Animal mimic gets shot at fame

The celebrity attention just keeps rolling for Michael Moloney, the Winnipeg Grade 9 student with amazing animal mimicking skills.

WINNIPEG — The celebrity attention just keeps rolling for Michael Moloney, the Winnipeg Grade 9 student with amazing animal mimicking skills.

Just back from an appearance on NBC’s The Today Show, Michael skipped school Friday to spend several hours with a crew from the syndicated television newsmagazine show Inside Edition.

“They’re taking me to the zoo and they’ve talked the zookeepers into co-operating,” said the 14-year-old. “I’m going to be talking to the animals — which is pretty cool, I must say.”

Michael flew to New York City last weekend and appeared on The Today Show Tuesday morning, where he was interviewed by the show’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, displaying his new-found celebrity skills — mimicking the sounds of monkeys, squirrels and dinosaurs.

He’s been interviewed by the CBC, a Winnipeg radio station and CHUM-FM in Toronto. Other media are calling for interviews.

“No one ever thinks that’s going to happen — ever,” said mom Susie Moloney about her son’s celebrity status.

Michael was “discovered” at the Brandon Folk Festival in July when he climbed up a tree and started entertaining smaller children with his mimicry.

Two weeks ago, he was hired to voice 30 to 40 animals for the new French-produced animated series The Green Squad.

Michael said his classmates and teachers have turned him into a minor celebrity and he’s been getting more requests than ever to make animal noises.

More importantly, he said he received his first paycheque this week for his voice work on The Green Squad, show where the characters solve ecological disasters.