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[WATCH] Calling All Cadets: 10 Side-Splitting Secrets from “Police Academy”

Michael Hawthorne

In 1984, a ragtag group of lovable misfits stumbled onto the big screen in “Police Academy,” a comedy so outrageous it made critics scratch their heads and audiences roar with laughter. Get ready to roll call with hilarious insider facts about this timeless classic – secrets guaranteed to make you howl louder than a police siren!

1. From Astronauts to Cadets: The Inspiration

Believe it or not, “Police Academy” wasn’t inspired by bumbling cops. Producer Paul Maslansky found his muse while watching a group of police cadets in San Francisco. Something about their earnest awkwardness sparked the idea for a comedy about the unlikeliest of heroes.

2. A Comedy Class Act

Director Hugh Wilson (“WKRP in Cincinnati”) wanted “Police Academy” to be funny, not sleazy. He toned down some of the original script’s racier elements, focusing on relatable humor that still delivered big laughs.

3. The Academy’s True North

You might think those classic academy scenes were filmed somewhere in the US, but think again! “Police Academy” was shot in Toronto, Canada. The building that served as the academy was once a psychiatric hospital – now it’s part of Humber College.

4. The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects

The unforgettable Larvell Jones, master of human sound effects, wasn’t even in the original script! Actor Michael Winslow was a last-minute addition after showcasing his incredible vocal talents in a standup performance.

5. When the Director Drives

Remember the scene where Hightower accidentally ploughs into a civilian’s car? Director Hugh Wilson had to step in as the angry driver after the original actor was found passed out drunk. Talk about a surprise cameo!

6. Hooks Channels the King of Pop

The inspiration for Hooks’s squeaky, timid voice came from an unlikely source: Michael Jackson. Actress Marion Ramsey was fascinated by his soft-spoken mannerisms and channelled that energy into her iconic character.

7. Poster Mystery: Legs for Days

The classic “Police Academy” movie poster by legendary artist Drew Struzan is a feast for the eyes. But in some international versions, an intriguing detail appears a pair of women’s legs in high heels! The reason behind this addition remains a mystery.

8. Score One for the Maestro

That catchy, slightly pompous “Police Academy” theme? It was composed by Robert Folk, a master of comedy film scores. The music’s unexpected elegance is the perfect counterpoint to the movie’s chaotic antics.

9. Critics Be Damned!

“Police Academy” got a lukewarm reception from critics, but audiences went wild. The film raked in millions at the box office and became one of the most beloved comedies of the 80s.

10. When Casting Goes Wild

Imagine “Police Academy” directed by Dom DeLuise or starring a young Bruce Willis! Both were real possibilities. It’s hard to picture anyone but Steve Guttenberg as Mahoney, but Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton were also considered.

There you have it! “Police Academy” is a gift that keeps on giving – sequels, cartoons, the works! It might be a little goofy, a little crazy, but it will always hold a special place in the hearts of comedy fans everywhere.


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