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Featured DVD Review: Sinbad: Where U Been?

February 19th, 2010

Sinbad:Where U Been? - Buy from Amazon

The latest Stand-Up concert DVD to land on my desk is Sinbad: Where U Been?, which is an apt title, as it has been about 15 years since his last major movie role. Now, his first comedy special in years airs this Sunday on Comedy Central, while the DVD comes out on Tuesday. Has his act stood the test of time?

Sinbad first came to prominence in 1985 when he won Star Search, defeating Dennis Miller. (A lot of people make fun of the show for picking Sinbad over Dennis Miller, but let's be honest here, when was the last time you saw Dennis Miller in anything more than a cameo role in a movie? When Bordello of Blood represents the peak of someone's box office prowess, you can't use them as a measuring stick for anything.) Sinbad was always known for being a clean comedian and for having a non-controversial set, which meant he could appeal to a family audience. This was perfect when he was starting out. However, when edgier comedians like Chris Rock came along, Sinbad fell out of favor with audiences.

Where U Been? remains true to Sinbad's strengths. It is still a family-friendly set, for the most part. He does talk about some adult situations (especially when he gets into his advice for women on how to live with a man) but there's no profanity. I think he caught himself nearly swearing at least once. Overall, it is a very high-energy show and he feeds off the interaction with the crowd. His sets are perhaps not as focused as some that I've seen, but in a good way that allows him to touch on a variety of subjects. He talks about Obama, relationships, his rumored death, tax problems, and being poor... and that's all in the first ten minutes of the program. The set ends with him leading the band in some funk.

There is only one extra in the Bonus menu, an 18-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. However, it's not fair to say that's the only extra, because the set itself is twice as long as you will see on TV. Essentially, the DVD has 45 minutes of bonus material.

The Verdict

Sinbad is as sharp as ever on this DVD and for fans of his, Where U Been? is a must-have. If you are just a fan of Stand-Up in general, it is also worth picking up. A 90-minute comedy set is impressive, and it somehow doesn't feel too long. 108 minutes of material for a $15 list price is also a pretty good deal.

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