Neil Cicierega

Mouth Silence

Neil Cicierega [sis-uh-ree-guh] (b. 1986) is an American comedian, actor, filmmaker, singer, musician, songwriter, puppeteer, artist, and animator.

He is best known as the creator of a genre of Flash animation he termed ‘Animutation,’ the ‘Harry Potter’ puppet parody series ‘Potter Puppet Pals,’ and several music albums under the name Lemon Demon. He also released a series of mashup albums under his own name that have since gained a cult following.

Cicierega was born in Boston. At a young age, Cicierega started using a simplistic game developing program named Klik & Play. Beginning in the fourth grade, his parents homeschooled him and his siblings. He continued making amateur games, and even began creating digital music to feature in them; he soon shared his music online through MP3.com under the name Trapezoid, which was later renamed to the anagram ‘Deporitaz’ at the behest of another band already named Trapezoid. He also began composing MIDI music fragments that were referenced in his later works.

Cicierega was first known for a series of dadaist or surrealist Flash animations he termed ‘Animutation,’ which feature arbitrary, nonsensical scenes and pop culture imagery and are typically set to novelty or foreign music, often from the Japanese version of ‘Pokémon.’

Cicierega’s ‘Potter Puppet Pals’ is a comedy series which parodies ‘Harry Potter.’ It originated as a pair of Flash animations on Newgrounds in 2003, and later resurfaced in the form of a series of live action puppet shows released onto YouTube and PotterPuppetPals.com, starting in 2006.

Since 2003, Cicierega has released 9 full-length albums under his musical project Lemon Demon. In 2005, he and animator Shawn Vulliez released a Flash animated music video ‘Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny’ on Newgrounds. The song was later included in the 2006 album ‘Dinosaurchestra.’ In April 2009, Cicierega released his first four albums as free downloads on his site neilcic.com, however they are now currently hosted on lemondemon.com.

Cicierega has also created mashup music under his own name. He released two mashup albums, ‘Mouth Sounds’ and ‘Mouth Silence,’ as free downloads in 2014, and a third, ‘Mouth Moods,’ in 2017. A fourth album, ‘Mouth Dreams,’ was released in 2020. All four albums are linked by their usage of Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star,’ which is repeated frequently throughout Sounds and Moods, and appears through Easter Eggs and references in Silence. In Dreams ‘All Star’ only makes one appearance in the track ‘Mouth Dreams (Extro),’ where a heavily distorted edit of the lyrics can be heard.

In 2019, Cicierega created ‘Endless Jeopardy,’ a Twitter account that automatically posts a bot-generated ‘Jeopardy!’ prompt every hour and awards points to the most-liked responses within 15 minutes. That year, he also created ‘Bot Pops’ (@BotPops), a Twitter account that writes setups for jokes on popsicle sticks, then finishes them with a punchline from the replies, as well as ‘4:3’ (@FullscreenDream), a Twitter account that randomly makes GIFs from old commercials and CGI shorts.

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