Martin is one of the most beloved sitcoms of the hip-hop generation. The exploits of loudmouth Martin Payne (Martin Lawrence) and his crew of friends was must-see television for fans of outrageous comedy. The hit FOX sitcom was one of the 90s definitive shows, and the celebration of Martin Lawrence at VH1s Hip-Hop Honors: The 90s Game-Changers is more than fitting.
But one member of the iconic cast won't be able to join in the salute.
Actor Tommy Ford, whose real name is Thomas Mikal Ford, passed away at an Atlanta hospital on Oct. 13, 2016, surrounded by his family and friends. He was 52 years old. Several days prior, Ford entered the hospital with a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen and he fell into a coma. Ford’s family made the heartbreaking decision to take him off life support.
Ford, a native of Yonkers, N.Y., was a great character actor who played a myriad of dramatic and comedy roles, including Lieutenant Malcolm Baker on the Fox drama New York Undercover in 1998 and Mel Park on the sitcom The Parkers from 1999 to 2001.
But Ford will always be remembered for his role as Thomas “Tommy” Strawn on Martin from 1992 to 1997. Tommy was Martin Payne’s debonair best friend who mysteriously didn’t have a job. For five seasons, Tommy was the straight man for Martin’s hilarious jokes and insults, mostly about his bald head.
In tribute to Tommy Ford, we present 10 Hilarious “Tommy” Moments on Martin. From Tommy getting into a fight with Ms. Geri at the DMV, to him arguing with with Sheneneh to him explaining what “GTD” means, Ford was the perfect comedic sideman on Martin Lawrence's hit show.
Tommy Ford will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.
Tommy Tells Cole, He's Stupid
On Martin, Tommy's comedic foil was Martin' other best friend Cole Brown (played by Carl Anthony Payne II). At times, Cole showed that he can be very slow at comprehending things, which Tommy was quick to point out on several occasions. "Cole...you stupid" became one of the many funny tag lines from the show.
Tommy Explains What Love Means
In this hilarious moment, Martin gets into an argument with Gina about what "love" really means. To help diffuse the situation, Martin asked his debonair best friend Tommy to help him explain the definition of love. "Love is sharing, caring, commitment," he states. "Love is two souls joined together as one. Love is flowers for no reason. Love is telling her all of the things she wants to hear...until you get the drawers!" Oh, Tommy.
Tommy's U.S. Marine Father Meets Martin
Although Tommy was sort of a mysterious figure on the show, we do learn where he gets his steely disposition from -- his tough-minded U.S. Marine father Sgt. Strawn (played by John Amos). On this particularly episode, Martin meets Tommy's father for the first time who is constantly barking orders. He also has a weird sense of humor. "Martin, still crazy as ever. You still got more guts than you got height," he tells Martin, much to his chagrin. Tommy was able to cool his father down before things get out of hand between the two.
Tommy Argues With Sheneneh
Tommy had the unfortunate task of driving Sheneneh and her hoodrat friends to the club. Tommy and Sheneneh have a brief argument in the car with Sheneneh calling Tommy "MC No Hair." Even Sheneneh's friend Key-Lo-Lo (played by rapper Yo Yo) gets crabby with Tommy.
Tommy Can't Keep a Straight Face
After Martin’s brand new portable CD player comes up missing, he gathers Gina, Tommy and Pam to find out which one of them stole it. This hilarious moment features everyone dressed in black at Martin’s house while Martin drags around a stuffed rottweiler and pretends to be Nino Brown from New Jack City. Watch as Tommy could barely keep it together while Martin does his best Wesley Snipes impression.
Martin Discovers Tommy and Pam Are Dating
Tommy and Pam were always cool with each other, so it made sense that they would eventually hook up on the show. When Martin becomes the "Love Doctor" after he substitutes on a TV talk show, he gives Tommy some much-needed relationship advice. What he doesn't know is that Tommy is dating his frenemy Pam. Later, when Tommy reveals that he's dating Pam, Martin's reaction to the news is priceless.
Martin & Gina Vs. Pam & Tommy
After Tommy and Pam revealed they are a couple, Martin continues to throw major shade at them. In this hilarious moment, the foursome go on a double date and end up having a huge argument with each other. Not only does Gina throw major shots at Tommy's bald head, Pam delivers some funny zingers of her own at Martin. But in the end, it's all love between Martin, Gina, Tommy and Pam.
Tommy Gets Beat Up By Ms. Geri at DMV
In an episode titled "DMV Blues," Martin finds himself in DMV hell as he tries to fill out tons of paperwork to renew his driver's license. While standing in line waiting for his turn, Ms. Geri - the scrappy, pocketbook-swinging senior citizen - jumps in front of him. Martin confronts her and all hell breaks loose. Although Tommy breaks up their fight, Ms. Geri clocks him with her pocketbook and runs him out of the DMV.
Where did Tommy actually worked at? For five seasons, Martin, Gina, Cole and Pam have always wondered but never got a clear answer from Tommy. Below is a supercut of the whole crew telling Tommy, "You ain't got no job!" For the record: After 20 years of secrecy, Martin co-star Tisha Campbell-Martin revealed that Tommy worked as a counselor for the Boys & Girls Club. Who knew?
Tommy Explains What "GTD" Means
In this classic episode called "No Justice, No Peace," Martin plays his own attorney as he fights a measly traffic ticket. In one memorable moment, which slightly mimics the classic courtroom scene in A Few Good Men, Martin forces Tommy to reveal what "GTD" stands for in his little black book. The answer and Martin's reaction is hilarious.
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