For this 90-minute special, Sinbad takes the stage for around 75 minutes of stand-up and fifteen minutes of music. For the first ten or fifteen minutes, I was worried: despite obvious enthusiasm on Sinbad's part, and an extremely enthusiastic audience, I just wasn't feeling his exaggerated expressions and audience-baiting one-liners, but as the act continues, he starts to dole out more insightful gags (well, as insightful as your average stand-up comedy), and the special gets funnier.
As Sinbad points out repeatedly, he's 53, or was at the time this special was recorded, and most of his material deals with his age. He covers well-tread comedic ground, but elevates sitcom-ready material with his delivery (I'm actually surprised he's not on a sitcom, given that Charlie Sheen does far worse work with equal basic talent, and rakes in one of the highest TV-actor paychecks). The other half or so is focused on romance, and while there's some good stuff ("What you want in a woman is someone who understands the signs of a stroke!"), his perspective is obviously unbalanced when it comes to the differences between men and wome; while he asks women what they don't like about their men, and explains why they're the way they are, he never asks the guys the same question. None of it seems to bother the women who are actually at the show, but I found it a tad distracting.
During the last third of the show, the comedian's act loses a little of its focus. Unlike some comedians, it doesn't feel as if Sinbad has rehearsed and honed this act to death, which is both a blessing and a curse. My knowledge of stand-up is very limited and all contemporary (gotta love Lewis Black), but I'm always pleased by a good recurring joke. The loose-limbed style of Sinbad's act doesn't seem to lend itself to anything like that, but I did appreciate his interaction with the audience, even if he spends a little too much time asking them the same question.
Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), Sinbad is a fairly talented musician, although he's smart enough to surround himself by numerous skillful musicians to cover for him in case he makes any mistakes. Not only does he open the show with a short drum routine, he finishes things off by playing bits of a Kool and the Gang song, which is met with enthusiastic applause. I didn't mind Where U Been?; it's a perfectly pleasant watch. Yet, sitting in front of my computer screen only an hour or two later, I find it hard to remember the majority of his material, funny or not. For his own sake, he might want to spend more time staying in the public eye: when he's here, he's enjoyable, when he isn't, it's his loss.
The Video and Audio