Sinbad: A very funny man

Iconic comedian Sinbad has a soft spot in his heart for Pittsburgh. He and fellow funnyman the late Phil Hartman filmed one of Sinbad’s first—and arguably funniest movies—”Houseguest” in 1995 in various parts of the Golden Triangle including Sewickley and Homewood.

“We did some of ‘Houseguest’ in the hood and other parts which are not in the hood at all,” explained the 55-year-old married father. “I would walk around on my day off with my earrings in and people would just stare at me. One woman walked by like I was going to take her dog. The dog was cool. He looked at me like ‘what’s up?’”

SINBAD (Photo by J.L. Martello)

“Houseguest” centered around Kevin Franklin, the con man who was in trouble with the mob over an unpaid debt. As a result he takes refuge in an upscale Pennsylvania suburb posing as Dr. Derek Bond, the childhood friend of Gary Young, an uptight workaholic who is out of touch with his own family.

“That was one of my first movies. We shot one scene in an alley and the producer got the permit to shoot there. But he didn’t talk to the prostitutes and the dope dealers who use the alley,” Sinbad said to an attentive Pittsburgh audience last weekend when he did a one-night stint at the Carnegie Library of Homestead.

In addition to the movie “Houseguest,” Sinbad also joked about relationships, marriage, kids and aging. His no-nonsense approach to everyday life’s situations forever endeared him to the eager audience.

“We need to have real dialogue about relationships and marriage because they are the hardest things you’ll ever have to deal with in your life,” he said.

Born in Benton Arbor, Mich., Sinbad—whose real name is David Adkins—started his comedy career on “Star Search” and quickly landed a role on the “Redd Foxx Show.” In 1987, Sinbad landed the role as basketball coach Walter Oakes on “A Different World,” the spin-off of “The Cosby Show.” He played on the show from 1988 to 1991.

“Bill Cosby is one of the people I really admire. I learned a lot from him. The most important thing he taught me is to be myself,” Sinbad said.

After “A Different World,” Sinbad co-starred in “Necessary Roughness” alongside Scott Bakula. He also had roles in “The Meteorman” and “Coneheads.”

Sinbad returned to episodic television in 1993 with a the self titled series,”The Sinbad Show,” where he played a 35-year-old bachelor who decided to adopt two foster kids after he gets attached to them.

Despite earning a Kids Choice Award nomination for favorite television actor, “The Sinbad Show” was canceled in 1994.

Sinbad got back into films with “First Kid,” and “Jingle All the Way,” which earned him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Actor. He also lent his voice to several films including “Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco” and “Ready to Run.”

Recently he jumped onto the reality television train with his show, “Sinbad: It’s just Family,” which highlighted his time with his family. The show, which aired on WE tv on Tuesdays was recently canceled.

“They canceled the show because they said we didn’t fight enough,” he said. “I hope that another network will pick us up.”

Although he has had great success in the movie and television arenas, Sinbad’s first love is comedy.

“Comedy is where I can be me. There’s no one else in the boxing ring but me and I enjoy making people laugh,” Sinbad said.

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