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Martin: The Reunion — 9 revelations from the BET Plus special

Carl Anthony Payne II, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence and Tichina Arnold at Martin: The Reunion
Carl Anthony Payne II, Tisha Campbell, Martin Lawrence and Tichina Arnold at Martin: The Reunion (Image credit: BET Plus)

In a moment that has long been overdue, the cast of one of the most celebrated sitcoms of the 90s finally came together for Martin: The Reunion. The special was rightfully celebratory of the actors that continue to make millions around the world laugh, while also revealing to fans some behind-the-scenes secrets. 

Thankfully, the reunion’s producers opted not to dive into any of the publicized drama that once existed between a few of the costars (as fans, we appreciated that the reunion focused on the greatness of the show). 

So what exactly did the cast talk about? The actors discussed how they came to know each other, where some of their iconic catchphrases originated and their thoughts on a possible reboot. Oh, and you’ll never guess who the voice is behind the Martin theme song. 

Here are the most interesting revelations from Martin: The Reunion.

Also, check out photos from the Martin: The Reunion red carpet right here.

Tisha Campbell was the first cast member Martin Lawrence wanted to hire

For many viewers, a big reason why Martin was so successful was due to the chemistry of Tisha Campbell and Martin Lawrence. Very early on in the reunion special it was revealed that their pairing was the brainchild of the legendary comedian. 

When Lawrence received the green light for the show, the first person he sought to cast was Campbell as his on-screen girlfriend. The two had known each other in Hollywood and previously worked together in Boomerang and House Party and he thought she was perfect for the role. However, when he initially proposed the idea, Campbell was tied up in a pilot for another series. Things didn’t work out on the other unnamed show and the rest is history.  

Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold and Carl Anthony Payne II have known each other since they were kids 

Tisha Cambpell, Carl Anthony Payne II and Tichina Arnold in Martin: The Reunion

Tisha Cambpell, Carl Anthony Payne II and Tichina Arnold (Image credit: BET Plus)

It was surprising for longtime fans of the show to find out that Campbell, Arnold and Payne have been in each other’s orbit since they were roughly 11 years old. Apparently, they routinely saw each other at castings as young actors in the business. 

Now Campbell and Arnold specifically have been real-life best friends for a long time. The two even once shared an apartment and their first big purchases with their Martin paychecks were matching cars. 

Carl Anthony Payne II is the other voice in the Martin theme song

This was something not even Campbell or Arnold knew. For years, they, along with many people, believed the voice singing the "Martin" in the show’s theme song was DJ and rapper Kid Capri. However, Lawrence put that rumor to bed in the reunion special. Now knowing that information, check out the song for yourself.  

The cast would compete on who would break character and laugh first

Thanks to archival footage,  we can assume that the actors probably weren’t great in this competition.  We saw just about every actor giggling in the middle of a scene or doing their best to mask their laughter multiple times. All of the cast except for Campbell. Apparently, the My Wife and Kids star was very good at staying in character and in the scene. 

"Beadie bead" came from Martin Lawrence cracking a joke on Tichina Arnold in real life

Over the course of the five seasons, Martin hurled a lot of insults at Pam. However, one of the most memorable insults has always been him referring to her as "beadie bead." The reunion special finally revealed the origins of that comment. 

Back when the show was on-air, the cast would often laugh and crack jokes on one another off-camera. One day while looking at the back of Arnold’s neck, Lawrence spotted the "situation" going on with her hair and that’s when he coined the term "beadie bead." He took those words and put them on camera and viewers have been quoting it ever since. 

The actor most like their character is… 

Tichina Arnold at NAACP Awards red carpet

Tichina Arnold (Image credit: Leon Bennett / Stringer/ Getty Images)

In a unanimous vote, it appears Arnold is most like her character Pam. Arnold didn’t try to rebuff the claim, but instead seemed to wear it as a badge of honor, which she should. Pam is a phenomenal character.  

Martin incorporated and impacted music

It was clear from watching Martin: The Reunion that in the 90s the show was a source of entertainment for a few in the music industry. Having been fans of Martin, rapper Snoop Dogg and R&B singer Brian McKnight were happy to play roles in the show. For Snoop Dogg, that was his first acting job in a TV sitcom, while McKnight sang a song from his debut album. 

Another musical act that performed in the series was R&B group Jodeci. What made their performance so comical was that Martin popped out and sang with them during the episode, something the group was unaware he would do beforehand.

Also, here’s a fun fact. Singer Maxwell’s song "Sumthin’ Sumthin'" was inspired by Martin, according to the cast. 

One of Martin's funniest moments was because of a miscommunication

In season 2 episode 17, Martin brings his friends together to question them about his missing CD player (for Gen Z, that’s a round disk that came before Spotify). In the scene, he hilariously accuses them of stealing while dragging a fake dog by his side. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice the cast is doing their best not to laugh. 

Well, it was revealed in the reunion that the dog was actually supposed to be real. However, due to a misunderstanding with the network FOX, a canine was not brought onto set and a man from the props team placed the stuffed animal in the scene instead. This is one of those times where miscommunications turned into TV gold. 

The cast on a Martin reboot

It looks like fans shouldn't hold their breath for another iteration of the series. With Thomas Mikal Ford no longer alive to play Tommy, Martin feels his absence would leave a void in any attempt of a new series. Therefore, he doesn't think a Martin reboot could work. 

Martin: The Reunion is streaming now on BET Plus (free trial subscriptions are available). Also, be sure to check out episodes of Martin on HBO Max.  

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.