Sinbad, at Morgan State, entertains, stresses school


SINBAD, THE COMEDIAN and actor on "A Different World," came to Morgan State University yesterday and tickled some 2,400 funny bones, sometimes his own.

Reliving life experiences such as "whoopings" for not cutting the grass, and making observations about last night's show, including the spotlight man who "passed out" and almost dropped the light, he kept the sellout crowd in stitches.

"Your check ain't cashed yet," he told the spotlight man, who seemed a little upset at the acknowledgment. The crowd burst into laughter.

For 90 minutes, Sinbad joked about a myriad of topics, including college living, differences between men and women and singers who can't sing or dance, namely rhythm and blues artists Bel Biv DeVoe and Keith Sweat.

He said he heard Bel Biv DeVoe live and said, "Oh, please," put the tape in and start dancing.

Before his performance, Sinbad said, he toured Morgan's campus. And that too, provided some laughs.

During that tour, he discovered an isolated male dormitory.

"What the heck is that, a relocation (site)?" the 34-year-old entertainer asked. ". . . that dorm ain't in the brochure." That's the dormitory where the people who register late stay, said the tall, red-haired 6-foot-5 native of Michigan.

Sinbad recalled that when he was younger he refused to obey his mother and cut the grass.

He said his mother seemed to grow before his eyes and her voice changed. "'Lord, Jesus Christ, please don't make me kill this child'," she said in a Darth Vader-like tone. "That messed me up," he said. "I peed in my brand new bell bottom pants."

During his show, no topic seemed untouchable, even the tired and hungry Iraqi soldiers who surrendered during the Persian Gulf war.

U.S. soldiers could have forced the starving Iraqi soldiers out a foxhole by saying: "Here's a Jujubee," he said.

He ridiculed reporters and cameramen who failed to seek shelter when a Scud missile flew over and instead chose to get the story or picture. He said his life would have been more important.

But he said, "I'm glad (the troops are) coming back."

On a serious note, however, he encouraged students to stay in school.

By stating the illiteracy rate among blacks and recalling the no-future look and life of the basketball player who didn't make it and had no alternative, his point was well-taken.

It was a serious injury in 1981 that kept him from pursuing a basketball career.

After graduating from a predominately white college in Denver and entering the Air Force, Sinbad tried his luck at comedy, which left him penniless in the beginning.

After struggling on his "Poverty Tour" in 1983, his big break came when he competed on "Star Search," winning 10 times.

The father of two children and son of a minister, he now plays Walter Oakes on the popular NBC comedy, "A Different World," and moonlights as host of "It's Showtime at the Apollo."

The show at Morgan was part of his nationwide tour called "Share the Dream," sponsored by Coca-Cola and the Morgan State Student Government Association.

His special guest was comedian Richard Trask, who has appeared on Fox's "Comic Strip Live" and "It's Showtime at the Apollo."

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