Gregg Turkington

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Gregg Turkington
Turkington in character as Neil Hamburger at the Crap Comedy Festival, Oslo, in 2016
Born (1967-11-25) November 25, 1967 (age 56)
  • Comedian
  • musician
  • actor
Years active1983–present
SpouseSimone Turkington
Musical career
Also known as
  • The Goulding Institute
  • Totem Pole of Losers
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.

Gregg Turkington (born November 25, 1967)[1][2] is an American entertainer, actor, musician and writer. He is known for his performances as Neil Hamburger, a stand-up comedian persona he developed in the 1990s. Alongside Tim Heidecker, Turkington also stars as a fictionalized version of himself on the comedic web series On Cinema (2011–). In addition, he formed one-half of the band Zip Code Rapists and has collaborated on numerous projects with musicians including Trey Spruance (Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3).

In the 1990s, Turkington ran an independent label, Amarillo Records, which distributed his original albums and albums of other artists from the San Francisco punk scene. In 2015, he starred as a variant of the Neil Hamburger character for the feature-length drama film Entertainment, directed by Rick Alverson, and subsequently gave his first interviews as himself instead of an assumed persona.[3] Turkington also was a regular voice actor on the Disney XD series Gravity Falls, and had minor roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).[4]


Early career[edit]

Turkington rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as the publisher of underground zine Breakfast Without Meat which brought punk respectability to "square" musical artists such as Tiny Tim, Jimmy Webb, the 101 Strings, and Richard Harris through feature articles. A frequent contributor to the zine was Derrick Bostrom of the Meat Puppets.

In the 1980s, Turkington also performed in obscure San Francisco bands such as Caroliner, Hello Kitty on Ice and Bean Church, and worked at Subterranean Records, contributing artwork and live recordings to Flipper's Public Flipper Limited Live 1980-1985 album.

In the early 1990s, Turkington operated the Amarillo Records label, which released works by many artists from San Francisco's post-punk avant-garde music scene. He was a member of The Easy Goings, Totem Pole of Losers and the Zip Code Rapists (with John Singer). He collaborated with Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle in The Three Doctors, Faxed Head (with James Goode, Trey Spruance, and Phil Franklin), Secret Chiefs 3, Colonel Truth (with Brandan Kearney and Rebecca G. Wilson) and The Bon Larvis Band. Many of these bands appeared on 1996's Amarillo Records compilation CD, You Gan’t Boar Like An Eabla When You Work With Turkrys, along with the likes of Sun City Girls, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, U.S. Saucer, Harvey Sid Fisher, Dieselhed, and Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey. He was also a tour manager for both Link Wray and Mr. Bungle. He contributed lead vocals to two tracks by the Secret Chiefs 3.[5]

In the late 1990s, Turkington had abandoned Amarillo Records and all of his musical projects and moved to Melbourne, Australia, where he lived until 2003. Since then, he has written the book Warm Voices Rearranged: Anagram Record Reviews with fellow Three Doctors alumnus Brandan Kearney, also of World of Pooh, Caroliner, and Archipelago Brewing Co. He was a contributing editor to the British version of Maxim in 2005 and 2006, as well as to Johan Kugelberg's 2013 book Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958–1992.

In 2005 and 2006, after ten years of inactivity, his musical duo Zip Code Rapists did a handful of reunion shows, performing in San Francisco, Saint Paul, Minnesota, Toronto, and Montreal.

He has provided various voices for the animated series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Aqua Teen Hunger Force,[6] Adventure Time, Sanjay and Craig, and Gravity Falls. A parody screenplay entitled "Bicycle Built for Two" which was co-written with Tim Heidecker was published in McSweeney's #36 in December 2010.

Turkington appears in the full-length independent drama The Comedy, directed by Rick Alverson and starring Tim Heidecker.[7] The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012.

On Cinema era[edit]

Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington star in Adult Swim's web series On Cinema at the Cinema, portraying a pair of hapless movie reviewers. Turkington's persona in the series is that of a self-described movie expert, although he rarely provides any useful criticism, lauds forgettable films, and often fails to correctly answer simple trivia questions.[8] The series has run for thirteen seasons thus far,[9] with guest appearances by Jimmy McNichol, Joe Estevez, Sally Kellerman, Candy Clark, Peyton Reed, and John Aprea. In 2013 the On Cinema Film Guide app was released, featuring the voices of Turkington and Heidecker reviewing over 17,000 films. Turkington also co-stars as Special Agent Kington in the On Cinema at the Cinema spin-off series Decker.[3]

Turkington had a role in Marvel Studios' 2015 movie Ant-Man.[10][11] He appeared in the series finale of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as bombing suspect Lawrence Territo.[12][3]

In 2022, Turkington appeared as his On Cinema persona in the episode about The Wizard of Oz of the Shudder movie documentary series Cursed Films.[13]

Neil Hamburger[edit]

Turkington is best known for creating anti-comedian Neil Hamburger. In 1992, Turkington released an album of prank phone calls with several tracks featuring an early version of the character and soon after began developing a stand-up comedian persona. The character constantly clears his throat while telling off-paced jokes that, for the most part, fail. Neil's unique brand of comedy has thrilled, perplexed and repulsed audiences worldwide. Since 1998, he has released a number of records on the Drag City record label.[14]

In the 2000s, he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Tom Green Live, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and Fox News' Red Eye. He also appeared in the short film Left For Dead in Malaysia, and had a brief cameo appearance in the 2006 film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The Neil Hamburger character plays the role of Osric in the 2014 film, Hamlet A.D.D., a live action and animated version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet.[15] He was rumored to appear in his Neil Hamburger persona in Greg Mottola's 2011 ensemble comedy film Paul, but he did not.[16]

Turkington co-wrote and starred in the 2015 feature film Entertainment, directed by Rick Alverson, with a supporting cast including John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Lotte Verbeek, Amy Seimetz, Michael Cera, David Yow, and Annabella Lwin. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015.[17][3] While unnamed, the character in the film is a clear adaptation of the Hamburger character.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Turkington was born in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia,[19] to American parents, and grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and San Francisco, California.[20] He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Simone Turkington. He is a vegan.[21]



as Neil Hamburger

as Totem Pole of Losers

  • 1993 – Jesus, I Am Loving You (Amarillo)

as The Golding Institute

  • 1994 – Sounds of the American Fast Food Restaurants (Planet Pimp)
  • 1997 – Sounds of the San Francisco Adult Book Stores (Planet Pimp)
  • 1998 – Sounds of the International Airport Restrooms (Planet Pimp)
  • 2006 – Final Relaxation (Ipecac)


with the Zip Code Rapists

  • 1992 – Sing And Play The Three Doctors (Amarillo)
  • 1994 – The Man Can't Bust Our Music! (EP) (Ectoplasm)
  • 1994 – Sing And Play The Matador Records Catalog (EP) (Ecstatic Piss)
  • 1995 – 94124 (EP) (Amarillo)
  • 1995 – Live "In Competence" (Beast 666 Tapes)
  • 2005 – Here at Last... Live!!! (Freedom From)
  • 2009 – Sing And Play The Three Doctors (with 24 bonus tracks) (Eabla)

with The Easy Goings

  • 1989 – The Easy Goings (Bee-Fast)
  • 1993 – Cigarettes (Nuf Sed)

with the Three Doctors

  • 1994 – Back To Basics-"Live" (Amarillo)
  • 1995 – Archaeology of the Infinite (Amarillo)

with Faxed Head

with Secret Chiefs 3

with Hard-Ons



Year Title Role Notes
2007–2008 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Egg-Zackly Guy / Neil Hamburger 2 episodes
2008 Tom Green's House Tonight Neil Hamburger Episode: "6 February 2008"
2009 Free Radio Episode: "Lance's Posse"
2009 SpongeBob SquarePants Camera Operator (voice) Episode: "Truth or Square"
2009–2010 The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack Various voice roles 12 episodes
2010 The New Big Ball With Neil Hamburger Neil Hamburger Unaired pilot; writer and producer
2011 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Wi-tri (voice; as Neil Hamburger) Episode: "Wi-tri"
2012–2016 Gravity Falls Toby Determined 16 episodes and Mabel's Guide to Life short
2012 Pick-a-Split Neil Hamburger Game show; host
2012 Adventure Time Chipler / Shrub (voice) 2 episodes
2014 Tom Green Live! Neil Hamburger Episode: "Season 2, Episode 10"
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Drinking Man Episode: "Rob Corddry Wears Tan Dress Shoes & Red Socks"
2014–2020 Decker Special Agent Jonathan Kington, Trooper Walker, Gregg Turkington, Bar Patron, Tripp Spencer 48 episodes & 2 specials; also writer; uncredited director for 4 episodes & 2 specials
2015 Sanjay and Craig D.I.N.K. (voice) Episode: "Dangerous Debbie/D.I.N.K."
2015 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lawrence Territo Episode: "Immortality"
2017 Clarence Greg / Square Dad / Punk (voice) Episode: "Rock Show"
2017 Too Loud Miz Abbott 5 episodes
2019 Tigtone Blood King / Fire King / Shadow King (voice) Episode: "...And Those Elemental Kings"
2022 Cursed Films Gregg Turkington Episode: "The Wizard of Oz"
2023 What We Do in the Shadows Gregg Episode: "The Campaign"
Harley Quinn Clegg (voice) Episode: "A Potato-Based Cloning Incident"


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Terminal USA Six Film debut
2003 Neil Hamburger Live at the Phoenix Greyhound Park Neil Hamburger
2006 The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur Direct-to-video
2006 Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
2009 Coco Lipshitz: Behind the Laughter Short film
2010 The Great Intervention Josh (voice)
2012 The Comedy Bobby
2014 Hamlet A.D.D. Osric
2014 The Begun of Tigtone The Cave Demon (voice)
2015 Entertainment The Comedian Feature film; lead role, co-writer
2015 Ant-Man Dale
2018 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Advertiser
2019 Mister America Gregg Turkington Also co-producer, co-writer
2023 Fremont Dr. Anthony
2023 Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Dale [4]
2024 Christmas Eve in Miller's Point Completed


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Shaky Advice from Neil Hamburger Neil Hamburger writer
2015 On Cinema Film Guide Gregg Turkington writer

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006–2007 Poolside Chats with Neil Hamburger Neil Hamburger Live webcast; co-creator
2012–present On Cinema Gregg Turkington 13 seasons and 8+ specials. Also writer, producer.
2013 Think Talk Neil Hamburger Episode: "Neil Hamburger"


  • 2010: Bicycle Built for Two (with Tim Heidecker)
  • 2019: Brendan Kearney's Official On Cinema at the Cinema Reader Volume 1: 2010–2018 (with Tim Heidecker and Brendan Kearney)


  1. ^ Valys, Phillip (6 March 2013). "The sweaty, salty Neil Hamburger". The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 June 2022. The Neil Hamburger persona is the invention of 45-year-old Californian Gregg Turkington.
  2. ^ "Gregg Turkington Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 October 2022. Born November 25, 1967 in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.
  3. ^ a b c d Ratliff, Ben (21 November 2015). "For Gregg Turkington's Character, There's No Success Like Failure". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Salazar, Andrew J. (11 September 2022). "D23 Expo 2022: Every New Marvel Studios Announcement". DiscussingFilm. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  5. ^ Secret Chiefs 3 With Gregg Turkington - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, 2017, retrieved 1 September 2023
  6. ^ Hastings, Edward; Maiellaro, Matt; Willis, Dave (26 June 2011), Wi-tri, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, George Lowe, Carey Means, Larry Murphy, retrieved 1 September 2023
  7. ^ "Interview: Gregg Turkington". Film Comment. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2023.
  8. ^ Kopcow, Chris (28 January 2022). "Navigating On Cinema's Giant, Underground Universe". Vulture. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  9. ^ Alter, Rebecca (12 October 2022). "Tim Heidecker's On Cinema Season 13 Will Be a Morning Show". Vulture. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  10. ^ "'Ant-Man': Marvel teases summer superhero film with miniature preview". 2 January 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Human-Sized Preview for the Ant-Man Trailer Debuts! -". 3 January 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "CBS Press Express – Shows". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  13. ^ "On Cinema's Gregg Turkington appears in-character for Shudder's Cursed Films". The A.V. Club. 8 April 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Neil Hamburger | Drag City". Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Neil Hamburger Biography | Booking Info for Speaking Engagements". Archived from the original on 28 November 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  16. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  17. ^ Foundas, Scott (24 January 2015). "Sundance Film Review: 'Entertainment'". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  18. ^ Dowd, A. A. (12 November 2015). "Entertainment gives Neil Hamburger the alienating star vehicle he deserves". The A.V. Club.
  19. ^ Tired, Jake (22 July 2016). "Talking with comedian and actor Gregg Turkington about the sad life of Neil Hamburger". The AU Review. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  20. ^ Ray, Linda. "Gregg Turkington: Cutting-edge comedy". Tucson Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 May 2023. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  21. ^ "The Real Gregg Turkington on Entertainment, Ant-Man, and Film Criticism". 12 November 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2018.

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