LANCASTER, Calif.–Sinbad fans will have the chance to hurt themselves laughing when the legendary stand-up comedian opens at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center tonight. Although it seems as if Sinbad left for a minute and has now come roaring back, the 54-year-old said he never left. When the cameras went off, he was on the road keeping people young with laughter.
“I never left the stage. I’ve been driving on the road since ’83. I never stopped doing stand-up,” he said. “That’s the funny part about it. I think when you are a comedian and you’ve done TV and movies, and if they don’t see you in TV and movies, they just figure you’re not working. But the thing that got me started before they ever knew who I was, was the road in stand-up. And when TV and movies dry up, you just kind of do what you do, and that’s be a stand-up comedian.”
But with his new reality television show–“Sinbad: It’s Just Family”–he’s back in the spotlight and taking his wife and kids on the journey.
The back-story to all this is the comedian divorced his wife, Meredith Adkins back in ’92 and remarried her 10 years later. He says it was just one of those things you can’t really explain.
“When we got married… I was trying to be a comedian and there was a lot going on,” he said. “You know its strange, the age in which we are most trying to chase a career, and do the selfish things in our lives is the age we are trying to hook up with somebody. It’s almost a contradiction in terms. You don’t want to wait too long because you want to have kids.”
After their rocky first try, he moved only 15 minutes away and continued to stay involved in his children’s lives while trying to maintain a life without his beloved. But after recognizing that she has been and will always be there with or without the fame, somewhere in the midst of their bitterness and anger, love found its way back into their relationship. They started over again in 2002.
Now with the show, the family is working it out and living their lives on “front street.” At first, there was some hesitation to move forward with the show, but Sinbad found reason to join the trend of reality television.
“The initial plan was, I was going to do a show with a fake family. No harm no foul. But my daughter has an album out, so I thought this would be good for her… and my son is more behind the camera with operating the camera and producing music. Then my wife was the one who was worried about everything,” he said.
The father of two added that the idea of the cruel world of critics having a field day with their lives was a concern. But confident and comfortable with life, and convinced that critics hide behind the veil of anonymity, the family trudged on and made the show happen. As a seasoned man, Sinbad has had the opportunity to watch the world change in the areas of music, technology, world politics and societal standards.
Sinbad also commented on the quality and direction of Hip Hop in the present generation, reflecting on the impact and revolutionary message the music had back when rap music first surfaced on a mainstream level.
“When Hip Hop and rap first came out, that was a militant sound,” he said. “Now you have kids in the suburbs doing Hip Hop… Now it’s a slogan. It sells clothes. It sells perfume.”
Sinbad says he misses the passion music used to have back in the day when it was sold out of the trunks of cars and people wanted to be artists.
As far as pop culture is concerned, the standards of society have been lowered tremendously, he said.
“What does this pop culture represent? When they introduced a young lady on stage as the star of ’16 and Pregnant,’ how can you be a star? What defines a star now? What defines an artist? Everyone used to want to be an artist, but they understood they had to do something to be an artist. Nowadays, you do a sex tape or whatever… It used to be something you were ashamed of. Now it’s a resume.”
And privacy is no exception, he explained. Technology and social media networking in his opinion have taken away people’s personal lives and made everything a reality show. Despite the risks of being hacked by hungry pop culture fiends with a ridiculous hankering for gossip, drama, and celebrity news, Sinbad believes privacy and connecting with the public is a fine balancing act.
That’s why fans will never catch him posting family photos on his Facebook.
On tonight at 8 p.m. at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, Sinbad will be performing live with his band. Tickets range from $47. “Sinbad: It’s Just Family” airs on WEtv every Tuesday night at 10 p.m.