Liza Koshy

Koshy in 2017

Elizabeth Shaila Koshy (born March 31, 1996)[1] is an American actress, television host, comedian and YouTuber.[2] She began her career on Vine in 2013, before starting a YouTube channel.

Among her acting roles have been Aday Walker in Tyler Perry's horror comedy film Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016) and The Explorer in the YouTube Premium series Escape the Night (2017). She starred as Violet Adams in the Hulu drama television series Freakish (2016–2017). From 2017 to 2018, she was a contributor to the MTV television series Total Request Live. Since 2018, Koshy has produced and starred as the title character in the YouTube Premium comedy series Liza on Demand. She also hosted the Nickelodeon game show revival Double Dare, from 2018 to 2019.

Koshy's main YouTube channel has amassed more than 17 million subscribers, and her two channels have a total of more than 2.5 billion combined views.[3][4] She has received four Streamy Awards, four Teen Choice Awards, and a Kids' Choice Award. She was included in the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list and the Time 2019 list of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet[5] and its 2019 100 Next list.[6]

Early life and education

Koshy was born and raised in Houston, Texas.[7] Her father is Indian and her mother is of German descent; her parents are Jose Koshy, a petroleum executive, and Jean Carol (née Hertzler), a yoga instructor.[8] She has two older sisters.[9][10] From kindergarten until 5th grade, she was placed in a dual language educational and cultural program, where she learned to speak Spanish.[11] In 2014, after attending Lamar High School,[12] Koshy enrolled in the University of Houston and began to study business marketing.[13] In 2015, Koshy left college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career.[10][14]

Career

Social media

Koshy began posting comic videos on the Vine platform, in 2013, under the pseudonym "Lizzza", where she posted short comedic videos.[15][16] When Vine closed in 2017, Koshy had 7 million followers.[17] By 2016, Koshy was also becoming noted on the YouTube platform.[18] In November 2016, just before the 2016 election, Koshy interviewed President Barack Obama on her YouTube channel to encourage voter registration.[17][19] Koshy's videos feature "her loud facial expressions, quick pace, and her commitment to looking as ridiculous as possible as the joke demands. [Some of her videos] take serious issues – like anxiety, the pressure to fit in, and internet trolls – and make them accessible and engaging for her viewers."[20] She suspended adding new videos to her main YouTube account in early 2018 as she turned to full-time acting and hosting work.[21] She resumed posting new videos in 2019.[22]

In 2017, Koshy became "the fastest YouTube personality to reach 10 million subscribers".[23] As of October 2019, her main YouTube channel had over 17 million subscribers and more than 2 billion views.[3] Videos on her main channel average nearly 15 million views.[24] Her second YouTube channel had more than 8 million subscribers,[4] and her two channels had a combined total of more than 2.5 billion views.[3][4] She also had more than 17 million followers on Instagram,[25] more than 11 million on TikTok (formerly Musical.ly),[26] more than 2.9 million on Facebook[27] and more than 2.8 million on Twitter.[28] By 2017, her total social media penetration was approximately 45 million followers.[29][30] Time named Koshy to its 2019 list of the 25 Most Influential People on the Internet[5] and its 2019 100 Next list.[6]

Acting

In 2016, Koshy starred in the Hulu original horror series Freakish as Violet Adams.[31] She reprised the role in the show's second season in 2017.[32] Also in 2016, she played the role of Aday Walker in the horror-comedy feature film, Boo! A Madea Halloween,[29] and starred as herself in the YouTube Premium series, Jingle Ballin'.[16][33] Koshy starred as Princess Aubrey in the 2016 comedy film FML.[34][35] In 2017, she played a recurring character, The Explorer, in the YouTube Premium mystery-reality series Escape the Night.[36][37]

Koshy stars in and co-produces a YouTube Premium situation comedy series, Liza on Demand, which premiered in June 2018, "following the chaotic misadventures of the eponymous character" as she works to become an "elite tasker"[38] doing odd jobs for pay.[10] A reviewer for the Los Angeles Times wrote: "The first episode ... is not bad. Yet it's also ordinary and a little stiff. … But the second ... is better ... and shows off Koshy to good effect, some effective physical comedy included. It made me laugh, anyway."[39] Season 2 premiered in September 2019.[40] Alexis Gunderson of Paste wrote in 2019: "Liza on Demand a truly excellent comedy."[41] In November 2018, Koshy voiced the character Owl in Crow: The Legend, an animated virtual-reality short film written and directed by Eric Darnell, starring John Legend.[42] The film premiered on the Liza Koshy Too YouTube channel and Oculus VR on November 15, 2018.[21][43] She returned to Escape the Night in 2019.[44] She is set to appear in the Netflix dance-comedy film Work It, alongside Sabrina Carpenter, which is scheduled to be released in August 2020.[45][46]

Other ventures

Koshy hosted the live preshow at the 2017 Golden Globes Awards,[23] which received 2.7 million live viewers on Twitter – a record for the medium.[29] She also hosted Nigel Lythgoe's series Every Single Step and was "the only social entertainer chosen to promote the 2016 MTV Movie Awards."[35] She was one of the hosts on Total Request Live on MTV from 2017 to 2019[23][47] and served as a producer and developer of content for MTV.[48] Koshy was the first "digital star" interviewed for Vogue magazine's "73 Questions" web series.[49] Koshy conducted interviews of the celebrities attending the 2018 and 2019 Met Galas on behalf of Vogue.[50][51] She hosted the revival of the Nickelodeon game show Double Dare from June 2018 to December 2019.[52] In 2020, Koshy hosts the Quibi dance competition show Floored.[53]

Her online advertisements for Beats Electronics draw four times more viewers than those of other celebrities.[54] Koshy collaborates with The Giving Keys, a jewelry company that employs and supports the formerly homeless population, on a necklace collection.[55] She is a co-chair of "When We All Vote", a nonpartisan, nonprofit group dedicated to increasing voter participation.[56] She also advertises Beyond Meat.[57]

Personal life

Koshy dated fellow YouTube personality David Dobrik from late 2015 to late 2017, revealing their break-up in June 2018.[58][59]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2016 FML Princess Aubrey [34]
2016 Boo! A Madea Halloween Aday
2016 Jingle Ballin' Liza [60][33]
2017 Crow: The Legend Owl
2020 Work It TBA Completed[61]

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Making a Scene with James Franco Herself Season 3[62]
2016–2017 Freakish Violet Adams Main role
2017 Escape the Night The Explorer 6 episodes
2017 Total Request Live Herself Co-host[23]
2017 Ellen's Show Me More Show Herself Guest (1 episode)
2018–present Liza on Demand Liza Hertzler Main role; also co-creator and executive producer
2018–2019 Double Dare Host Also executive producer[52]
2019 To Tell the Truth Herself Contestant (1 episode)
2020 All That Herself Season 11, guest
2020 Unfiltered Herself Episode: "Corgi Rock Party!"

Music videos

Year Title Artist Director
2019 "Woke Up Late" Drax Project Jonathon Singer-Vine[63]

Reception

Teen Vogue named Koshy to its 2016 list of "The 7 Female Comedians You Need to Know".[64] The Hollywood Reporter included Koshy in its 2017 list of "15 Rising Crossover Stars".[7] The Washington Post cited Koshy as one of the "funny women...at the top of their game today [who] girls get to study" as models for comedy and empowerment.[65] She is a member of the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list.[66]

John Jurgensen of The Wall Street Journal described Koshy's appeal as follows: "Her comedy is heavy on self-deprecation, slapstick and wordplay, more goofy than snarky. ... One reason her sketches work for advertisers is the replay factor, [squeezing] in dozens of puns and double meanings, in part to encourage easily distracted viewers to re-watch. ... Koshy has proven to be safe territory for established entertainment companies and advertisers who have fled from edgier online content".[10] Alexis Gunderson of Paste compared Koshy to Lucille Ball and calls her a "physical comedy wunderkind" and "a tiny magnetic goofball".[41]

Awards and nominations

Koshy has won four Streamy Awards and Teen Choice Awards, and a Kids' Choice Award.

Year Award Show Category Result Ref.
2016 Streamy Awards Breakout Creator Won [67]
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Social Media Star Nominated [68]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Female Web Star Won [69]
Choice Comedy Web Star Nominated
Choice YouTuber Nominated
Shorty Awards YouTuber of the Year Nominated [70]
Streamy Awards Creator of the Year Nominated [71]
Comedy Won [72]
Editing Nominated [71]
2018 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Funny YouTube Creator Won [73]
Shorty Awards Creator of the Decade Nominated [74]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Female Web Star Won [75]
Choice Comedy Web Star Won
Choice YouTuber Won
Streamy Awards Creator of the Year Nominated [76]
Comedy Series: Liza on Demand Won[77]
Acting in a Comedy: Liza on Demand Won[77]
2019 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Host (with Marc Summers for Double Dare) Nominated [78]
People's Choice Awards Social Star Nominated [79]
2020 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Game Show: Double Dare (as executive producer) Nominated [80]

References

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External links