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Holy Locklear! It's Larvelle!

Michael Winslow drops his sound effects on T-town

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The eighties. Ahh, memories. Bobble Tiki has many.

Every once and a while, something comes along that sends Bobble Tiki into a retrospective haze, staring glassy eyed into space and recollecting a time when the Great Communicator was giving Dubya’s daddy lessons on ideological warfare, women wore shoulder pads, and Bobble Tiki was busy fantasizing about getting it on with Heather Locklear on a beach, with K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider there to direct his every move and Bryan Adams singing softly in the breeze. 

Bobble Tiki loves the eighties.


The moment Bobble Tiki realized that Michael Winslow, the comedian who’s set to perform at Jazzbones on Tuesday, May 22, is the dude that played Larvelle Jones in all those “Police Academy” flicks that tickle Bobble Tiki’s forever-adolescent sense of humor, well, Bobble Tiki couldn’t help but yearn for yesteryear. The eighties were good to Bobble Tiki.  Larvelle Jones and all his wacky noises and lack of professional police conduct had a part in that.

When Bobble Tiki isn’t searching for compromising pictures of Sandra Day O’Connor on the Internet, he’s doing research. As it turns out, Bobble Tiki and Michael Winslow have more than just the eighties in common.

Michael Winslow was born in Spokane, in September 1958. Bobble Tiki wasn’t born in Spokane, but he attended a dashboard ornament convention there once.

Michael Winslow, during an interview with Bobble Tiki, dubbed himself the “founder of beat box.” During his job interview at the Weekly Volcano, Bobble Tiki dubbed himself the “founder of freeballin’.”

Michael Winslow has used the fame and notoriety he achieved with the “Police Academy” movies to his advantage, touring the world as a comedian, dabbling in screen writing, doing voice work, recording CDs, and working on TV — among other things. Bobble Tiki has used the notoriety and infamy he’s achieved at the Weekly Volcano to obtain free cocktails at the Hob Nob, embarrass the hell out of Mrs. Tiki every time they’re in public, feel OK about drinking before noon, and prove to his parents that the degree in journalism they paid for was a complete waste of Tiki money.

As you can see, Bobble Tiki and Larvelle, err, I mean Michael Winslow, are very much alike.
Legend has it Michael Winslow began honing his knack for sound effects at a very young age. A military brat, and the youngest of five brothers, Winslow’s family moved around constantly during his childhood, and he often struggled socially because of it. He quickly learned comedy was a great way to make friends, although at the time he was darting around the playground, not mingling on set with the likes of Steve Guttenberg. According to Winslow’s official bio, “when he wasn’t allowed to join in group games,” as a child, “he would make machine gun noises.” Surely, no one realized at the time how far noises like this would take Winslow.

The pinnacle, of course, was Winslow’s Larvelle Jones character. These days, the name Michael Winslow may spark a glimmer of recognition in a few people’s eye, but everyone remembers the sound affects guy from “Police Academy.” As long as VH1 is remembering the eighties, there’ll be a bit on Larvelle Jones waiting to be made.

Bobble Tiki couldn’t help but wonder if being associated for life with only one of the many characters he has played throughout his career has been difficult for Winslow to handle?
“People try to make a big deal out of it, but I don’t see it that way. Why hate your gift?” offers Winslow.

“I realized the affect these sounds have on little kids, but adults act the same way.”

While most people know Winslow from “Police Academy,” he certainly hasn’t rested on that legacy alone. His live show is a mix of all his talents, comedy and sound effects combined. One minute he’s making you laugh with an impersonation of a 747, the next he’s making your jaw drop by nailing Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” note for note, using only his magical mouth.
“There’s a little lesson I learned from Spielberg. Diversify or die,” says Winslow.

“The idea of something for everyone really appeals to me,” continues Winslow, who’s hoping to release a “comedy/musical” in the coming year.

“If William Shatner can put out a record, and it can go platinum, there’s hope for all of us.”
He has a point.

Naturally, what you do this week is of no concern to Bobble Tiki, because he doesn’t even know you.  Bobble Tiki’s got bigger things to worry about than how you fill your time, like where the hell the TV remote is. Unless you can help Bobble Tiki find it, he’s certain he doesn’t want to meet you. Besides, Bobble Tiki just talked to Larvelle Jones on his celly. What more could a bobble doll ask for? Bobble Tiki’s side to side, back and forth life is now officially complete. 

[Jazzbones, with Susan Jones and John Sanders, Tuesday, May 22, 8 p.m. all ages, 10 p.m. 21+, $15, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

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