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Despite lower profile, he’s still Sinbad

Sinbad the comic once said he borrowed his name from the mythological Sinbad the Sailor because “Sinbad was a leader … he wasn’t the biggest guy, but he was clever and resourceful.”

Now, after more than 20 years in show business, Sinbad the comic is probably better known in some circles than Sinbad the Sailor.

Sinbad became a household name in the 1980s and 1990s with his stand-up comedy act and with TV roles on “A Different World” and his own Fox sitcom, “The Sinbad Show.”

He also co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1996 movie “Jingle All the Way.”

In the last 10 years, Sinbad’s screen profile has been low to nonexistent, yet he still tours the country doing his stand-up act – which is what brings him to the Northern Quest Casino on Saturday.

In a 2004 interview, he compared himself to other “road warriors” who will never give up on stand-up, including Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno.

“Only difference between them and me is that they jump on the chartered jet, fly in, do the show and get out,” said Sinbad. “Me, I’m running to catch a Southwest flight with two or three connections.”

He was born David Adkins in Benton Harbor, Mich., to a minister and his wife. He played basketball on a scholarship for the University of Denver and then joined the Air Force.

It was while in the Air Force that he began to do comedy at talent shows. He decided he wanted to make people laugh for a living.

His big break came in 1985 when he appeared on “Star Search” and became one of that show’s comedy champions. That led to roles on the “The Red Foxx Show” and on the biggest show in America, “The Cosby Show.”

Then came an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and, by 1994, his own short-lived sitcom.

Recently, Sinbad has been doing some producing and acting in independent productions. He remains a favorite on Leno’s “Tonight Show.”

Earlier this year, he was the subject of a “Sinbad is dead” Internet hoax. Rumors swirled around the Web, leading Sinbad to quip, “I gotta die more often. … Seriously, my death is going to be my comeback.”

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