Police Academy funnyman keen to help Jackson

THE MAN WITH 10,000 VOICES: Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame.
THE MAN WITH 10,000 VOICES: Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame.

The funnyman actor billed as the "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects" wants to add his vocal chords to Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.

Michael Winslow - famous for his role as Sergeant Larvelle 'Motor Mouth' Jones in the Police Academy movie series - is bringing his standup comedy routine to New Zealand from August 6-17.

On a previous tour here, the 54-year-old American was given a tour around Jackson's Weta Studios in Wellington.

Winslow hopes to return to the studios in August, and will offer up his one-man vocal array to the team working on the second and third instalments of The Hobbit.

"I can't wait to come down and see everybody in New Zealand again," Winslow told Sunday News from his base in Florida.

"I would really like to go to Weta and see if I can offer some noises to the folks at Peter Jackson's place.

"I did a tour [of Weta] last time I was down and I was beyond impressed - I had to pick my teeth up off the floor. It was wonderful and I would like to give them some noises."

Winslow has starred in all seven Police Academy movies to date.

He is also set to bring back his wide variety of voices and noises in the recently confirmed Police Academy 8, scheduled for production next year.

"That [the movie series] was one of the big opportunities . . . and it is still a great opportunity now," Winslow said.

He said the secret of the series' success was: "Police are people, and people are police . . . there is human side of it, we are showing the humanity side of it all, especially in the Keystone Cops sort of approach.

"And besides, in Police Academy nobody ever got killed . . . and if you notice in Charlie Chaplin movies nobody got killed, and Laurel and Hardy.

"Police Academy was a comedy- drama in the beginning, in the first one. From there, it became an icon type of thing . . . every uniform was clean, every punchline was right on time. It became just familiar and was fun."

While movie producers have confirmed Winslow's role, they are looking for a replacement to fill the sizeable shoes of Lieutenant Moses Hightower, played by former NFL star Bubba Smith, who died in 2011.

Winslow has proposed former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.

"I said, 'What about Shaq as he could be [Bubba] junior . . . he could be Hightower's kid'."

Meanwhile, Winslow promised his fans a great night out during his six-day tour of New Zealand.

"My job is to help people forget about the rent for an hour," Winslow said. "There has been a lot of stress and negative stuff, I am just trying to help everyone turn that stuff off and get their laugh on."

He will perform at Hamilton's Founders Theatre, August 11; Auckland's ASB Theatre, August 12; Napier's Municipal Theatre, August 13; Wellington's MFC, August 14; the Dunedin Town Hall, August 16; and Christchurch's CBS Arena, August 17.

Sunday News