On the eve of his triumphant return to the spotlight, we asked this silk-sheathed innovator of comedy and high fashion soul-searching questions about Necessary Roughness, hamburgers, and, perhaps inevitably, Billy Blanks
From the zany ties to those great big shimmery trousers, your get-ups are the stuff of legend. What advice would you give the man who yearns to cultivate a distinctive look?
I said I'mma make sure that you can't miss me. Now I have a whole different style, but that time I was just wild...there was no style in the 80s, doo. It was Merry Go-round stores and DJs.
Fair enough. So at what point during the filming of House Guest did you realize it would be an instant timeless masterpiece?
You know what? I think after we ate the hamburgers at Mac Donald's.
Was your character Kevin Franklin's love for Big Macs actually a reflection of your feelings on the sandwich?
Actually, I'd have been more of a fish sandwich man, but that wouldn't have played as well.
Tell me, 'Bad, how were you able to be so convincing as a defensive lineman in Necessary Roughness, but then shockingly more convincing as a celestial mechanics professor?
Because I did those jobs in real life. I played pro football, and I was a mechanic on the weekends.
In an AP interview, Mark Hangin' With Mr. Cooper Curry said he was considering suicide but you made him laugh, so he decided against it. That must have been a real humdinger...
Well, he owed me money. And if he died, I couldn't get my cash back.
One time you lent your talent to a Tae Bo commercial. How much of a wiener is Billy Blanks, really?
I'll tell you what, there's fifteen kids in the Blanks family. I was just in Erie, Pennsylvania to do a show with 'em, and all of 'em -- sistas included -- they would knock you out.
Have you ever eaten at Sinbad's in SF?
Yes I have. In fact when I won a San Francisco comedy competition, he invited me out, so I went down to Sinbad's. He's the reason I can't get the Sinbad license plate in California.
On The Cosby Show, Lisa Bonet was rumored to be a bit of a crackhead. Was her role in A Different World ever...um...problematic?
(Incredulous) What?! That girl's one of the most down to earth -- Crack?! I would never expect that. (Silence, pondering) Maybe incense...
According to the Internets, you were recently dead. How did that feel?
Peaceful. It's white lights.
The world hasn't heard from Sinbad for a while. What have you been doing with yourself?
I haven't called the world. I don't have their phone number.
But clearly, with a gig on the calendar, somebody's got Sinbad's beeper.