During the 1990s, there was a heightened interest in comedy television. Families gathered around as The Cosby Show, Family Matters, and Full House, among many others, displayed on a TV screen. This was a decade where shows told a strong narrative but did not reach the point of parents being concerned that their children were being negatively influenced.
Another show that became popular during this era was the TV comedy series Martin. Martin Lawrence, playing the character of Martin Payne, was a radio disc jockey trying to make ends meet while living in an apartment in Detroit, Michigan. The show documented the highs and lows of Martin’s everyday life while trying to make it in the radio and television industry.
Throughout this journey, Martin was accompanied primarily by four supporting characters: Gina, Cole, Pam, and Tommy.
Gina, Martin’s girlfriend, was always there to encourage him as he pursued his dreams. She made a living working at a public relations firm and was portrayed as the most level-headed one out of the bunch. Eventually, as the show progressed, she would become Martin’s bride. Her best friend was Pam, who was always at odds with Martin, as the two would give verbal jabs toward each other every time they were in the same company. Cole and Tommy were two of Martin’s best friends, and he would usually leave many conversations with either of them shaking his head in shame.
Cole was the absent-minded, dingy friend who would make the simplest situations complex. Tommy, on the other hand, always presented himself with a higher level of intelligence that put Cole to shame. His suave, debonair composure ended up pulling the heartstrings of Pam, and they started dating. However, Tommy had constant trouble getting one thing: a job.
Tommy’s incapability to get a job became the running joke for most episodes and allowed him to gain the sympathy of many viewers more and more with every unsuccessful attempt.
In 1997, the Martin series came to a close, and each actor/actress pursued other endeavors. Martin became a star of many movies, Gina, Pam, and Cole all became instrumental in other television series (My Wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris, and The Game, respectively). Tommy would find success on shows such as New York Undercover and The Parkers, as well as star in many independent films.
Tommy would also find success on the comedy competition series Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes? as “The Pope of Comedy,” in which he was never ashamed to let people know this title appointed to him on the show.
Ford would recently make the headlines again, but not in a good way. Reports surfaced that the 52-year-old died due to complications of a knee surgery, with one of the initial outlets being TMZ. However, with conflicting reports, it was later changed to him being on life support.
This confusion appeared to stem from a friend and fellow actor, Blackish star Anthony Anderson, who was the one who broke the news. Since his initial reporting, he has admitted that the information that was given to him was indeed false, and Ford is currently on life support.
While misreporting is looked down upon in the media, this particular false alarm is very good news for Ford’s family, friends, and fans. Unfortunately, though, Ford is not completely in the clear, as the reports of him being in critical condition and on life support are indeed true. Hopefully, Ford can miraculously recover, and this serious condition can transform into a complete and full recovery, with him bouncing back from this significant health scare.
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