Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Was Martin Shuckin' & Jivin?



I've been building my DVD collection as of late.

I purchase at least one DVD every paycheck. You'd be surprised how fast it builds up your library. I recently copped some old classics, including The Karate Kid, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and the first three seasons of Martin. Actually, I've been OD-ing on Martin. I've watched one season and a half in roughly a month since buying the DVDs.

I must say, I don't recall it being so freakin' hilarious. It's always funny for me to look back at sitcoms years later. I always become much more analytical. I'm not sure I noticed it at the time, but Martin definitely relied more on physical comedy than dialogue to get laughs. But seeing Marty Mart excessively sing and dance, shout and dress up as Shananah, Mama Payne, Otis, Jerome, Dragon Fly Jones, Elroy Preston and Roscoe, among others, I can't help, but think..."Damn! Was Martin shucking and jiving?"

Dragon Fly Jones

Mama Payne


See, when Tyler Perry first pulled Madea out, I was among the first to call foul on the play. I'm not alone. Perry has been long criticized for caricaturing black folks on the big screen. If Martin faced similar criticism at the time, I definitely don't remember it. But, what really separates him from Martin? Shoot! Madea and Mamma Payne are basically cut from the same mold. Two no-nonsense elderly lady who will cut you if the situation calls for it. Actually, a case could be made for Mamma Payne being more over the top than Madea. But, besides Martin being way funnier, what makes Tyler a coon, and Martin, not?

I'm completely bias and will most likely find reasons to defend Martin at any cost, so I turn to you guys. Was Martin shucking and jiving? And why is Tyler Perry getting a bad rep when others get/got a pass?

9 comments:

Naked With Socks On said...

I didn't even read past the title. YES

next question.

LOL

Gangstarr Girl said...

Martin actually did get similar criticism back then. I remember overhearing a conversation my mother had back then about how Bill Cosby came down on Marting for his portrayal of Shennaneh and how it made black women look bad. Maybe i'm being bias, but I love Martin, I'm also collecting the DVD series and it's funnier now than it was then--so I don't really think it was shucking and jiving. I think it's just really funny, extreme and ridiculous comedy. I have some issues with it like for example, the color thing came up a lot. People always made references to Gina having an attitude because she was light and the whole thing with Shenneneh and Pam being the brownskinned sistas on the show and the main chicks with the bad attitudes. So yeah, those are my issues, but I don;t think it's shucking and jiving. I've encountered characters like Shenneneh, Kelolo, and Old Otis in real life so I can relate. I think sometimes people just read too far into stuff tho.

Jesus Talks said...

I wanna say they're both in violation...

LowKey said...

Madea, YES....Martin, NO! Martin wore many hats on that show, and though Mama Payne and Shennaneh were among the funniest, it was his dialogue when he was playing himself that got the most laughs in my opinion. There were countless scenes where Martin was just running his mouth and it was deemed EXTREMELY hilarious. Hell, the episode where he went to visit Varnell Hill (Tommy Davidson) was insanely funny. Or when he thought Tommy and them stole his CD player (he reenacted the New Jack City scene). I honestly believe a majority of Martin's laughs came off his delivery alone. I'm not going to even get into the riffing between him and Pam.....

southpeezy said...

yeah...Martin most definitely had his coon moments...but i think it was disguised in the fact that we always looked at him as stand-up comedian first and not an actor or an actor being a bufoon...we always gave him benefit of the doubt...with Madea...people hopped all over that because unlike Martin, we didnt have any other point of reference...all we saw was buddy hopping out in a damn dress..we hadnt seen TP do anything else, we didnt really know his backstory...but im telling you though...if you wanna see some real shuckin & jivin...take a gander at those old Wayans Bros. episodes thats been popping up on BET....now that my fried is S&Jing at its finest!

danappyscribe said...

i can't believe u even had to ask this question...YES HE WAS SHUCKIN & JIVIN...i caught a lot of flack as the seemingly only person at an HBCU who didnt crowd around the tv when martin re-runs aired...i was a fan of the earlier shows, but grew disgusted as time went on...he stopped being funny and simply relied on a whole lotta eye-buggin, dancin and dressin up like up like a simplified hoodrat...i've never gotten ppl's obsession w/ this show...there are a lot of classics out there, but martin will never be in my collection...not saying dude ain't funny, but i cant do the e. rhett (sorry e. rhett) approach and watch that shit day in and day out eating a bowl of cereal...

Clark Kent said...

Martin's act wasn't first on that whole shuckin' 'n jivin' shit. He got progressively worth the more fame got into his life. Remember when he that "incident" in California? You can only coon for so long before you Richard Pryor yourself... Perry is linear with his... But the sooner he kills Madea, the better the rest of his career may be.

Cypha said...

Man when Martin was on I didnt know what shuckin & Jivin was I just knew funny and that shit was FUNNY!

Man I'm 'bout to thrown on "You So Crazy"

Farrah said...

Dido on that Wayans Bros. comment...now that's what check-chasin', talent-less black folk do (pop pop pop), white shoes and all.

Though the show had it's moments and as entertaining as they were; Martin was his funniest doing stand-up. Runteldat and You so Crazy are all collectables.