Martin Lawrence on ‘SNL’ Ban: “I Don’t Give a Damn”
Martin Lawrence is the quintessential comedian of the ’90s. He is recognized for his jocular, raunchy jokes and his blatant Hip-Hop flair. The rawness of Lawrence’s raunchy nature has created some of the most memorable moments in the comedy world despite how disciplinary it is.
The Martin sitcom star recently stopped by The Breakfast Club with Will Smith to promote their new movie, Bad Boys for Life, the long-awaited sequel of the Bad Boys film series. When asked by Charlamagne tha God if he was still banned from SNL, in signature fashion, the iconic comic responded and jokingly said, “I don’t give a damn.”
According to the actor, he is not banned from SNL and is on good terms with the late-night sketch show.
“I’m not banned from SNL. They banned me from NBC at the time for a minute. But then they realized the way it went down wasn’t what they thought and then they sent me an apology letter.”
On February 19, 1994, Martin Lawrence hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and it was his opening monologue that left a portion of east coast viewers uneasy. He targeted the touchy subject of women’s hygiene and the female genitalia. According to a 1994 report from the LA Times, NBC received almost 200 complaints from furious east coast viewers. The network immediately released a statement and barred Lawrence from making any appearances on any NBC show.
“If I don’t know anything else, I know what it takes to make a person laugh,” Martin told the LA Times. “People have to have the right to laugh, or else you’re going to have a lot more of us going crazy. If you can get past the language and have fun with what I’m talking about, I’m going to help keep you mentally healthy.”
Many fans questioned the reason why Martin was absent from Eddie Murphy’s return to SNL in late December 2019. The legendary comedian appeared on stage with fellow renowned acts Tracy Morgan, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and Kenan Thompson. The presence of Martin Lawrence is an ushered thought when this type of blending takes place.
Despite the climate change of most audiences with the rise of movements like Me Too, Martin does not plan on altering his content. He spoke about the nature of his content on The Breakfast Club and expressed why he stands firm on his decision.
“I don’t compromise my comedy. I never did in the past,” he said. “When I put out ‘You So Crazy’ they wanted me to water in down and give it an R rating and I took an NC-17 just so I can say what I wanted to say.”
When asked about returning to do a comedy special of some sort and if he would water down his comedy, he responded with a pretty assuring message.
“No. I would probably think about it a lot more, what I’m saying out of my mouth just because I have kids now and I care about how it affects them. For the most part, I just want to give people what I’m feeling.”
Martin Lawrence’s decision to remain an unfiltered comic is on a record of consistency and so is his box office presence with the premiere of ‘Bad Boys for Life’ on Friday, Jan. 17 in theaters nationwide.
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