Sinbad (comedian)
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Sinbad Comedian

Entertainer Sinbad.jpg
Sinbad on stage in July 2008
Birth nameDavid Adkins
Born (1956-11-10) November 10, 1956 (age 62)[1]
Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1978--present
GenresObservational comedy, political satire, black comedy, surreal humor, character comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, self-deprecation, marriage, parenting, American politics, current events, family, friend, pop culture, race relations, racism, relationships, ageing
Meredith Fuller
(m. 1985; div. 1992)

(m. 2002)
Military career
Service/branch United States Air Force

David Adkins (born November 10, 1956),[1] better known by his stage name Sinbad , is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He became known in the 1990s from being featured on his own HBO specials, appearing on several television series, and starring in the films Necessary Roughness, Houseguest, First Kid, Jingle All the Way, and Good Burger.

Early life

Sinbad was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the son of Louise and the Baptist Rev. Dr. Donald Beckley Adkins.[2][3][4] He has five siblings: Donna, Dorothea, Mark, Michael, and Donald.[5] Sinbad attended Benton Harbor High School.[6] He attended college from 1974 to 1978 at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he lettered two seasons for the basketball team.

Military service

Sinbad served in the United States Air Force as a boom operator aboard KC-135 Stratotankers. While assigned to the 384th Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, he would often travel downtown to perform stand-up comedy. He competed as a comedian/MC in the Air Force's Talent Contest in 1981. Sinbad was almost dismissed with a dishonorable discharge for various misbehaviors, including going AWOL.[7]

After a series of incidents, he was eventually discharged "for parking my car in the wrong position."[8]


In an attempt to stand out in the entertainment industry, Adkins worked under the professional name Sinbad, which he chose out of admiration for Sinbad the Sailor.[7] He began his stand up comic career appearing on Star Search. Sinbad won his round against fellow comedian Dennis Miller,[9] and made it all the way to the finals before losing to John Kassir.[10]

He soon was cast on The Redd Foxx Show, a short lived sitcom, playing Byron Lightfoot.[11]

A Different World

In 1987, Sinbad landed a role in A Different World, a spin off of The Cosby Show built around Lisa Bonet's character Denise Huxtable. Previously, Sinbad appeared in a one-off role on The Cosby Show, as car salesperson Davis Sarrette. While Bonet only stayed with the program for a season,[12] Sinbad stayed with the cast from 1988 until 1991 as Coach Walter Oakes.

In A Different World, Walter began to fall in love with a girl named Jaleesa played by Dawnn Lewis. They dated, and eventually became engaged but decided to cancel the wedding due to differing outlooks on life.[13]

The Sinbad Show

By the early 1990s, his popularity had grown enough for Fox to green light The Sinbad Show, which premiered September 16, 1993. In the self-titled series, Sinbad played 35-year-old David Bryan, a bachelor who decides to become a foster parent to two children after becoming emotionally attached to them.[14]

The series, which co-starred a young Salma Hayek, received praise from critics for its portrayal of African American life.[] Around that time, Sinbad had recently received joint custody of his two kids, Royce,[15] then age 4 and Paige, age 7, and told the press that these experiences informed him of single parenting.[14]

The Sinbad Show was cancelled, with the last episode airing April 21, 1994. The role earned him a nomination in the 1995 Kids' Choice Awards for "Favorite Television Actor".[]

Films and other projects

Sinbad meeting with Zama American High School students in September 2004

In 1990, Sinbad did his first stand up comedy special for HBO called Sinbad: Brain Damaged. The special was recorded at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1993, Sinbad did his next stand up special in New York City's Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden called Sinbad - Afros and Bellbottoms for which he won a 1995 Image Award. He was brought back in 1996 for Sinbad - Son of a Preacher Man and again in 1998, for Sinbad - Nothin' but the Funk. All of these shows have been released on VHS and DVD.[]

Sinbad again won an NAACP Image Award in 1998 for his role in Sinbad's Summer Jam III: '70s Soul Music Festival. By 1995, Sinbad had created a company called "David & Goliath Productions", that was located in Studio City.[5]

From 1989 to 1991, Sinbad was host of It's Showtime at the Apollo, and returned in 2005, while regular host Mo'Nique was on maternity leave. He hosted an episode of Soul Train that aired January 14, 1995; appeared as a contestant in an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! in 1998; and was the emcee for the May 2000 Miss Universe Pageant.[16]

During the 1990s, Sinbad guest starred on an episode of Nickelodeon's All That. In one sketch, he played the father of recurring character Ishboo, dubbed "Sinboo". He also made a cameo appearance in the comedy movie Good Burger, starring Kenan & Kel, as "Mr. Wheat", a short-tempered teacher. His character was modeled after Gough Wheat, a past teacher of the movie's producer, Dan Schneider, at White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee.[]

He and Phil Hartman co starred in the comedy film Houseguest, where he plays Kevin Franklin, a Pittsburgh resident who owes $50,000 to the mob. Hartman, as Gary Young, comments to his children that they are waiting to pick up his old college friend, who is black and he has not seen for twenty years. Taking who they think to be a well known dentist home, Young's family is stabilized by Franklin's own unstable nature. Released January 6, 1995, the film grossed $26 million in North America.[]

Sinbad's film roles also include First Kid, which he starred in, and Jingle All the Way (1996). For Jingle All the Way, Sinbad won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for "Favorite Supporting Actor - Family". He also performed his HBO comedy special "Son of a Preacher Man", at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.

In March 1996, Sinbad joined First Lady Hillary Clinton and musician Sheryl Crow, in an USO tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[17]

The NAACP Image Awards recognized his role in Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (1996), nominating him in the "Outstanding Performance in an Animated/Live-Action/Dramatic Youth or Children's Series/Special" category. He lent his voice to Riley, an animal character, in Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996), and later voiced the horse "Hollywood Shuffle" in Ready to Run.

In 1997, Sinbad released Sinbad's Guide to Life: Because I Know Everything, a book of comedic short essays. It was co written with David Ritz.[18]

In August 1997, VIBE Magazine started its own syndicated late night talk show, which aired on UPN, hosted by actor Chris Spencer. Spencer was fired in October, and replaced by Sinbad; the series lasted until the summer of 1998. At that same time, Sinbad performed his HBO comedy special "Nothin' But the Funk" in Aruba's Guillermo P. Trinidad Memorial Stadium.

In 1998 and 1999, Sinbad reunited with Bill Cosby and Carsey-Werner Productions, and appeared in three episodes of Cosby. In February 1999, he was featured in an infomercial for Tae Bo, where he claimed that he was successfully using the Tae Bo system to become an action star.[19]

During 2002, he appeared in three episodes of the Showtime series Resurrection Blvd. In 2004, he was named the No. 78 Greatest Stand Up Comic of All Time on "Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time". In 2006, Maxim magazine ranked Sinbad as the "Worst Comic of All Time."[20]

In February 2007, actor Mark Curry credited Sinbad and Bill Cosby for helping convince him not to commit suicide.[21] Sinbad was responsible for discovering R&B trio 702, convincing their parents to let him take them to a music convention/competition under the name "Sweeta than Suga"; the group eventually being heard by music producer Michael Bivins.[22]

Sinbad also made a cameo appearance on the television show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as himself in a rehab center in the episode "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life", which originally aired October 23, 2008.[23] His cameo was met with positive acclaim from fans of both him and the series.[24]

Sinbad was the host of Thou Shalt Laugh 3.[25] The DVD was released on November 11, 2008.[26]

He performed his Comedy Central television special Where U Been? at Club Nokia, which was later released on DVD[27] to even greater success. On March 14, 2010, he debuted on the Celebrity Apprentice and was fired on the second episode (March 21, 2010) after losing in the Kodak challenge as project manager, placing 13th.

On January 25, 2011, he was the celebrity speaker of MacWorld Expo 2011.[28] Sinbad starred in a reality show on WE tv called Sinbad: It's Just Family that aired on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m.; the show was cancelled in 2011.

In 2013, Sinbad voiced Roper in the animated film Planes. The same year he had a guest role on the adult animated series American Dad!, voicing an animated version of himself in the episode "Lost in Space", then returning for the 2014 episode "The Longest Distance Relationship", and again in 2015's "Holy Shit, Jeff's Back!"[]

In April 2015, Sinbad appeared in a USO show at Bagram and Kandahar Air Bases in Afghanistan.[]

In 2017, he appeared on two episodes of Disney Junior's The Lion Guard, as the voice of Uroho the baboon. The same year, he appeared in a CollegeHumor April Fool's video consisting of newly created footage supposedly taken from a 1990s genie movie called Shazaam which never existed. The comedy drew from an Internet rumor confusing Shazaam with the real genie film titled Kazaam (1996), starring Shaquille O'Neal.[29][30][31]


Sinbad is also known for his music ability, with expertise playing multiple instruments; with drums and percussion being primary, which he most often displays after every show appearance. He has played with numerous artists and musicians under the moniker of "Memphis Red"; such as Dawnn Lewis and Adult-Urban instrumentalist (saxophonist) Journell Henry "p/k/a. J. Henry".



Year Title Role Notes
1989 That's Adequate Stand-up Comic
1991 Necessary Roughness Andre Krimm
1993 Coneheads Otto
The Meteor Man Malik
1994 Aliens for Breakfast Areck TV movie
1995 Houseguest Kevin Franklin
1996 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco Riley Voice role
First Kid Sam Simms
Jingle All the Way Myron Larabee
The Cherokee Kid Isaiah Turner TV movie
1997 Good Burger Mr. Wheat
2000 Ready to Run Hollywood Shuffle Voice role
Blue Shirts uncredited
2002 Crazy as Hell Orderly
Hansel and Gretel Raven Voice role
Treading Water The Security Guard
2007 Stompin' Mr. Jackson
2008 Cuttin' da Mustard Bennie
2013 Planes Roper Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Redd Foxx Show Bryon Lightfoot 6 episodes
1987 The Cosby Show Davis Sarrette 1 episode
1987-1991 A Different World Coach Walter Oakes Series Regular 59 episodes
1992 Roc Ruben Stiles 1 episode
1993-1994 The Sinbad Show David Bryan Main role
24 episodes
1995-1999 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Various Voice role
3 episodes
1997-1998 Vibe Himself Main Role
1998-1999 Cosby Del 3 episodes
2000 Moesha Prof. LeCount 1 episode
2001 Girlfriends Sinbad 1 episode
2002 Resurrection Blvd. Odell Mason 3 episodes
2007-2009 Slacker Cats Eddie Voice role
12 episodes
2008 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Sinbad 1 episode
2008 Family Guy Sinbad Voice role
1 episode
2011 Are We There Yet? Judge Oakes 1 episode
2012 The Eric Andre Show Himself 1 episode
2013 American Dad Himself Voice role


2013-2014 Steven Universe Mr. Smiley Voice role
7 episodes
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Noel DeSoil Holyfield 1 episode
2017 The Lion Guard Uroho Voice role
2 episodes
2018-2019 Rel Milton Main Role

Personal life

Sinbad married Meredith Fuller in 1985. They have two children together.[32] The couple divorced in 1992, but remarried in 2002.[33]

Tax issues

In April 2009, Sinbad was placed in the Top 10 of the worst tax debtors for the state of California owing the state $2.5 million in personal income tax.[34] On December 11, 2009, Sinbad filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.[35][36] On February 5, 2010, it was reported that Sinbad put up his 2.5-acre (1.0 ha) hilltop home for sale in order to alleviate his tax burdens.[37][38]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Sinbad - Biography". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ "Sinbad Biography (1956-)".
  3. ^ Writer, JULIE SWIDWA - H-P Staff. "BH 'giant,' Donald Adkins, dies at 81".
  4. ^ " » Blog Archive » Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla".
  5. ^ a b Roberts, Tara (October 1, 1995). "Hanging out with Sinbad: more than a successful actor and comedian, at heart Sinbad's a down-home family man". Essence. Retrieved 2007.
  6. ^ Cotsirilos Thomopoulos, Elaine (2003). St. Joseph and Benton Harbor. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 0738531901.
  7. ^ a b c Collier, Aldore (June 1997). "Sinbad talks about his divorce, single parenthood and his real name". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Ritz, David (November 1, 1992). "Sinbad". Essence. Retrieved 2007.
  9. ^ USA Weekend, STRAIGHT TALK, By Jeffrey Zaslow, July 18-20, 1997. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  10. ^ "John Kassir". Voice Chasers.
  11. ^ "Sinbad to Co-Star in Fox's Jerrod Carmichael-Lil Rel Comedy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Weintraub, Joanne (June 14, 2006). "'Different', but still the same; Cable revives black college sitcom". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2007.
  13. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (March 13, 2013). "Comedy Undercard: A Different World vs. Undeclared". New York. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Sinbad: TV star plays father on new sitcom; says black men can be positive role models". Jet. November 22, 1993. Retrieved 2007.
  15. ^ Royce's name is pronounced "Roy-cee"; "Hanging out with Sinbad: more than a successful actor and comedian, at heart Sinbad's a down-home family man". Essence. October 1995
  16. ^ Wilson, Cintra (May 17, 2000). "The 49th Annual Miss Universe Pageant". Salon. Archived from the original on February 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  17. ^ Response by G.I.'s Mixed As Hillary Clinton Visits, The New York Times, 1996-03-26
  18. ^ Sinbad (June 19, 1997). "Sinbad's Guide to Life: Because I Know Everything". Bantam Books – via Google Books.
  19. ^ The End of the World As We Know it: Tae Bo[permanent dead link], Iowa State Daily, February 1, 1999
  20. ^ The Worst Comedians of All Time Archived September 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Mark Curry: Laughs kept him from suicide". USA Today Co. Inc. Associated Press. February 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007. said he changed his mind after talking to some funny friends, like Sinbad and Bill Cosby.
  22. ^ " -- 702 pics". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  23. ^ "Sinbad Rehab -- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia TV Show --". Archived from the original on December 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  24. ^ Amitin, Seth (October 24, 2008). "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life" Review".
  25. ^ Thou Shalt Laugh 3 Archived January 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Thou Shalt Laugh 3 Hosted By Sinbad". November 11, 2008 – via Amazon.
  27. ^ "Sinbad: Where U Been?". February 23, 2010 – via Amazon.
  28. ^ Chen, Brian X. (January 25, 2011). "Macworld Expo 2011 Spotlights Sinbad, iOS Accessories". Wired.
  29. ^ "CollegeHumor's April Fools Prank Is Sinbad's 'Shazaam!' Movie".
  30. ^ "Sinbad Wins April Fools' Day With Real Footage of Fake 'Shazaam' Film".
  31. ^ Sam Adams (December 22, 2016). "Sinbad Never Made a Genie Movie Called Shazaam, and People Aren't Taking the News Well". Brow Beat. Retrieved 2018.
  32. ^ Sinbad - WE tv Archived April 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ "Black Sports Gossip - Baller Lifestyles - Baller Wives - Ballers - Celeb News". -
  34. ^ "SINBAD TAXES Embarrassment!". The Huffington Post. April 12, 2009.
  35. ^ "Yahoo!".
  36. ^ "Sinbad Files For Bankruptcy".
  37. ^ "No joke: Sinbad's in trouble -".
  38. ^ "Housing Watch". Archived from the original on February 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010.

External links

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Music Scenes