Picks and Pans Review: Vibe

updated 12/08/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/08/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

Syndicated (check local listings)

C+

If you detect a different vibe in the air, it's because this late-night show has gained some strength since Sinbad replaced Chris Spencer as host in late October. Spencer, 29, seemed out of his league when the Quincy Jones production arrived in August, aiming to lure younger viewers too hip for Jay and Dave. By contrast, veteran stand-up Sinbad is engaging and comfortable at center stage. True, he openly admits to being 41—a potential turn-off to that hot 18-to-34-year-old demographic—but he glad-hands audience members with gusto and never fails to note that Greg Phillinganes's band and the musical guests are "bad, baby." Sinbad needs to upgrade his interviewing skills and chaff the guests once in a while (Why book someone like psychic Walter Mercado if you're too nice to make fun of him?), but he seems at home. If the guests look less comfortable than the host, blame that ugly couch.

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