Ok you guys, apparently Michael Winslow is some sort of national treasure and we didn’t know it. First there’s the Led Zeppelin thing. And now I’ve run across this 2009 film of Winslow imitating several different typewriters in chronological order of their year of release…on each typewriter, he “types out” the words “the history of the typewriter recited by Michael Winslow”.
I was a little disappointed they didn’t have him do an ImageWriter II (I know, technically not a typewriter), but I still love this to pieces. Frieze has a bit more info.
For nearly 21 minutes, the camera moves gently around Winslow in a recording studio as he impersonates the noises of 32 typewriters. Inter-titles announce the dates of the respective machines’ manufacture, their brand and model number. It is an absorbing feat of mimicry. From the frantic clucking and strenuous creaking of his ‘1895 Barlock Mod. 4’, through to the ping-pong sounds of the ‘1954 Hermes Mod. Baby’, and concluding with the ‘1983 Olympia Monika Deluxe’, Winslow produces a percussive tour de force that could take its place alongside the Dada sound poetry of Raoul Hausmann or Kurt Schwitters and the cartoon exuberance of voice actor Mel Blanc.