*It’s been 30 years since “Martin” first hit the airwaves. The cast reunited for a BET+ special “Martin: The Reunion.”
The star-studded red carpet screening included Martin Lawrence (Martin), Tisha Campbell (Gina), Carl Anthony Payne II (Cole), and former series guest stars Tommy Davidson, Beverly Johnson, and Reginald Ballard.
Also on hand – Garcelle Beauvais, actress AJ Johnson, Flex and Shanice Alexander, comedians DeRay Davis and Affion Crockett.
In addition to the screening, guests experienced a curated “Martin” exhibit by Philadelphia artist Chuck Styles. It featured activation rooms and replicas of some of the show’s most memorable moments and iconic staples like Nipsey’s.
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EUR correspondent Jill Munroe spoke with Lawrence about why the show is still in the hearts of fans after 30 years and discovered his favorite episode.
The show’s authenticity has kept it relevant after 30 years: “We just kept it real,” Lawrence said. “We weren’t afraid to go outside of the box. People resonated with that. We had a lot of fun. You could feel the energy.”
The episode with Davidson as Vernell Hill got a lot of votes as a fan favorite, but Martin’s favorite was one he wrote. Lawrence said the boxing episode with Thomas Hearns was his personal favorite: “At the end of that episode, when I come out to see Gina with the big head swollen up, you had never seen something like that on TV.”
Payne said that one of the underrated benefits of working on the show was the opportunity to work with the guest stars. “Working with people I grew up watching from Pam Grier to Dolemite, to hip-hop artists like Biggie and Outkast, even someone like Jackie Chan. So many actors that came through – I was a fan of. Those memories alone are incredible.” He added, “this special is great for fans…It gives them closure.”
Hosted by Affion Crockett, the 90-minute reunion special takes fans back to the iconic “Martin” living room set for a celebration of the show’s five seasons.
“Martin: The Reunion” and all five original series seasons are now streaming on BET+.