Sinbad Almost Didn’t Land ‘A Different World’ Role

by Gina Williams

June 25, 2021

In a recent reunion, Actor Sinbad revealed to his former A Different World castmates that he lied during his initial audition, almost costing him the role of the lovable and oh-so-comical Walter Oakes.

The comedian opened up to his co-stars Jasmine GuyKadeem HardisonCree Summer, and Darryl M. Bell about how he made the jump from comedian to actor on Reunion Road Trip: It’s A Different World. Sinbad initially auditioned to be a warm-up comic for the TV show audience. Executives were adamant about wanting to hire someone with experience in that area — and Sinbad had none.

Darryl M. Bell, Lisa Bonet, Dawnn Lewis, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, Debbie Allen, Cree Summer and Sinbad of “A Different World” (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc for Nickelodeon Television)

“I heard that they were looking for a comic to warm up the audience,” Sinbad recalled. “I had never warmed up a studio audience. So, I was lying.”

He almost got away with his little fib until he went too far into detail about his “experience.”

“I’m doing well, and then I said I warmed up Magnum, P.I.,” Sinbad added. “And that’s outdoors, no studio audience.” 

When executives realized he had been lying about his experience, they wanted no parts of the comedian on the show. However, Sinbad had an ally in show creator Bill Cosby.

“[Bill] Cosby said no. So, he said,’ This man should be on TV.’ I said, ‘Well, you know, you could make that happen.'”

What would A Different World be without Sinbad?

Watch the full clip from the Reunion Road Trip: It’s A Different World here:

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