Michael Winslow

If you already know who Michael Winslow is then I’m very impressed and I think that we should be friends. You’re a cool person and I like you.

If you don’t know who Michael Winslow is, but you realise it when I say the name Larvell Jones, then we can still be friends, but I’m not so likely to call you to see if you want to come out to play.

If you’ve got this far and you’re still none the wiser, and if I say, “Jonesy from Police Academy,” and then I go on to say, “the guy who made all the delightfully amusing sound effects,” and you still sit there like a gormless idiot and mutter something about being, “not really that into Police Academy,” well then I think we have a ourselves a problem and it might be best if you just leave and go sit somewhere and think about what you’ve done.

Anyway, all that out of the way, I went to see Michael Winslow at the Tivoli last night. For a man who can impersonate an argument going on in another room with loud bass music in the background, or who can reproduce an entire scene of Star Wars with a convincing facsimile of what probably took tens of Skywalker Sound engineers a few days to make in the first place, he does a surprisingly terrible Irish accent.

That was the only drawback though, and it really isn’t a show about impersonations. Its about making familiar sounds, but sounds which you can’t properly imagine coming from a human being. It’s about thinking, “Hey, this guy’s as good as Hendrix, but that schmo Hendrix had to use a guitar,” or, “It’s true, waves crashing on the beach do sound like that. But shut up, because I drank a couple of pints and I want to last until the end of the show before needing to go to the bathroom.”

Of course there’s the drawback that I can’t now just steal some of his jokes to make myself seem funnier. I’d just sound like a retard making beeping noises. Oh well.

Apparently he’s got a new show with Bill “Jello pudding—eating mother-fucker” Cosby coming out soon, which may be worth a look, although it would make me quite concerned that it might open up a temporal wormhole between now and the 1980s, given that much 80s in one place.

Laughter Lounge

I like laughing and I’m also partial to some amount of lounging, so you might expect that I’d quite enjoy a venue named The Laughter Lounge. I always thought so too, so it’s surprising that I’ve lived in Dublin for over a year and last Friday was the first time I ventured into said establishment, accompanied by work friends B, C, J, and C’s two visiting friends. Everyone I work with has single-letter first names. It’s weird. I think they were all named after characters in a maths text book.

Sadly I can’t remember nor can I find online the names of most of the performers in the show I saw. It was headlined by a Kiwi (a person from New Zealand; not a fruit, nor a flightless bird. Though I assume he was flightless) named Al Pitcher. He had the virtues of being comprehensible, confident, and having original material, each a virtue lacked by one of the other performers.

The second performer, from Northern Ireland, was so difficult to understand I settled into a routine of doing a sort of offline translation of what seemed like the important bits. I was just trying to remember the sounds and then deciphering them in retrospect when he looked like he thought he’d said something funny. “Oh look, he’s preening. Time to figure out what the hell he just said.” I’d feel sorry for my non-Irish companions, but they didn’t miss much.

Pitcher himself was excellent. I’m not sure that I haven’t seen him before actually, though I can’t recall when. It would be bad form to relay his material here, even if my memory was capable of lasting four whole days, so I won’t try. I’d have been amused to see where he went with his ad lib‘d banter with J if J had mentioned the big G (i.e., Google—should I try to write the whole post in initials?) when Pitcher asked what he does for a living.