Who the Heck is Turk Pipkin?
Writer and actor Turk Pipkin has had a career like no other. A former stand-up comedian who gave up performing after a long run on the road with Rodney Dangerfield and many others, he's since published eight books, including two well-received novels, and written a hundred hours of primetime television. He's also traveled around the world for thirty years, writing as he journeyed for a dozen national magazines. In his latest incarnation, Turk can be seen as a recurring character in the third season of HBO's hit series, "The Sopranos."
After meeting Sopranos creator David Chase on a film festival panel, Pipkin was asked to audition for a one-time part in the show. After the first episode, his comic turn as Aaron Arkaway, the born-again, narcoleptic, song-writing boyfriend of Tonys sister, Janice, was brought back for additional episodes.
In the meantime, Turk continues to work with his longtime pal and partner, actor-magician Harry Anderson, for whom he played the sucker to Andersons "Harry the Hat" on the original Comic Relief and co-starred in Showtimes "Hello, Sucker!" Following a stint as the original warm-up act for the sit-com Cheers, Turk also appeared in and worked as a writer for the NBC sit-com NightCourt. Numerous other television and film appearances include Chris Guest's Waiting for Guffman.
His work as an actor comes as no surprise considering that he spent fifteen years touring a one-man show in European and American theaters and nightclubs, performing some 3,000 shows before moving nearly full-time to writing.
After writing and producing network television for a decade, he again reinvented himself with the publication of his first novel, Fast Greens. "Endowed with a vivid sense of time and place," said the New York Times Book Review, "the characters are wonderfully drawn and the dialogue is sharp and colorful."
Published in numerous editions in this country and abroad, Fast Greens was optioned by Warner Bros. with the author aboard as a producer and writer. Pipkin's screenplay is currently nearing production with partners Chris Columbus and 1492.
Turk writing is spread across the board in the world of magazines, books, television and film. He is a contributor to Playboy and Golf Digest and a Contributing Editor of Texas Monthly and T & L Golf. His television writing credits include NightCourt, Farm Aid, The Big Six-O Tribute to Willie Nelson, The Glenn Miller Band Reunion, and numerous comedy/music and variety specials.
Turk's latest novel, When Angels Sing, was published by Algonquin Books in October, 1999, and was a Book of the Month Club selection. Along with six books of non-fiction including titles on gambling and comedy and two coffee table titles on the waters of Texas, he has sold over a quarter million copies.
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