Sinbad Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Toronto ON, September 25
Published Sep 26, 2016There's two ways to be great at comedy: make jokes that are so polished and immaculate that the audience can't help but be in awe of how well-written they are; or be so spontaneous and dynamic that you just charm everyone off their feet. Sinbad was a textbook example of the latter. You could never quite tell where his off-the-cuff riffing ended and his planned material began, and he was unbelievably likeable.
Before Sinbad performed his 90-minute set, Chase Anthony warmed up the show with some mediocre humour. He was sweet, but his jokes about never seeing black zombies on TV was factually inaccurate, his material about renting out his place on AirBNB was bland, and his bit about how he wouldn't take his girlfriend back if she rose from the dead was okay at best.
For the remainder of the show, Sinbad told Anthony to stay on stage, and Sinbad riffed about Canada, aging and relationships. He explained to his opener Chase how dramatic Canadian weather gets, talked about how everyone has a moment where they can't stop themselves from wetting their pants when they're 45, and explained that you can't be too good to your wife or she'll be suspicious that you're cheating.
It all came to life comically and naturally, but it didn't come close to the level of hilarity of his crowd work. His breakup advice for a girl who was too timid to dump her boyfriend was perfect, and his offer to break up with the guy for her with a phone call on the spot caused a massive uproar of cheers and chanting in the crowd. Likewise, his crowd work where he convinced a different girl to talk about her ex and why she left him was fantastic, especially when he coerced her into telling the whole audience his full name by promising that no one in the room would snitch on her.