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Thursday, June 26, 2014

DVD Review: Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla

Sinbad’s new comedy special, Make Me Wanna Holla, is a ninety-minute show shot in Detroit and featuring Sinbad’s special brand of humor, with lots of audience interaction. It opens with some backstage silliness, where he has a conversation with his alter ego, Memphis, who wants to open for him. Sinbad confronts him on being a figment of his imagination, and that’s the funniest part of the pre-show business. Sinbad says to him, “When they say marijuana don’t hurt people, you’re an example that marijuana does hurt you and it does affect the brain.” Memphis responds, “Are you going to bring that up?

The show then begins with Sinbad as Memphis performing with a good band that includes saxophone, trumpet, and female vocalists. It’s not allowed to go on for long. During the first song, Sinbad as Memphis stops the show. To make the transition from Memphis to Sinbad, he simply takes off his hat. He tosses it into the audience, then immediately tells security to retrieve it, which is great. (And we see the security guy take it back.) Sinbad explains, “They ain’t cheap.”

He then begins by talking about the state of things in Detroit, and racism, but makes a point that it’s more about class now than race. “Rich people hate poor people, whatever color they are.”

He quickly moves into gender relations. It’s territory that’s well covered, of course, but Sinbad puts his own bright spin on it, and his energy helps sell it as well. He mentions how women will lose interest in a man over little details, like his shoes. Men, of course, are different. “Men don’t walk away from nothing. Men do not walk away from any woman. You know how crazy a woman gotta be for us to let her go?

There is some wonderful stuff about teachers dating students, and he interacts with his audience about it. And when talking about teenagers, he directly addresses a teenager in the audience, putting him on the spot, sure, but in a gentle way. There’s quite a lot of nice stuff on teachers, and he talks to an audience member who teachers at a private school. He asks her what the biggest problem is there, and she says the parents think they own the teachers. “Oh, they think they own you? Because they do.” And then he takes on the persona of a parent: “If I spend forty thousand dollars a year, oh, he’s going to pass. Because the check cleared.”

I love that he makes fun of the kindergarten graduation ceremonies they hold these days. I just learned about those recently because of my niece and nephew, and they’re completely bloody ridiculous. Sinbad says: “When I was coming up, you just went on to first grade, wasn’t nobody talking about it. As a matter of fact, you’re supposed to go. Who flunks kindergarten? Who doesn’t make it? We’re going to have to hold Timmy back.”

He turns to religion near the end, and the band comes back on to do two short religious songs. He then introduces the band, which I suppose is a nice gesture but completely unnecessary, as this is a comedy special and the band played for only a few minutes. Also, this is by far the weakest section of the performance. It’s odd to end on such a weak note. I would have cut all the stuff with the band – at the beginning and end.

But other than that, it’s an enjoyable performance, and I laughed out loud quite a bit. Plus, you can’t help but like the guy. He seems like a genuinely good and decent person, and that comes across well in his comedy, in his subjects, his presentation, and particularly in the way he interacts with audience members. On the back of the DVD it says, “An event for the whole family,” and it’s certainly a show that parents can watch with their children.

Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla was released on DVD on June 17, 2014.

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