Air Dates: Aug. 27, 1992–May 1, 1997
Stars: Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Carl Anthony Payne II, Thomas Mikal Ford, Tichina Arnold
Very few programs remain every bit as entertaining over 15 years after their conclusion as Martin, a show about a big-eared radio DJ from Detroit with enough personality for an entire cast. Comedian and actor Martin Lawrence played Martin Payne, a DJ for WZUP (and eventually the host of his own talk show, "Word on the Street"). Central to the show was Martin's relationship with Gina Waters, the large-headed (literally) love of his life. They broke up and got back together throughout the series, but their genuine love provided a complement to the show's constant comedy. Also important were Martin's relationships with his biggest adversary, Gina's best friend, Pam James, and his two best friends, the comically inept Cole Brown and the tall, bald, and possibly unemployed Tommy Strawn.
Martin also had numerous amazing guest stars like Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, Keith Washington, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Hearns, Randall Cunningham, Method Man, Jodeci, and even Biggie. No show today is landing cameos like that. Not only was Martin instrumental in African-American culture and hip-hop culture, it played a role in popular culture that can't be argued. —K