Actress Tisha Campbell has finally set the record straight for Martin fans: Tommy Strawn did have a job!
During a recent episode of the Don’t Be Scared podcast, Tisha Campbell opened up about the longtime mystery that seemed to last throughout the five-season run of the hit ’90s sitcom Martin.
According to Tisha, Tommy Strawn (played by actor Thomas Mikal Ford) did have a job — and it was actually not intended to be a mystery after all. Why not? Tisha explained in the interview that Tommy’s position was actually revealed and referenced twice in the show’s first season.
“Tommy did really have a job.. I’ll give you a hint. Mrs., always forget her name, the woman I was going to fight, she was Martin’s teacher, Mrs., not Cunningham… okay, but you know who I’m talking about. Beverly Johnson played her. So, it’s in that episode, that’s the first time you hear about Tommy’s job.”
The character that Tisha Campbell referenced was Ms. Trinidad (played by model-turned-actress Beverly Johnson). In Season 1 Episode 17, “Blackboard Jungle Fever,” Martin visits his old elementary school for Career Day and is reunited with his childhood crush and 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Trinidad.
Most Martin fans may remember the episode primarily because of how Ms. Trinidad came onto Martin Payne and then later lied about it to Gina (played by Tisha Campbell). Another popular scene from that episode is when Tisha Campbell’s character later confronts Ms. Trinidad after she puts the pieces together and realizes that Martin was loyal and telling the truth about what happened between them.
However, an overlooked part of that particular episode was the role that Tommy Strawn played in it. He was the person that set it all up in the first place since he worked with the children at the school.
— The Smoking Section (@TSSCrew) March 11, 2016
During the same podcast interview, Tisha Campbell shared another big clue that let Martin fans know about Tommy’s job in a different episode.
“The second time you see Tommy’s job is in the Christmas episode when he brings us to speak to children and Martin calls the little boy ‘Waterhead.'”
This particular clue is actually from an earlier episode that first aired nearly one month prior to the “Blackboard Jungle Fever” episode.
In Season 1 Episode 15, “I Saw Gina Kissing Santa Claus,” Martin Payne dressed up as Santa Claus to visit the children with Tisha Campbell and the rest of the cast for Tommy’s “Big Brother” program — one of which he infamously called “Waterhead.”
When you put the two clues together, Tisha Campbell’s big reveal of Tommy’s “mysterious” job position makes perfect sense to the average Martin fan.
“Tommy talks about him being in the Boys and Girls club and he was a counselor at the Boys and Girls club. That’s what he did for a living.”
Tisha Campbell may have “cracked the code” for numerous Martin fans by identifying the easy-to-miss clues from the show’s first season. However, there are still quite a few die-hard Martin fans on Twitter that apparently claim Tisha’s announcement of Tommy’s job as a counselor was not surprising news to them while others are absolutely shocked.
I’m a TRUE Martin fan!! I know exactly what Tommy Strawn job was????????????????. Y’all don’t pay attention enough to realize it
— Amore Jessica ☄ (@NiggasTwatching) January 12, 2016
So Tommy Strawn (Martin) was a guidance counselor? I still don’t believe that tho. Lol
— Jessica Annnice (@NxtBestSeller) March 11, 2016
Even Tommy from Martin worked for a non profit LOL
— TheHomelessBillionre (@BKFUniversity) March 11, 2016
Tommy from Martin was a counselor at boys and girls club I can die peacefully knowing what tommy’s job was????
— paisley love (@taylorshwayze) March 11, 2016
I don’t care what Gina said until i hear it from Martin…Tommy still ain’t got no job!
— anchorless757 (@anchorless757) March 11, 2016
The series finale of Martin first aired back on May 1, 1997. However, nearly two decades later, the adventures of Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell as Martin and Gina Payne along with their employed and seemingly unemployed friends still live on in syndicated reruns. Tisha Campbell has played a number of different roles on the big screen and small screen alike over the years, but many of her fans and critics will forever remember her as “Gina.”
[Image Credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images]