Neil Stephen Cicierega (pronounced siss-ə-REE-gə; born August 23, 1986) is an American "online semi-celebrity" based in Boston, Massachusetts. His body of work is very varied, and as a result it is somewhat hard to quantify. He has described himself at varying times and degrees of seriousness as a comedian, actor, filmmaker, musician, puppeteer, and animator, while The Other Wiki labels him an "Internet artist." It is probably safe to say that his creative output is quite diverse and spans across more than a few media.
Neil has basically been with the Internet since the idea of an "Internet culture" was in its infancy and he himself was in his early teens, with some of his first publicly available creations dating back to 2000. Being one of the first people out of the gate, and already having somewhat of trademark style, even in the early days, that frequently includes self-aware send-ups of pop culture, especially from his own childhood of the The '80s and The '90s, and often draws heavily on Surreal Humor and Surprisingly Creepy Moments, yet with a strange earnestness always underlying it, his work have been quite influential in shaping the more creative and weirder side of the Internet.
He is possibly best known for being the creator of the Potter Puppet Pals series and the Animutation genre of Flash videos. He is also the one-man (with other members joining in live performances) band Lemon Demon, which you probably know for the song "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny". He also makes the occasional episode of New Kids on the Rock, an Affectionate Parody of early 90s Kid Coms, and more recently a sketch series called Guaranteed* Video together with his regular collaborators, Ryan Murphy and Kevin James (not those two). The three of them, along with several other local colleagues, made the Wizard of Oz adaptation No Place Like Home. He has also forayed a bit into the realm of video game development, having released the Web Game Monster Breeder in 2018, as well as showing teaser for an Adventure Game he is also working on entitled Icon Architect 1.0.
In 2014, he gained some media buzz for two albums of mashups entitled Mouth Sounds and Mouth Silence, comprising many disoriented and epic mashups of popular songs (primarily from The '90s and Turn of the Millennium), mostly "All Star" by Smash Mouth. A third album, entitled Mouth Moods, came out in 2017, and a fourth album, Mouth Dreams, released in late 2020. More info about these albums can be seen on their page.
In short, he's effectively the king of "Oh shit, that was him?"
His website can be found here. He also has a YouTube channel here, where he posts assorted comedy videos and Lemon Demon/Potter Puppet Pals-related material. He also has a second channel called Guaranteed* Video where he puts projects made with his longtime friends Ryan Murphy and Kevin James. A semi-regular podcast, Guaranteed* Audio can be found on that channel, and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Neil Cicierega provides examples of:
- Alphabet Song: "The Alphabet," a video of the tune with the letters replaced by brand names:
- Brick Joke: After referring to The Lord of the Rings as A League of Their Own in "Guide to Lord of the Rings," Neil misnames the latter film as the former later in "Guide to Tom Hanks."
- The Cover Changes the Meaning: Several of his remixes edit the vocal tracks enough to wildly change the subject of the song. For example, "Fly Away" has been twisted until Lenny Kravitz transforms into a dragonfly and has sex with a candy bar.
- Entertainingly Wrong: His "Guide to..." series (including guides of the Races of Star Trek, the Races of Star Wars, Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Tom Hanks films) are pretty accurate in terms of sequence and history. Names and titles, however, are not.
- Gag Dub: Chipmunks Redub is one of The Chipmunk Adventure.
- Jitter Cam: The "Aaron" music video is a single extended shot filmed from a portable camera strapped to Neil's right wrist, as he plays keyboard, types on his computer, and picks up toys strewn around his living room.
- Limited Animation: The first three minutes of BRODYQUEST, before Adrien Brody becomes a rock star and then becomes the universe (possibly).
- Malaproper: Neil milks this for all it's worth in his "Guide to" series, which are mostly accurate guides to subjects including The Lord of the Rings to Tom Hanks films in terms of order of events, but with glaringly incorrect names."Book 1: The Friendship of the Rim introduced us to the world of Google Earth, beginning with The Sewer, home of the Hobos, a race of little boys, including Fraggle Batches who's our hero, as well as his uncle, Bingo Beckham, his cousins, Maggie and Pissman, and his servant, Samsclub Gunjeans."
- Mind Screw: Goes without saying, but he rather enjoys confusing the hell out of his audience whenever he can.
- As a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, he has several shout-outs in his works. The most obvious is his first Lemon Demon album, which features a cover of "Idiot Control Now."
- Some of his videos mention Animorphs, including one about two investigators who crack a confession out of a thug by just recapping the entire Animorphs storyline.
- Stylistic Suck: Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away (lyrics) resembles the poorly made lyrics videos that used to frequent Youtube in its early days, and until Neil's trademark Mind Screw kicks in, no one giving it a passing glance would probably be the wiser.
- Take That!: