Wednesday, September 17, 2014




'Martin' cast member promises laugh out loud comedy at Golden Gecko

By by j.r. ortega/jrortega@vicad.com
Jan. 15, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Updated Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

Reginald Ballard will perform at the Golden Gecko on Friday and Saturday nights. He starred in the ’90s sitcom “Martin.”

IF YOU GO

•  WHAT: Reginald Ballard (Bruh-Man) Comedy Show

• WHEN: 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

• WHERE: Golden Gecko, 202 E. Forrest St.

• COST: $10

• INFO: Visit GoldenGeckoEvents.com to pick up tickets. Tickets also available for purchase at Texas Made fades, Bed Butlers and Mumphord's Place BBQ.

Black sitcoms of the '90s

Some of the best TV shows toward the end of the last century were about black families and culture. The shows helped continue breaking racial barriers, just like older sitcoms like "The Jeffersons."

Here is a list of some of the most popular, commonly mentioned sitcoms:

•  "Sister, Sister" (1994-99)

A television show about twin sisters separated at birth and meeting more than a decade later for the first time. The two were quite different and enjoyed using their identical physical traits to trick their adoptive parents.

•  "Family Matters" (1989-98)

OK, so maybe this show leaked from the '80s into the '90s, but it was not until after the first season that the show really took off. The show was about a Chicago family, the Winslows, living the life of any middle-class family. The show, though it was supposed to be about the Winslows, slowly became about Steve Urkel, the nerdy, lanky neighbor madly in love with Laura Winslow.

•  "The Jamie Foxx Show" (1996-2001)

Again, another show that bled into another decade, but it got its start in the '90s, when black sitcoms were gaining popularity. The show circled around Jamie Foxx's real-life experience trying to break through in the entertainment industry.

•  "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper" (1992-97)

Come on, "Cooper, Cooper, gonna tear the house ... dowwwwwnnn." Don't act like you don't remember the lyrics. This show was about Mark Cooper, a former Golden State Warrior who begins teaching and coaching basketball at a high school.

•  "Living Single" (1993-98)

Queen Latifah played the creator of a monthly magazine. She and her friends, a primarily female cast, lived the ins and outs of being single (and successful) in New York City.

•  "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990-96)

Last but not least, this show is still one of the most popular reruns on TV today. The show was about Will Smith (yes, playing Will Smith) moving to Bel-Air to live with his rich uncle, aunt and his cousins. His West Philadelphia lifestyle and the ritzy lifestyle of his extended family often differ, making the show what it was - a hit.

Every one has a Bruh-Man in their life, but only one can grace the Golden Gecko stage this weekend.

Reginald Ballard, who played Bruh-Man in the hit sitcom "Martin" in the 1990s, will play stand-up comedian at the venue Friday and Saturday.

Ballard said he has come a long way since his days on "Martin." He's been on several other hit shows like "The Bernie Mac Show," but for now, he's enjoying the company of the stage and its spectators.

Ballard, who still loves being called Bruh-Man, caught up with Get Out about what he's been up to since living on the "fif' flo'" of Martin's apartment complex.

We know you are Bruh-Man on stage and on "Martin," but who is Reginald Ballard, really?

I'm a family man. I'm always at home, except when I'm out doing comedy. I've been married 26 years, and we have two kids. That's basically what I love. I love going to the movies. I'm a big Bruce Lee fan, and when I watched my first Bruce Lee movie, I knew I wanted to be an actor.

How did you become Bruh-Man? How did you get your start and why comedy?

When I did "Martin," that was the thing that took. J. Anthony Brown started me doing comedy stand-up. Also, I majored in theater. Everyone remembers the "Martin" thing. People could really identify with the character of Bruh-Man, but stand-up came after. Now, I'm an actor acting like a comedian.

Bruh-Man? Is that still you?

I heard that Jimmie Walker don't like being call J.J., Urkel don't like being called Urkel, but that's cool with me. As far as acting is concerned, I've done so many things as well as comedy shows. It's a mix.

If people want to go look at my resume, they'll see I'm more than just Bruh-Man. But people know people like that (Bruh-Man); any time you can create a real character and put the realism in it.

I put the comedy with the acting in it. If you can make it believable, I think people have a tendency to gravitate more toward that.

What are you doing now? What's the plan? Is it still "nothin', just chillin'," just like Bruh-Man said on "Martin"?

I want to do a lot of dramatic type TV movies. Stand-up is something that I enjoy, but it's not something I just want to get locked up into doing.

I really enjoy making people laugh. I love the look on their faces and that I could bring joy to somebody and make them forget about the problems they think they have. When I can do that, it makes me happy. That's why I like comedy.

You're from Galveston, what's it like staying along the coast and coming to Victoria? Why do you love Texas so much?

I love Texas. I think that's probably where I want to come to retire, but I can't come live here now. I just like the food in Texas and the women in Texas. ... I've been all over this country and 12 other countries, and Texas still has the best looking women.

I've been to Victoria before. This had to be eight or nine years ago, and it was for a comedy show. I drove through Victoria, and I saw people were riding horses to the Houston rodeo. They had wagon trains. I felt like I was in the wild, wild West.

What can people expect Friday and Saturday?

I'll be doing a lot of wife and kids type stuff, current events and a lot of just life and miscellaneous silliness. The audience loves it, and they love when I do the Bruh-Man part. I do a little bit of it at the beginning. I'm glad I can hold their attention for 45 minutes. After an hour, they'll have to pull me off stage.

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