Winslow makes lots of noise for charity

Posted: November 16, 2012

The Winchester Star

The audience appreciates the antics of comedian Michael Winslow of "Police Academy" fame as he performs Thursday at the Sportsplex in Kernstown. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

KERNSTOWN — After perfectly imitating a harmonica and a steel guitar during an eardrum-rattling musical introduction, Michael Winslow introduced himself to the more than 300 people in the crowd.

“I’m Michael,” he said. “I make noises.”

The introduction was an understatement. Dubbed the “Man of 10,000 Sound Effects,” Winslow is best known for portraying Sgt. Larvelle “Motor Mouth” Jones in the “Police Academy” movies — in which he imitated airplanes, cars, instruments and animals.

On Thursday, Winslow performed his comedy act at the Sportsplex to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winchester and Frederick and Clarke Counties — a nonprofit organization that pairs mentors with at-risk children.

This year, the organization has helped 71 individuals ages 6 to 18 find mentors.

On Thursday, Winslow performed a range of sounds including horses galloping, the musical score in “Jaws,” toilet paper coming off the roll, female flight attendants, bagpipes, doors opening and closing, food sizzling in a frying pan and duck quacks.

He also provided the soundtrack to a silent Bruce Lee movie, which left the audience in stitches.

Throughout his routine, the comedian made jokes about how his noisemaking had gotten him into trouble over the years.

“You know it’s illegal to do flight attendant call buttons on aircraft,” he told the crowd. “It is now. After me.”

Winslow also alleged that he could make the sound of broken tools — too successfully.

“I’m not allowed in Home Depot because I can make the tools make wrong noises,” he said.

He then taught the audience to make the beep of a barcode scanner.

“You learn this noise, you’re not paying for nothing at Christmas,” he said.

Event sponsor Los Toltecos, 1046 Millwood Pike, was responsible for bringing the comedian to Winchester.

Winslow was born in 1958, the youngest of six brothers. He starred in “Police Academy” in 1984, a role he has reprised several times through the latest movie, which has the same title as the original and will air in 2014.

Winslow also played a part in Mel Brooks’s “Spaceballs” and did voiceovers in the movies “Back to the Future” and “Terminator” and TV shows “Robot Chicken” and “Family Guy.”

“It takes me back to my childhood,” said Jeremy Greer, 41. “There’s a lot of nostalgia.”

Antoinette Todd, 47, agreed.

“[Police Academy] was totally the biggest thing in the 80s,” she said.

Mark Sasser, 40, loves Winslow’s Jimi Hendrix guitar imitation and spoof on Tina Turner.

“I’ve always liked him,” he said. “I grew up watching ‘Police Academy’ movies, and I loved him in ‘Spaceballs.’ He’s the first one to hit the scene that could mimic all those noises and sounds.”

Sasser also attended Thursday’s event for the cause.

“[Big Brothers Big Sisters] is a great organization,” he said. “I hope they continue their success in the community.”

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com