It was so long ago that most people probably don’t remember, but Sinbad first came into the public eye way back in the 1980s, as a nine-time winner on the TV talent show “Star Search.” He lost in the final round.
The comedian who defeated him remains obscure. Sinbad, however, has gone on to a decades-long career in movies, on TV and on stage. He’s coming to Sarasota this weekend, for five shows at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre.
Sinbad has made his name largely through a lot of forgettable movies (“Coneheads,” “Necessary Roughness” and “Houseguest,” to name but a few) and successful television sitcoms (“A Different World” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” among them).
But he’s never stopped doing standup. He tends to go out and do a weekend here and there, going back home during the week, rather than touring.
As a standup, he’s known for clean jokes, without a lot of profanity or sexual material. He says he doesn’t sit down and write new material, but that his act is always evolving. He might improvise a joke at one show, and then weeks later it will still be in his act but in a different form.
His approach seems to work. Comedy Central included Sinbad on its list of 100 Greatest Standups of All Time.