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Neil Thornton


Neil Thornton is an award-winning comedian and public speaker as well a lifelong teacher of writing and

Even before starting the NZ Comedy School, Neil Thornton has been teaching for more than 30 years,
including Professional Presentations, Creative Writing, Technical Writing, and Creative Nonfiction. He
earned his BA from Carnegie Mellon University and his MFA in writing from the University of New
Orleans. He's published fiction and essays in several journals and magazines and has participated in
storytelling shows around the world (Cool Story Bro, The Mosquito, Closet Cases, The Water Cooler, and

As a comedian, Neil Thornton has toured up and down the country and all over the world. He's a regular
at The Classic in Auckland and appeared in the TV3 comedy special "After Hours." He was voted "Best
Comedian" in the 2020 Wellington Comedy Awards, “Best MC” in 2022, and "Best Industry Helper" three
years in a row for his work with the NZ Comedy School. He's incorporated his skills as a comedian and
storyteller in multiple solo shows for Fringe Festivals and the NZ International Comedy Festival.
More recently, he launched the NZ Comedy School, giving a wonderfully diverse range of people the
skills and confidence to share their voice on stage. Through the NZ Comedy School, he teaches stand-up
comedy, MC skills, public speaking, and storytelling.

Best MC, 2022 Wellington Comedy Awards
Best Comedian, 2020 Wellington Comedy Awards
Best Male Comedian, 2020 Cartel Comedy Awards
Best Mentor, 2021 Cartel Comedy Awards
Best Industry Helper, 2018, 2019, 2020 Wellington Comedy Awards
Goodest Out-of-Towner, 2021 Good Times Comedy Awards


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