Michael Winslow

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Michael Winslow
Michael Winslow 2008 (cropped and levels adjusted).jpg
Birth name Michael Leslie Winslow
Born (1958-09-06) September 6, 1958 (age 56)
Spokane, Washington
Medium Stand-up, Film, Television, Personality
Nationality American
Years active 1980-Present
Genres Character comedy, physical comedy, improvisational comedy
Subject(s) Pop culture, American culture
Spouse Belinda Church (m. 1985; died 1993) 3 children
Angela Baytops (m. 1997; div. 2001)
Sharon Winslow (m. 2003)
Notable works and roles Comedy Sound Smackdown
Larvelle Jones in Police Academy
Radar Technician in Spaceballs
Website http://www.michaelwinslow.net/

Michael Winslow (born September 6, 1958) is an American actor, beatboxer and comedian billed as the "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects"[1] for his ability to make realistic sounds using only his voice. He is best known for his roles in all seven Police Academy films as Larvelle Jones. He has also appeared in Spaceballs and a Cadbury commercial.

Early life[edit]

Winslow was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Robert and Verdie Winslow.[2] He attended the Lisa Maile School of Acting, Modeling and Imaging. He also studied architecture.[citation needed]

Winslow grew up at Fairchild Air Force Base where, according to Winslow, he had few constant friends to call on. In order to pass his time, he would imitate the sounds of engines, animals, anything that made noise. Following his high school and college periods, he performed in nightclubs and theaters, where his sound imitation skills won him positive appraisal and enough money to move to and perform his act in Hollywood.[3]

Career[edit]

His first television appearance was on The Gong Show in which he squeezed in sound-alikes of Benji the movie dog, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". He is best known for his role as Sgt. Larvelle "Motor Mouth" Jones in the Police Academy series of movies and TV shows. In 1985, Island released a 12" of Michael Winslow titled "I Am My Own Walkman". He also appeared as a radar operator in the movie Spaceballs, in which he performs all the sound effects during his scene himself. Mel Brooks (who wrote, directed, produced, and co-starred in the film), stated that by doing so, Winslow saved the film money. Winslow is also a motivational speaker. Since the fall of 2008, Winslow has hosted the motion picture television series called "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow" on the cable superstation WGN America, which features movies mostly released in the 1980s. Michael continues to perform stand-up comedy around the globe.

Michael Winslow debuted his own iPhone and iPod Touch apps in 2010, bringing his sound effects and comedy to a mobile platform. ThatsKungFu generates Winslow's kung fu fighting sounds when the device is swung in a fighting motion.[4] NoizeyMan, billed as the "World's Noiziest App", contains video, ringtones, sound effects, and mini games, all created by Michael Winslow.[5]

In 2011 Michael worked with Orlando, Florida based game development studio Phyken Media [6] on a new franchise mobile game named "Wizard Ops Chapter 1",[7] providing all the sound effects for the game. Available on iOS[8] and Android [9]

In 2013 Michael again begun the process of working with Phyken Media on Wizard Ops Tactics, a turn based tactical game and spiritual successor to the previous game. Providing sound effects and is actively engaged with upcoming updates and features. Available on iOS [10] and Google Play.[11]

Michael Winslow has had a varied and interesting career[citation needed] and among the people he has been associated with are Ronnie Lee Cunningham the former keyboardist and lead vocalist for seventies funk rock outfit LAW[12] and actor David DeLuise.[13]

References in other media[edit]

  • In The Simpsons episode "Marge Be Not Proud", Bart Simpson is caught stealing and is lectured by Homer, who concludes with the lines: "We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well I didn't hear anybody laughing, did you? Except at that guy who made sound effects." Homer then laughs at himself while trying to impersonate Winslow and forgets what he was yelling at Bart about.
  • Michael Winslow was parodied by Phil LaMarr in a MADtv skit mocking Hollywood Squares.
  • The episode "Sausage Fest" of Robot Chicken featured Winslow's Larvell Jones from Police Academy as well as the other police officers when they join the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning to become X-Men. Michael Winslow voiced his character as well as the accompanying sound effects. Throughout the sketch, Jones' character seems to be making screeching sound effects whenever Professor Xavier rolls around on his wheelchair. Xavier realizes this and uses his powers to make Jones brain dead so that he cannot do this anymore, only to find out that his wheelchair was, in fact, screeching on its own. Winslow also performed an alternate ending theme for the credits of that episode.
  • Winslow was spoofed on In Living Color, with David Alan Grier making sound effects. Although the biggest punchline was a narrator saying "You remember Michael Winslow from Spaceballs, as well as Police Academy 1, Police Academy 2..." and continues naming the Police Academy films up to a (at the time the show aired) non-existent Police Academy 7.
  • In the episode of The Office entitled "Dwight's Speech", Michael Scott imitates Winslow while vamping for Dwight Schrute at a sales convention.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1" Quagmire and his friends are in a haunted house and supposedly hear a wolf, which briefly frightens them, only to find out it was Winslow, who makes a guest appearance and performs several other sound effects.
  • In the Psych episode "We'd Like to Thank the Academy" the characters explicitly reference the Police Academy films, and at various points Burton Guster attempts to imitate Winslow's sound effects, particularly a machine gun effect.
  • Key & Peele portrayed Winslow and Bobby McFerrin as "The Kings of Mouth Noise" in a fight for top billing on a sound effects tour
  • In the Castle episode "Knockdown", Castle talks about the best fictional police officers, and lists Dirty Harry, Cobra and Larvelle Jones (though he doesn't recall the latter's name).
  • In May 2013, Winslow narrated Solve Media's Bot Or Not Children's Book
  • In the Futurama episode "Law and Oracle," the Sound Effects 5000 is a robot parody of Winslow. The main character Fry notes that its abilities would be impressive if it were a human.
  • In Total Drama: Pahkitew Island a character called Beardo, who is able to make a wide assortment of sound effects, has been confirmed to be directly inspired by Michael Winslow. Particularly notable is him making a Pacman sound effect (referencing the Space Invaders sounds Winslow made in Police Academy), as well as a sound effect for a gun cocking and firing.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael Winslow - The Man Of 10,000 Sound Effects". BroadwayWorld.com. 2008-07-12. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  2. ^ Michael on BBC Daybreak (2013-02-15). "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects". Michael Winslow. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  3. ^ Michael on BBC Daybreak (2013-02-15). "Behind the Sound". Michael Winslow. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Connecting to the iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Connecting to the iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to PhykenMedia". Phykenmedia.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  7. ^ "Wizard Ops". Wizard Ops. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Wizard Ops for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  9. ^ "Wizard Ops - Android-apps op Google Play". Play.google.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  10. ^ iOS https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wizard-ops-tactics/id560948256?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2
  11. ^ Google Play - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.phyken.wizardopstactics
  12. ^ "What They Did". Vindy.com. 2002-06-23. Retrieved 2013-03-10. 
  13. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0893367/

External links[edit]