Thanks to a cameo by David Graf AKA Officer Tackleberry in a particularly good M*A*S*H rerun (the one with the eggs, where Mulcahy stares down a rifle barrel then hugs the man who could have shot him), I’ve been thinking about the ‘Police Academy’ movies of the 1980s.  The “good-hearted group of misfits finds their niche” is a theme that pervades the films of that decade and Mahoney and his cohorts are a perfect example.  Remember Hooks finally finding her voice?  Or Hightower ripping the seat out of a Toyota so that he could sit in back and fit his extra-long legs?  Or the dad from Punky Brewster?  The funny spots of that film are REALLY funny, but they’re all balanced with serious gross-out humor, stereotypes of all stripes and some really terrible gay panic, leading to today’s subjective query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) loves Michael Winslow, the Human Sounds-Effects Machine, in anything, but man parts of those films have aged badly, asking: The Police Academy movies: Brilliant Satire or Rock-Stupid Buffonery?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    More buffoonery, less satire, as the series progressed.

    If you want a modern day spiritual successor to Police Academy, watch Brooklyn 99.

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