Michael Winslow

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Michael Winslow
Michael Winslow 2008 (cropped and levels adjusted).jpg
Winslow in 2008
Birth nameMichael Leslie Winslow
Born (1958-09-06) September 6, 1958 (age 64)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television, radio, voice-over
Years active1980–present
GenresCharacter comedy, physical comedy, improvisational comedy
Subject(s)Pop culture, American culture
Belinda Church
(m. 1985; died 1993)

Angela Baytops
(m. 1997; div. 2001)

Sharon Winslow
(m. 2003; div. 2014)
Notable works and rolesComedy Sound Smackdown
Larvelle Jones in Police Academy
Radar Technician in Spaceballs

Michael Leslie Winslow (born September 6, 1958) is an American actor, comedian and beatboxer[1] billed as The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects[2] 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 Larvell Jones. He has also appeared in Spaceballs, Cheech and Chong's Next Movie and Nice Dreams, The Love Boat, and commercials for Cadbury and GEICO.

Early life[edit]

Winslow was born in Spokane, Washington, the son of Verdie and Robert Winslow. He grew up at Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, and later attended the Lisa Maile School of Acting, Modeling and Imaging.[3]

According to his own account, Winslow had few friends growing up. To pass time, he would imitate the sounds of engines, animals, flatulence, anything that made noise. Following high school and college 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.[4]


His first television appearance was on The Gong Show in which he squeezed in sound-alikes of Benji the movie dog, Star Trek, and Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze".[5] He is best known for his role as Larvell Jones in the Police Academy series of movies and TV shows. He was cast in the role after he was seen opening for Count Basie.[6] In 1985, Island Records released a 12" of Michael Winslow entitled "I Am My Own Walkman". The song peaked at number 60 in Australia.[7]

In 1986, Winslow presented the Best Sound Effects Editing Oscar to Charles L. Campbell and Robert Rutledge for their work on Back to the Future.[8]

In 1987, Winslow appeared as a radar operator in the movie Spaceballs, in which he performs all the sound effects himself during one scene. 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. He 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.[9] NoizeyMan, billed as the "World's Noiziest App", contains video, ringtones, sound effects, and mini games, all created by Winslow.[10]

In 2011, Winslow worked with Orlando, Florida-based game development studio Phyken Media[11] on a mobile game for iOS[12] and Android platforms[13] entitled Wizard Ops Chapter 1,[14] providing all the sound effects for the game. He also lent his voice on Wizard Ops Tactics, a turn-based tactical game and spiritual successor to the previous game.

He was also featured in a commercial for GEICO Insurance during their "we hired a celebrity" ad campaign.[15]

In 2021, Winslow auditioned for the sixteenth season of America's Got Talent.[16] Following the airing of his audition, he had a guest appearance on the Talent Recap Show[17] where he showed viewers how to make some of his most signature noises. Winslow was eliminated during the semi-finals.

In 2022, Winslow was heavily featured in a videogamedunkey YouTube video entitled Video Game Sound.[18] This video brought Winslow's work to a broad audience of video game fans.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Michael Winslow Showcase / American Beatbox Championships 2014 on YouTube
  2. ^ "Michael Winslow - The Man Of 10,000 Sound Effects". BroadwayWorld.com. 2008-07-12. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  3. ^ Michael on BBC Daybreak (2013-02-15). "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects". Michael Winslow. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  4. ^ Michael on BBC Daybreak (2013-02-15). "Behind the Sound". Michael Winslow. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  5. ^ The Gong Show, video tape recorded June 3, 1978
  6. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Michael Winslow Talks 'Police Academy' & Crazy Noises | Studio 10". YouTube.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 341. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ Back to the Future Wins Sound Effects Editing: 1986 Oscars on YouTube
  9. ^ "iTunes Store". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  10. ^ "iTunes Store". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  11. ^ "Welcome to PhykenMedia". Phykenmedia.com. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  12. ^ "Wizard Ops for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". itunes.apple.com. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  13. ^ "Wizard Ops - Android-apps op Google Play". Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  14. ^ "Wizard Ops". Wizard Ops. Archived from the original on 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  15. ^ hallowsnight (9 November 2007). "Geico spot with Michael Winslow". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 22 October 2016 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "'Police Academy' star dazzles 'AGT' judges with unique voice talent". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  17. ^ "Exclusive: 'AGT' Star Michael Winslow Gives a Crash Course in Voice Artistry". Talent Recap. 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2021-07-29.
  18. ^ a b Gastrow, Jason. "Video Game Sound". youtube.com.
  19. ^ Police Academy - Larvell Jones, M.D. Scene on YouTube
  20. ^ Police Academy - Beatbox Riot Scene on YouTube
  21. ^ Police Academy 2 - Loud Lunch Scene on YouTube
  22. ^ Police Academy 2 - He Thinks He's Bruce Lee Scene on YouTube
  23. ^ Police Academy 4 - Let's Get Physical Scene on YouTube
  24. ^ Police Academy 4 - Cops vs. Ninjas Scene on YouTube

External links[edit]