Reruns of Martin will never, ever get old.
Regardless the number of installments Martin Lawrence chooses to shoot of Big Mama’s House, his place in entertainment history is already etched in stone. Nearly 15 years following the last episode of his now iconic ’90s sitcom, his legacy continues to thrive in syndication on networks like TVOne and MTV2. What was so addictive and unique about the show was that while Martin was hands down the main attraction, his co-stars (and other personalities) helped create an irreplaceable part of its DNA.
Without naming the usual cast (Gina, Pam, Tommy, Cole, Jerome, Otis, Dragonfly Jones, etc.), several other chracters had extraordinary roles, making the laughter endless and the memories timeless. Here are five who did not appear on every episode, but still managed to leave an unforgettable impact..
“BOUNCE ‘EM ON YA KNEE, THEN SING A MELODY!!”
1. Varnell Hill — In arguably the funniest set of back-to-back episodes in series history, Tommy Davidson matched Martin’s wit and energy – and even outshined him at times – as the overly cocky, yet grossly hilarious talk show host Varnell Hill. There’s not a person on Earth living that can convince me otherwise that the radio scene between the two wasn’t television platinum. Look close enough around the 3:35 mark and ol’ Marty-Mar himself can be seen attempting to hold his laughter in.
And when Martin crashed the set of Varnell’s talk show to interrupt the Jodeci performance? Man, listen. Better yet, just watch. Even if you’ve seen it a billion times already, you’re guaranteed to laugh just as hard.
“Go ask ya man if I got the part.” – Cole
2. The Notorious B.I.G. — Every time this episode airs, it’s almost surreal to watch. During his brief career, Biggie’s range outside of music was hardly discussed. Yet, his appearance on the show was entertaining and a reminder of how vibrant, yet reserved his New York demeanor was. B.I.G. appeared to be more than comfortable outside of the booth interacting with the various characters, even if he did have the luxury of playing himself.
This isn’t to say his career as a thespian would have been more successful than say, Pac’s, but there was potential. Unfortunately though, as with anything relating to Christopher Wallace, it’s all a big case of “what if” instead of “what was.”
“So wassup, chief? Tell me where I sign at cause a brother like me think it’s time to get paid.”
3. Hustle Man — Long before Tracy Morgan openly admitted to masturbating about Sarah Palin on live TV, Martin is where many first remember watching him. Whether he was planning Martin’s wedding or attempting to make it in the music industry, anytime “Hustle Man” made an appearance on the show, laughs weren’t far behind.
Bonus: And since we’re talking characters with the name “man,” we can’t forget the always straight to the point, “Angry Man.”
“Tuna? I don’t eat no damn tuna!”
4. Ms. Jerry — To be honest, I’m not even sure if it’s Gerry or Jerry. All I know is whenever she and Martin were in the same punching reach of one another, there would be no shortage of fireworks. Case in point, their run in at the DMV. Whatever happened to the sharp tounged ol’ lady after the show ended is foreign to me, but her place in history as the woman who whooped Martin’s ass each and every time out is solidifed.
And for that, I think we’re all better people in some way.
“Gina’s outta control! I’m outta control! This whole damn party’s outta control! Get down here, buddy! And leave your clothes at home!”
5. Bob From Marketing — Look, I’m well aware this was another one of Martin’s personas, but the show’s funniest “white boy” was my favorite one not named Dragonfly Jones. There’s just no other way around it. Bob should have been utilized in the show more often. His extremely over-the-top, in your face nature was status quo in comparison to damn near every other character, but if nothing else, the voice inflection made damn near everything he said something to laugh at. That and the above hotel scene remains a personal staple for the show’s premiere highlights.
I’m being serious however. Why this character was not used more often is one of the few lingering questions I’ll always have about Martin’s five year run.