of them even when the rest of the film didn't hit the mark. My first introduction to Martin was in House Party. I was extremely entertained by his role as Bilal and being that Boomerang is one of my favorite movies of all time, watching him alongside Eddie Murphy and David Alan Grier was amazing. Martin would shine bright in his stand up You So Crazy, but it's been said his strong suit isn't really in stand up comedy when compared to his work in television and some films. I beg to slightly differ as his first stand up was raunchy and aggressive while his second stand up Runteldat was more so the same, but also carried a bit of wisdom with it. Both were enjoyable.

Now, when talking Martin, of course you have to mention his epic self titled show, which stands as the best sitcom of all time to me and my all time favorite show period. This show only lasted 5 seasons, but its replay value and hilarity are timeless. I can still watch it and quote it today easily. Needless to say, despite Martin the TV Show being a classic, Martin's film roles have been horrible since the 2000s began. Big Momma’s House 1, 2, and especially 3 were either middle of the road or just downright terrible, Black Knight might be the worst movie known to man, Rebound is the most unintentionally hilarious and horrible film, and the list goes on and on. The closest he got to making something good in the 2000s was National Security and Bad Boys 2.

As far as his 90's films, Martin was flawless damn near as Blue Streak, Life, A Thin Line Between  Love and Hate, Bad Boys, and Nothing To Lose are all classics. Martin had the world on lock in the 90's. That's something legendary. With Bad Boys 3 and a new stand up tour underway, it looks as if a Martin comeback is due. Stay tuned.



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