Several male comedians have achieved success portraying female characters, but few have been more popular than Tyler Perry portraying Madea. Martin Lawrence made a couple of Big Momma’s House movies, but his character did not become a franchise like Perry’s Madea. His stage plays and motion pictures are some of the most popular DVD titles we carry at the library. In fact, it is not unusual for patrons to request all the Madea movies.
What is Madea’s appeal? Comedy is very subjective and each person has his own ideas about what he considers funny. I was a little skeptical about the Madea movies at first, but once I finally saw one, I understood why people like them so much. It’s not just that the movies are funny, they deal with sensitive issues and have a deeper message. One minute Madea is saying something to crack you up and the next minute she is giving advice that brings you to tears. As Tyler Perry has mentioned in interviews, Madea is one of those women you know, whether she is a member of your family or not. I think that’s the main reason the movies are so popular.