The Kang Is Back

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What happens when you’re the husband but your wife is always topping you? You are Duane Martin and Tisha Campbell, or at least the version of Duane and Tisha featured on last night’s edition of The Real Husbands of Hollywood. Both are actors whose stars were brightest back in the nineties, though to Tisha’s credit, she has a bit more bragging rights than her hubby, given her role on the aughts ABC family comedy My Wife & Kids.

She never lets him forget it, and despite the two enjoying new beginnings via the Tisha and Duane show, Duane is quick to note, “Even at home she’s treated like the star and I’m treated like the extra.” I almost thought to woo-woo-woo Duane in that pitiful moment, only the reality quickly set in. I mean, that’s Tisha Campbell, a.k.a. Yvonne, a.k.a. Gina Waters, a.k.a. Jay Kyle. Who are you, Duane? Who are you?

Paul Reiser’s homeboy on that NBC show no one watched? One of the basketball-playing dudes from Above the Rim? After a quick field trip to IMDb, I forget Duane Martin played the fictionalized Will Smith on that UPN show All of Us. Okay. His best role was Vidal Thomas on the short-lived NBC series Out All Night starring Patti LaBelle. That show should’ve been given a chance, or at least a release on Hulu. Such is life.

Point is, he’s not the star his wife is but he swears with this new show that, “I’mma be on top, baby!” I wouldn’t let go of the lube if I were you, dude. Keeping up with the “Duane can’t keep a job” meme that has followed the show since its debut, Duane got canned from Tisha and Duane.

That’s because no one — including Keenan Ivory Wayans and Reginald VelJohnson (Carl Winslow!) — liked him. As Nick Cannon explains, “How can this fool suck at playing Duane Martin? He is Duane Martin.”

He wasn’t Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson on that awful VH1 movie Man in the Mirror bad, but no one liked him all the same, so he was replaced with Kevin Hart. True to form, Kevin Hart behaved like an utterly self-involved jackass. Tisha was not amused, especially after finding out Kevin was given creative control on the show in an effort to secure his signing on to star. Ultimately, Tisha became so fed up with Kevin’s antics that she punched him in the face in front of a live studio audience. She had to be escorted out by security. In her defense, Kevin took “creative license” and kissed her on the mouth.

That may have all been spoof, but that scene did make me wonder whether or not Tisha tried to swing on Martin Lawrence back in the nineties. For Martin fanatics, we know those two had some sort of incident that prompted them not to film a single scene together in the final season. (They were married on the show at that point, so that must have involved some serious bending over backwards.)

Meanwhile, THE KANG OF R&B returned to me. For those not into Whitney Houston, I’m talking about Bobby Brown. Bobby was an original fixture of theReal Husbands of Hollywood sketches that aired at the BET Awards, which spurred the TV show order in the first place. Bobby was supposed to be a main character, but you know Bobby has had his troubles overcoming his addiction to beer and brown liquor. He was in rehab, thus, unable to film.

He has since returned to appear on two episodes this season. To quote my beloved Nippy, “Oh, how I have waited for this day.”

Read the rest at Vulture.

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