SF Sketchfest: Michael Winslow & Rhys Darby: Sound Effects Summit
Michael Winslow was born on September 6, 1958 to Robert and Verdie Winslow, on Fairchild Air Force Base with never a dull moment. The youngest of six brothers, his mom tells stories about how when he was young, he would imitate the airplanes, and jet engines. Basically anything that made a noise he copied with sounds that came out of his mouth. “Growing up on the Air Force Base made it difficult to have friends, so I created imaginary friends; dogs, cats, trucks, anything that would keep me occupied for the moment,” says Michael. After he graduated high school and a short-lived college career, he had his first professional performance at a club/theater in Boulder, Colorado named Tulagi’s. This was very exciting for him because Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Tommy Bolin and other famous bands played there (by the way Michael does an incredible imitation on Hendrix’s guitar playing). He opened for a group called “Nova,” an Italian Rock Fusion Band. He heard through the grapevine that this group were fans of Jimi Hendrix, so why not portray him? He had lots of props including his mother’s Afro wig. He was so nervous, but the audience was flabbergasted with his rendition of “Purple Haze”. The ovation and the applause from the audience was overwhelming. From that moment on he knew his calling. He wanted to be an entertainer. Mr. Michael packed his bags and hitchhiked to Venice Beach where he would be homeless for a short time. He auditioned for the Gong Show, hosted by the infamous Chuck Barris, and he won a whopping $516.32 that finally got him out of homelessness and allowed him to buy a vehicle, which took him to Los Angeles to all the local comedy clubs. At this point in time, Bud Friedman believed in him and featured in him in the famous EVENING AT THE IMPROV (which we all known now as the Comedy Improv Clubs). Director Hugh Wilson and producer Paul Manslanski came to see him perform at Long Beach Theater where he was opening for the incomparable Count Basie & his Orchestra. Needless to say, Wilson and Manslanski were blown away! They immediately wrote him into the script of the unforgettable Police Academy I through VII. As soon as this movie came out, it became an instant success and so did Michael! His celebrity status was in place. He then went to play a part in Mel Brooks Spaceballs. This film helped in furthering his spotlight as a unique comedian. A man with a special talent that made “families” laugh. Michael was also heard, but not seen, when he gave the voice to Stripe, the evil little creature, in another hit movie Gremlins. He also did voice-overs for Disney and Universal Studios in such rides as Back to the Future and Terminator. Currently you can also hear him in the television hits Robot Chicken and Family Guy. You can’t miss him on those great “Geico” commercials. Michael, a master of vocal gymnastics, can imitate over 1000 sound effects using his voice alone. Whether he is recreating the frenzy of Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar, or the roar of a jet plane, his talent is truly remarkable and his versatility admirable and enjoyable for all ages!
Rhys Darby is best known as Murray in HBO’s FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS. He made his feature film debut in YES MAN with Jim Carrey and then opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman in Richard Curtis’ PIRATE RADIO. He most recently wrote, executive produced and starred in SHORT POPPIES for TVNZ in his native New Zealand. Rhys performs his standup all across the United States and internationally, including such popular festivals as Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Montreal’s Just for Laughs, and Bonnaroo.
All shows are 18 & over with valid photo ID.
There is a two drink minimum per person.
Cameras and video/audio recording devices are not permitted.
Tickets subject to all applicable facility fees and service charges. Please note we may cancel any ticket orders that exceed the published ticket limit. Tickets may not be available in all price levels and sections. Small personal cameras are allowed in the venue. Commercial photography, flash photography, professional cameras and recording devices are not permitted.