#12 TRENDING IN Social Media 🔥
PHOTO BY JIMMY ZHENG

Liv Pearsall on Creating Original Comedy Content and Her SNL Dreams

Social Media

September 08, 2023

Liv Pearsall has become a leading figure within the new wave of Gen Z comedic talent.

The 24-year-old content creator has had a whirlwind three years, with videos of her skits, sketches, and relatable humour earning several million followers across her social media platforms. And now, the rising star is preparing to take her career to new heights.

In this exclusive interview with The Teen Magazine, the multifaceted online sensation discusses her rapid rise, the inspiration behind some of her favorite videos, and why she hopes to eventually move on from creating content on social media.

Photo by Jimmy Zheng

In The Beginning

Going viral for the first time is a major milestone for any content creator, and this was no different for Pearsall. “I loved it,” she smiles. “Seriously, that first time you go viral, the serotonin that [you feel] when you see those views and engagement… it's just really fun.”

At the time – in April 2020, whilst Pearsall was still studying as an Applied Math major at Wheaton College in Illinois – she had only been making videos for her friends and her 800 followers. “I posted before I went to bed,” she recalls, “and when I woke up the next morning, I had like 5 million views.”

“I remember thinking to myself that if I want to turn this into something, I need to do it now. So I just started experimenting. I started putting out boatloads of content, figuring out what people liked, what people didn't like.

What did people respond to? What did I like as a creator? I never thought that it would be a career for me, but I did think it was possible.”

Within a few months, she had increased her TikTok follower count to over a million, and it has continued to grow ever since.

Nevertheless, it was only a little over a year ago that Pearsall decided to leave her 9-to-5 job as a data analyst and make the leap into full-time content creating. And although this was a “big step”, she says that the decision was aided by support from people around her: “Everybody in my life has been so supportive of me pursuing this and just like going for it. I'm very blessed because there's some people that wouldn't get that sort of encouragement from the people around them.”

“My parents are really proud of me. [I’m] pretty sure my dad doesn't really understand what I do, but he's proud of me. My mom watches every video I put out, every single video, and that is a lot,” she laughs.

Bible Stories

“Something I've learned about social media is it's just so fickle. It's so unstable. And that's also why a lot of people tend to do well on social media and then they fade away from it, because it's just so hard to handle that instability.”

To guide her through the trials, tribulations, and pressures of an online career, Pearsall looks to her Christian faith: “My faith has come into play because that's where I find my value. It actually doesn't matter how my accounts do, because I live by what I believe God says about me, which is [that] I'm a person of value and I'm a person of worth inherently. And I love God. He gives me so much peace and joy throughout my life, and I hope that that translates into my content.”

Her faith was also the inspiration behind one of her first viral video series - 'Bible Stories with Liv' – in which Pearsall retold stories from the Bible in Gen Z style.

“I've heard these stories hundreds of times," she tells me, "and [I thought] I'm hearing the same thing over and over again, so let's zhuzh it up a little bit.”

@liv.pearsall yo i cant believe i actually summed it all up it 59 sec thats wild #onthisday ♬ original sound - Liv Pearsall

“I'm really excited personally about the Bible and my faith and so [I thought] if I could share a little bit of my excitement with the people viewing this, maybe then they'll understand why I'm so excited. A lot of people think the Bible is really boring and I totally get that, I totally understand why you wouldn't be enticed to read this ancient book, but I've just always been inspired to talk about the Bible because it's so important to me.”

All of the stories are explained in their own unique and witty manner, so how did Pearsall manage to rewrite the well-known script in such an engaging way? “I would read a story and I'd be like, OK, let me just explain this in my own words to somebody who doesn't know what the story is,” she recalls. “And I would explain it and I'd be like, that's really freaking funny! That's hilarious the way I just said it. And then I'd just write it down.”

“When something is organic to my personality and my values it just flows so naturally. And so those Bible stories flowed from me from a creative space really easily because I've already had the passion behind it.”

Skits and Sketches

One of Pearsall's other personal favorite series is a recent collaboration with her friend and fellow content creator Lonnie IIV. 'Translating Modern Songs into Ye Olde English' aims to answer the question: how would hit 21st century songs such as Flo Rida’s ‘Low’ and Sam Smith’s ‘Unholy’ would sound if they had been written centuries ago?

“I love this series because I think it showcases my personality and mine and Lonnie's friendship in a really organic way,” she says. “I think my favorite [videos] are when they really show who I am and what I care about - when I can put my stamp on it and [say] I wrote this, people liked it, and I'm proud of it.”

It is in her longer-form videos, however, that Pearsall's comedy genius shines through to its truest extent - from sketches about TV dinners and hair salons, to parodies of behind-the-scenes movie clips and Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update segment.

@liv.pearsall TV Dinner! written/directed/edited by me. ft. @Carter & @Mattie. filmed by @scottkress ♬ original sound - Liv Pearsall

“As I go through my life something will spark me,” she says of her creative process. “I take note of it in my mind and I write it down in my notes app. I have 100 different notes in my notes app, all called ‘video idea’!”

“It's been a little over three years now that I've been doing this and I keep waiting for a week to go by where I don't have any ideas - it just hasn't happened yet.”

Walking The Red Carpet

The life of a social media star can contain its fair share of glitz and glamour and this fortune is definitely still not lost on Pearsall – most of all when she has the opportunity to walk the red carpet at movie premieres. “It feels surreal every time. The fact that I make dumb videos in my apartment and I get to go to world premieres that I have absolutely no business being at," she says modestly. “Those first few times that I [went] to a premiere. I remember just going home and praying and having a moment of gratitude.”

Does she have a stand-out favorite moment? “I got to meet and have like a five to ten minute conversation with Pedro Pascal at the premiere for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” she recalls. “And actually that was before he had this big blow up from The Last of Us – he was the Mandalorian already, but he wasn't like Daddy Pedro heartthrob online yet.”

“He was so kind. I can genuinely say he was as sweet as you think he's going to be. And I remember having a moment being like… that's an A-list movie star.”

@liv.pearsall

a tiny glimpse of stand up at the end 🫢

♬ God Made A Way - WHATUPRG


Outside of the public sphere, she notes her delight at being given the opportunity to befriend and work with a band that she is a self-proclaimed “super fan” of: Pentatonix.

“I got to work with them last year, make content for them, be at their rehearsals, and help them with their Christmas tour a little bit. If you told 16-year-old Liv that I would go to Scott's wedding and be friends with this band that I've been a fan of for so long… she would have freaked!”

Although when I ask if she has ever felt starstruck, Pearsall says that her view of celebrities has changed as she has become more adjacent to the industry, and offers the following words of wisdom: “Celebrities are just people. They're just people in a creative space that are getting recognised for their art. That's it. They’re not any better than you.”

Reaching For The Stars

Despite having made a name for herself on social media, Pearsall makes it clear that she has dreams and aspirations that extend far beyond the online realm. Throughout the duration of our conversation, she appears energized, motivated, and genuinely excited for what the future might hold.

“I do not want to be a content creator forever. As grateful as I am for what I do right now, I see this actually as a stepping stone to what I actually want to do,” she explains. “My passion is comedy. I just love making people laugh, and I would love to take that gift of making people laugh and take it to a bigger scale.”

“Dreams that I put to rest growing up of ‘I want to be an entertainer’. ‘I want to be a comedian’. ‘I want to be an actor, or a director, a producer or writer’... I had put those dreams to rest and doing [social media] has opened it all back up for me,” she adds.

As for the specifics of what she hopes to achieve, she is a hive of ideas, fleeting from one idea to the next: “I would love to tour with my stand up. I would love to be a show runner on a television show or comedy? Maybe a sitcom? I would love to be on a sketch show, whether that's, Saturday Night Live or something else. Or I could start my own sketch show be a showrunner of that.”


@liv.pearsall

dont mind me, just manifesting

♬ original sound - Liv Pearsall


For the time being, however, Pearsall’s focused on honing her stand-up comedy skills. Alongside doing several open mic nights each week, she has also been taking classes at The Groundlings - the renowned improvisational comedy school that counts stars such as Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Jennifer Coolidge amongst its impressive alumni.

But whichever path Pearsall chooses to take, one thing is certain: she has a bright future ahead. And with her warm personality, lightning-quick wit, and sheer determination, there are no limits to what she could go on to achieve.

“I'm 24. I'm young. I think by the time I'm 30, I'll have made some big leaps career-wise and I don't think my primary income will be content creation,” she concludes, “But, who knows? The only way I can get there is if I just put in the work. I believe in myself and I know the work that I have to put in to get there.”

Quick Questions

Who is your comedian of all time?

John Mulaney. John Mulaney is so good. A close second, Pete Holmes. And Mike Birbiglia - he's so talented.

If you weren’t a content creator, what would be your dream career?

I would love to be a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live.

If you could star in any TV show, which one would you choose?

If it was a sketch show, [then it would be] SNL. But I would love to star in a show with the same following and longevity as The Office. I love a good long-running mockumentary-style comedy.

If you were stranded on an island with your friends, what do you think would be your role or your main contribution?

My gut wants to say entertainment. But I also think I would probably be a collector. They'd be like “Liv, go get the berries and the palm fronds for our hut”. And then I'd go and I'd get them and I'd come back.

I would not be the person to spear the wild boar like in Lord of the Flies. I wouldn’t be the one to kill piggy. That's a really deep cut reference to Lord of the Flies - if you know, you know.

Favorite TikTok trend of 2023 so far?

I love the Happy Birthday Grimace trend! That type of stuff is so funny to me. And the fact that everybody hopped on and McDonald's never could have predicted that that's where that would go. I just think that is the creativity of the internet.

Who would you cast to play you in a movie about your life?

Oh man, Kate McKinnon probably. I mean, she's older than me, so more than likely it would be me playing her in a movie about her life. But Kate McKinnon is very funny - I would love for her to play me... or for me to play her!

Do you have any hidden talents?

I was better at a different point in my life, but I can kind of beatbox. I actually directed an acapella group when I was in college and so I arranged some of our music, which I guess is a hidden talent.

If your personality was a type of drink, what would it be?

McDonald's Sprite. That's it! I don't think I need to explain…

Photo by Ben Huynh

Keep Up With Liv

To stay up to date with all of Liv's latest content and sketches, be sure to follow @liv.pearsall on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.

Sam Burton
20k+ pageviews

Sam Burton is the Managing Editor of Interviews at The Teen Magazine.

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