If you book Sinbad to provide entertainment at your black-tie charity ball, you will get a funny man but not one that follows the dress code. At Saturday night's Leukemia Ball, the largest non-political black-tie event in D.C., the comedian worked the VIP reception in track pants and sneakers.
Shaking hands and posing for photos in a sea of tuxes and floor-length satin gowns, Sinbad looked slightly out of place in a graphic tee and sunglasses. Not that he cared. "I just came off the plane," he explained to Yeas & Nays. So he was planning to don black-tie for dinner? "No, I never wear a tux," he said. "I don't own a tux. Or a tie." How does Sinbad get around the dress code of, say, a wedding if he won't wear a tie? "I don't go," he said cheerfully.
The comedian did change for his routine in front of the ball's 2,500 dinner guests, which included BET CEO Debra Lee and journalist Andrew Sullivan. Dressed in a black outfit that somewhat resembled formal wear (it had a collar of sorts), Sinbad delivered a crowd-pleasing battle of the sexes routine. He landed laughs with a series of improvised therapy sessions, in which women from the audience shouted out the biggest problem in their romantic relationship and Sinbad solved it. "He lies? Stop asking him questions," he advised one guest.
The Leukemia Ball, which has raised more than $42 million since 1988, pulled in $3 million at the convention center on Saturday.