A Sound Career Choice; Police Academy's Michael Winslow Is the Self-Dubbed 'Man of 10,000 Sound Effects'. He Tries a Few out on Laura Davis

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 11, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Sound Career Choice; Police Academy's Michael Winslow Is the Self-Dubbed 'Man of 10,000 Sound Effects'. He Tries a Few out on Laura Davis


Byline: Laura Davis

THERE'S a kerfuffle of squawks and barks at the end of the phone, where caged animals are fighting over some tasty snacks delivered by an increasingly irritated keeper.

Then Michael Winslow, best known for the role of Sgt Larvell Jones, in 80s film series Police Academy, finishes his impression and returns to the conversation at hand - his amazing ability to imitate.

"I'm still scratching my head about this one," he says.

"Every so often, you have to have a doctor take a look at your voice to make sure everything's OK, so he has to put a camera down there and last time he said, 'I don't know how you're doing this, coz the camera says it's pretty normal'."

Winslow's mum's theory is that growing up on an airfield base in Washington provided him with plenty of unusual sounds, which he liked to copy from an early age.

"We lived next to an active runway, so you would hear very large aircraft coming up and down and sometimes a couple of things would fall off and bounce around," explains the actor, who celebrated his 51st birthday last Sunday.

"You know the way kids are, they emulate their environment."

Having pretty much upstaged the leads in the Police Academy movies, which also starred Liverpool-born Sex and the City actress Kim Cattrall, and made a whole host of other crazy noises in 1987's Spaceballs, he is now heading off on a UK comedy tour.

His show at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall later this month is still a work in progress - but will involve the Philharmonic Orchestra and might have a hint of The Beatles about it, he reveals.

"I'm trying to put together some Beatles noises. When they first made it across to America, I heard that accent 'Hello, I'm from Liverpool' (cue full-on Thomas the Tank Engine accent).

"I've worked with orchestras before, and I do violin noises and I can do the sound of an opera singer behind a wall, so I've gotta remove the wall now.

"My job is to help people forget about paying the rent. I want folks to be feeling a little bit better walking out than when they came in."

In the next 10 minutes, Winslow interjects his conversation with a range of sounds - he demonstrates two different Japanese accents, replicates the squeak of shammy leather on a car window and does a mean floppy disk being flexed.

It's an incredible, if extremely bizarre, talent - one which the impressionist insists he only uses for good ... "Except when the opportunity arises to have talking food in the Chinese restaurant," he laughs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Sound Career Choice; Police Academy's Michael Winslow Is the Self-Dubbed 'Man of 10,000 Sound Effects'. He Tries a Few out on Laura Davis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?