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“Neil is all kinds of fantastic rolled into one hilarious bearded package.” Gay Express

Soon after taking a comedy class in NYC in 2009, Neil became a regular in New York City comedy clubs and toured throughout the Northeast, with shows in Washington D.C., Provincetown, Fire Island, Philadelphia, and the Poconos. He produced and performed in Funny/Furry/Fierce, which sold out three years in a row at NY's Urban Bear Weekend, and co-organized and performed in MAULED: The Bears of Comedy at Provincetown Bear Week.

Since arriving in New Zealand (for a six-month adventure that turned into permanent residency) he’s made a huge impact, becoming a regular in New Zealand comedy clubs, touring to big cities and tiny hamlets, and appearing in the TV3 comedy special After Hours. His NZ Fringe Festival show Ursus Americanus was nominated for Best Stand-Up, and his NZ International Comedy Festival show Bearly Kiwi was nominated for Best Newcomer.  In the last few years, he’s headlined sold-out gigs for New Zealand Bear Week, Christchurch Bear Week, Gay Ski Week, and the Wellington Pride Festival.

“Thornton is just a master of the craft of comedy.” Theatreview

"A bold performer with intelligent material. Constantly amusing and thought-provoking." Ruminator

“I laughed until I cried and nearly got thrown out for snorting into my beer.” The Residents

Neil is also an accomplished teacher, writer, and public speaker. He currently teaches comedy and writing workshops at the New Zealand Comedy School ( He also teaches GRE and GMAT classes for Manhattan Prep, and has taught writing and presentations courses for universities and private industry.