Friday, May 22, 2015

Martin TV Show's Elroy Preston Sings "Don't You Know No Good" (video clips & comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases three video clips from the 1990s American television show Martin that feature Martin Lawrence performing as the character "Elroy Preston". In these featured clips Elroy Preston sings Don't You Know No Good". Information and comments about that show & the Elroy Preston character are included in this post along with my transcription of the second version of that song which was performed on that television show.

The content of this post is presented for entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those featured in these videos & thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"Martin is an American sitcom that aired for five seasons on the Fox network, from August 27, 1992, to May 1, 1997. Reflecting the rising popularity of the Fox network throughout the 1990s, Martin was one of the network's highest-rated shows during the sitcom's five-season run.

Set in Detroit, the series stars Martin Lawrence in the role of Martin Payne, a disc jockey with a girlfriend named Gina Waters played by Tisha Campbell-Martin. Martin works for the fictional radio station WZUP and later for local Public-access television station Channel 51. A common theme of the series is Martin's ornery and wayward nature. Episodes often center on Martin's inconsiderate behaviors and incessant smart mouth towards his friends, neighbors, and whoever else finds themselves in his presence. When all is said and done however, Martin loves his family and friends—it just takes dire situations for him to show it...

One of the trademark running gags of Martin, especially early in its run, was Lawrence playing multiple characters, utilizing various costumes and prosthetic appliances. This was often done as a plot device or comic relief. Season four was the last season to feature Lawrence as multiple characters on a regular basis. This technique was rarely used in Season 5, which was the final season of the series. The only characters that appeared in Season 5 were Sheneneh, Roscoe and Elroy...Most of the other characters were last seen in Season 4 and the episodes they last appeared in seemingly wrote them out of the series...

[Description Of Elroy Preston]
Elroy Preston: The fictional "Godfather of Black Surf Music" who is now completely forgotten and washed up. Preston works as an auto mechanic, and is best known for randomly breaking into song while performing his mechanical duties. He often distracts himself and irritates others when reminiscing on things that involve his trademark song, which consists only of Preston singing "Don't you know no good!" over and over. He is seen mostly in the first three seasons. He makes one appearance in the fifth and final season."
Actually, the version of "Don't You Know No Good" that is song in the Godfather Of Surf music clip contains other words besides "don't you know no good". My transcription of those lyrics is found below. Additions and corrections are welcome.

From Martin Season 2 Episode 5 "Baby, It's You" Aired Thursday 8:30 PM Sep 19, 1993 on FOX
"Martin agrees to help host a baby shower for some of Gina's expecting girlfriends at his apartment,but he doesn't expect one of the expectant mothers to go into labor. With the help of Tommy and Cole, Martin safely delivers the baby. Meanwhile Gina and Pam can't make it to the shower because they're broken down in an alley, while a lyrically challenged mechanic sings to them and works on their car."
The clip of Elroy as "the Godfather Of Black Surf Music" singing "Don't You Know No Good" with Gina and Pam is from Martin Season 2 Episode 20. "Arms are for hugging".

The character "Elroy Preston" is a spoof on Elvis Presley, who is often called the King of Rock And Roll. The name "Elroy" is a reformation of the once common and sometimes negatively stereotyped "Black male name" "Leroy" - for instance, Leeroy Jenkins in the World of Warcraft video game.* The prefix "El" in the name "Elroy" is the same as the prefix in the name "Elvis" and the last name "Preston" is quite similar to the last name "Presley".

Elroy Preston is characterized as a down on his luck auto mechanic who (according to a subsequent Martin show) was once known as "The Godfather of Black Surf Music". The "Godfather of Black Surf Music" title borrows from one of Soul/Funk superstar James Brown's nickname - "The Godfather of Soul" and Elroy's movements while he sings his song while Gina and Pam are in their car are somewhat reminiscent of James Brown's movements. But portraying Elroy Preston as "the Godfather of Black Surf Music" is humorous because "surf music" isn't a musical genre that is associated with Black people. Perhaps that's the reason why Elroy Preston appears to only know one song "Don't You Know No Good".

Although the name "Elroy Preston" is a take-off on Elvis Presley, I don't think that the song "Don't You Know No Good" is a spoof on any of Elvis' songs. However, just as a matter of record (no pun intended), the Elvis Presley song "Doncha' Think It's Time" has a similar title. Elvis also recorded four other songs with the word "don't" in their title- "Don't", "Don't Ask Me Why", "Don't Be Cruel", and "Don't Cry Daddy".

The first version of "Don't You Know No Good" that is sung at the mechanic shop only consists of those words, sung in call & response patterns. My guess is that that line means "don't you know any (thing) good?" The longer version of "Don't You Know No Good" that Elroy sings along with Gina & Pam in Hawaiian outfits suggests that the song is sung to Elroy's woman who constantly critized him and then left him. In the end of the song he is begging her to come back.

*Click for information on the fictitious character Leroy Jenkins. Also click for the pancocojams post "World of Warcraft 's Leeroy Jenkins & Black American Names & Memes".

It's interesting to note that the last name of the World of Warcraft character "Leeroy Jenkins" is the same last name as the Martin television show character "Sheneneh Jenkins". Sheneneh is portrayed by Martin Lawrence as a stereotypical "ghetto" Black woman.

(as sung on the Elroy Preston Godfather of Black Surf Music with introduction by Martin:

Martin (introducing the act) - "Elroy Preston! He's on a roll. He's bad. He's bad".

Elroy - It's ah Wahoo in the house.
Well look dere. I'd like to say "Aloha" to all Kamainos

1,2. 1,2,3.
Don't cha know no good.
Gina & Pam - [Don't cha know no good.]
Don't cha know no good.
[No no no no no]
Don't cha know no good.
[Don't cha know no good.]
Don't cha know no good.
[No no no no no.]

Why you g.o.o.d
[Don't you know no good]
[Why you g.o.o. we]
[No no no]

Why you make me beg
[Why you make me beg]
Till you went away
[Till you went away]
Why you act like a mug
[Why you act like a mug]
You can kiss my butt.
[You can kiss my butt.]
Oh-o Oh-o Oh- o Oh-o
[Oh-o, Oh-o, Oh]
Martin joined by Gina & Pam - Don't you know no goooooood.
Martin [speaking while Gina & Pam continue to sing "goooood" until they fall down because they are out of breathe] - Baby come back, baby please, on, and on, don't you know no good, don't you know no good. I'm pleading and you know. Don't you good od od od gooood ood ood ood ooood. ood ood. ood ood. [Gina claps] Martin says - Thank you. Thank you. very much.
*This is my transcription of the video clip given as Example #3 below. Additions & corrections are welcome. The responses are given in brackets.
Here are my explanations for some of the words & phrases that are found in the video given as Example #3 below.

"He's on a roll. He's bad. He's bad" = [something like] He's really doing well now. He's very good. He's very good."

"Wahoo" may be Elroy's attempt to say the Hawaiian word "Hoaloha - Friend"

"in the house" = African American slang for "I'm here"; in this place.

"Aloha" - Hawaiian for "greetings", "hello"

Kamainos = may be Elroy's attempt to say the Hawaiian word "Kama‘āina- Commonly referred to a long-time resident of Hawai'i"

"cha" = you

"Don't you know no good" = Don't you know anything good you can say to me.

"Why you g.o.o. we = why did you go away from me

"act like a mug" = act like an ugly person (someone crazy)

you can kiss my butt = a dergatory dismissive statement made to someone you are angry with

Example #1: Martin - Elroy the Mechanic

tebbytee Uploaded on Sep 23, 2006

Don't you know no Good.
Selected comments
rentheadtammy, 2006
""Don't you know no good!"

LMAO! classic!
Now I'm gonna singing that all day. LOL!"

54spiritedwill54, 2008
"good!! these folks were just straight crazy back then!! I love elroy and king beef!!"

Dre7Guevara, 2008
in reply to 54spiritedwill54
"Otis, Jerome & Dragonfly Jones were some characters also"
"Sheneneh Jenkins is another character that Martin Lawrence played on that show. A pancocojams post on the name "Sheneneh" and other so-called "ghetto names" will be published ASAP. When that post is published, I'll add that link here.

UniQueLyEviL, 2009
"Lmao omg this will randomly pop up in my head, and no one EVER knows what i'm talking about or laughing at XDDD

I can't believe I found it XDDD"

kjb4evahotmail, 2009
in reply to UniQueLyEviL
"lmao!!! you too?? lmao *smh*..but yo, what does that mean though? i never knew what "dont you know no good" actually meant lol"

robynsegg, 2009
"That whole song got 1 LINE IN IT! LOL!

(walks off singing to herself...)

"Don't ya know no good... don't ya know no good!""

Lexii Kidd, 2010
"saw this episode one night, and had EVERYONE (even the teacher) singing dont u kno no good allll day!!!!!! haha 4 like a month or longer hehe"

shomemo37, 2010
"Yes! My husband still sings this song when he gets someones car started! Lol we just got a good laugh from this video! Thanks!"

FreshJordanKicks, 2011
"The funniest part when he was pointing and paused and was like ........good good good"

Eric Nulph, 2012
"Both Pam and Gina were 2 of the 3 women singing in Little Shop of Horrors. Fun Fact"

Example #2: Elroy Preston - Know no good

dasavv, Published on Dec 3, 2012

Do the people want the song? Classic scene from Martin Lawrence's hit TV show, Martin.

Elroy the mechanic sings Don't you know no good!

Example #3: Martin as Elroy Preston - Black Surf Music

steadythinkin, Uploaded on Dec 31, 2009

one of Martin's crazy characters from the Martin show
Selected comments from the discussion thread of a slightly shorter video of this same video uploaded by k1handsome, Uploaded on Jan 13, 2008:
StevenC32, 2008
"Martin is great at creating different characters. My favorite 3 Martin Characters are Elroy Preston, Otis the Security Guard, and Jerome."

Nicole P , 2009
"this will NEVER get old lol"

UniQueLyEviL, 2009
"Lmao omg this will randomly pop up in my head, and no one EVER knows what i'm talking about or laughing at XDDD"

aimat700, 2009
in reply to UniQueLyEviL
"ROFL ME TOO!!! I'll be at work and be like "don't cha know no gooooooood." I wish they were a real group. I'd buy all their albums and go see them in concert."

KiiyahSings__, 2010
"I have played this on my dvd and danced along with it so many time you would think that I am crazy. But HEY it's funny what do you want me to do man? I have every season. I wish it never got cancelled."

kedeeky, 2010
"dontcha know no other song elroy? Lol"

catolog96, 2011
"Ha! Ha! How many of you were expecting some important figure to come out? Don't lie!"

Lee Bronx, 2011
"l always loved these two gals since little shop of horrors"
Click for a clip of Tisha Campbell [Gina on Martin show], Tichina Arnold [Gina on Martin show], and Michelle Weeks singing the intro song in the Little Shop Of Horrors movie.

DJLMovieGuy, 2011
"Elroy sang Gina and Pam out of breathe, they clapped for him, and then he left them there LOL! I love the Martin Show! EPIC long lasting comedy!"

SweetAva87, 2012
"Whenever I hear this, it gets stuck in my head for a good 2 hours or so."

ODUBBZYA777, 2012
"Tichina n Tisha's choreography was on point. Plus they look mad good!!"
mad = a African American Vernacular English intensifier meaning "very"

King CJ, 2014
"Elroy Preston" The first auto mechanic with a hit song that never reached the Billboard Charts. Get out cha seat & Give it up for LLLLLL Roy..... LOL!!! Hahahaha! #smh #stillfunny

RBG Brother, 2014
"A lil comic relief. Don't You Know No good lol"

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