If you’ve ever watched Martin, either in syndication on MTV2 and BET or during its original run on FOX back in the Nineties like some of us Olds, then you’re most likely familiar with Martin (Martin Lawrence) and Gina’s (Tisha Campbell) boundary-defying upstairs neighbor “from the fif’ flo’” Bruh Man (masterfully played by comedian Reginald Ballard). Bruh Man was hardly ever welcome, if at all, to Martin’s apartment, and he was often on the receiving end of Marty-Mar’s exasperated insults and verbal jabs. Yet, he still came, and he was always nice about it, usually taking the insults in stride. Don’t get me wrong, Bruh Man tried it and he did so often. He let his bunyons “breathe” at Martin’s fight viewing party, he ate all of the Thanksgiving food while Martin and the gang were out watching a movie, and he borrowed everything from electronics to clothes.
The show never explored much of Bruh Man’s origins, and we don’t know anything about the character, which is part of what makes him so funny, but I have a theory. What if Bruh Man was a poltergeist that Martin, Gina, and the rest of gang were barely humoring him so as not to turn his intentions towards harming them or damaging their property? Here’s how I imagine the story would go.
Bruh Man was fatally injured while he was coming down the fire escape, his usual route, to get into Martin’s apartment. Unfortunately, the area where he landed was in a deserted alleyway that barely got any traffic except for the occasional homeless person looking for a place to provide shelter for the night. It wasn’t long before residents living in closest to the alleyway noticed an awful stench, and it was reported to the authorities who then made the grim discovery. Gina and Martin took no notice of Bruh Man’s absence. They were just happy to not have any intrusions from their odd upstairs neighbor.
Eventually, Bruh Man did show up, coming through the window by Martin’s fire escape, and they thought nothing of it at first. They were able to tell him to leave and returned to their usual nighttime routine without a second thought. Clearly, Bruh Man was back after a short hiatus from raiding their place for something or the other. It was the next day that they found out who, or what I should say, they were dealing with after they complained about Bruh Man’s return during casual conversation with Pam (Tischina Arnold), Tommy (Thomas Mikal Ford), and Cole (Carl Anthony Payne II). Pam broke the news that Bruh Man’s body was discovered in the alleyway a few days before, and that it was not possible that he could have come to their apartment. Unfortunately, what Martin and Gina saw with their own eyes was no illusion nor was it some delusion. Eventually, Bruh Man manifested before Tommy, Pam, and Cole’s eyes and they too had to come to grips with the reality that they were dealing with a poltergeist, albeit one that defied conventions. Gina, Martin, and their friends all cursed themselves for avoiding Sheneneh Jenkins (also played by Lawrence), their neighbor across the hall who was less than fond of them all. She must have been trying to tell them what happened, but they ignored her or avoided her every time she tried to talk to them in recent days.
Pam being somewhat knowledgeable in the occult was able to guide them in how to react to Bruh Man’s ghostly presence. So long as they treated him as they did when he was still alive, he would not grow so angry at his condition that he would lash out, becoming a vengeful spirit in the process. So they treated him as they always did whenever he came down, and their grim reality became the new normal.
Of course, that’s horrible and morbid… But it is 31 Days of Horror here at GeekMundo, so why the hell not, right? Think about it next time you watch the show, though… *insert evil Vincent Price laugh here*