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What Happened To Sinbad? The Actor & Comedian's Health Issues, Explained

People who have wondered why we don't hear from Sinbad anymore are no doubt delighted to find out that the comedian is back. After a prolonged absence from the limelight, Sinbad — who played Coach Walter Oakes on "A Different World" — resurfaced for the cast's university tour via a Zoom appearance and later took to Instagram to thank the fans for the warm welcome he received. "Man, that was so cool," he said. "'A Different World' going to Atlanta, going to Morehouse College on the campuses and getting a chance to be on a Zoom and say something to the kids. It's wild that the kids even know who I am. That's beautiful. Thank you for everyone who's been praying and saying good things and supporting me during this time in my life."

Sinbad wasn't indulging in hyperbole when he said he's been going through a tough time. In late 2020, the comedian had a stroke that started a devastating series of health troubles that involved two separate blood clots, swelling and bleeding of the brain, multiple surgeries, and a medically induced coma. Though Sinbad survived the ordeal, he lost the use of the left side of his body. He spent almost nine months in various medical facilities and has continued the arduous recovery process, slowly learning to walk again and regaining control of his body. 

Despite his many movie and TV roles, Sinbad isn't one of those stand-up comedians who became more well-known for their acting. He's always been a stand-up comedian first, so it's no surprise that his goal was to return to the stage. He finally achieved this on May 6, 2024, when he appeared at YouTube Theater's hilarious stand-up comedy special "Netflix is a Joke Presents: Sinbad Tribute Show."  

Sinbad has had his share of health troubles

Sinbad's recent health issues are far from his first ones, and the comedian has plenty of hospital experience from at least major surgeries before his 2020 stroke. In 2010, he had a knee replacement surgery. In 2015, he revealed that he had undergone a large back surgery operation where two of his spinal vertebrae were fused together. It appears that this didn't entirely fix his back issues, as he posted about back pain on Twitter in 2020.

However, as his return to stage shows, Sinbad doesn't have any intention of giving up and resting on his laurels despite his long list of health problems and well-established comedy legacy. "I want to thank all the doctors and therapists who have walked along side me through this journey and helped me progress to the point where I am today in my recovery," he wrote on Instagram. "I look forward to this next year and what God has in store for me."