Martin is a touchstone in 90s TV lore. The beloved FOX sitcom ran from 1992 to 1997 and featured the madcap comedy of Martin Lawrence as Detroit radio jock-turned-TV host Martin Payne, alongside a memorable cast of characters that included his girlfriend Gina (Tisha Campbell), her best friend Pam (Tichina Arnold) and his buddies; the dimwitted Cole (Carl Anthony Payne) and jobless Tommy (Thomas Ford.) Over the course of five seasons, Martin gave us endless quotables ("Get tah steppin!'"), in-jokes (You ain't got no damn job, Tommy!") and crazy side characters ("Bruh Man -- from the fif flo.'")
But Martin also gave us life lessons. The show made its premiere on August 27, 1992; we picked five of the best bits of wisdom we took away from the adventures of Marty and Co.
Lesson No. 5
Don't try to impress folks at your high school reunion.
Martin feels pressure to try and impress former high school rival, Ricky Fontaine. "Pretty Ricky is what they call him," Marty-Mar reminds us constantly; but the episode should remind everyone that trying to keep up with the Joneses will have you looking crazy. Ask Gina.
Lesson No. 4
Don't leave a shady preacher alone with your girl.
Ah yes, the Rev. Lonnie Love -- giving a bad name to men of the cloth everywhere. The unscrupulous preacher has drawn the ire of Martin and Gina, who team up to trap Rev. Lonnie in the lecherous act. Don't leave your girl round me, indeed. (And David Alan Grier is brilliant, btw.)
Lesson No. 3
Never challenge Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns to go 10 rounds.
The old adage of "writing checks yo' ass can't cash" seems appropriate here. Martin agrees to square up against The Hitman in a fight for charity and, well, it doesn't end all that well for "The Raw Dog." His post-fight swelling is the stuff of nightmares -- and the stuff of comedy gold.
Lesson No. 2
Never steal a man's portable CD player.
When Martin's brand new $400(!!!) portable CD player turns up missing, he calls the gang together for a little interrogation session. Dressed in all black with the prerequisite Rottweiler, Martin goes full Nino Brown with this hilarious "Don't nobody know nuthin'?" reenactment of a classic scene from New Jack City.
Lesson No. 1
Never go with the budget travel agency.
It was all just supposed to be a romantic getaway. Gina, fed up with the fact that Martin never takes her anywhere, demands that they go with Tommy and Pam to Chilligan's Island. The resort is a dump and the trip becomes a nightmare -- particularly when they're attacked by a creature that we can only definitively state wasn't "no damn puppy!"
*CREDIT: Martin Lawrence & Heavy D during Heavy D's Party in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)