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Lisa Donovan (born June 11, 1980 (1980-06-11) [age 40]), better known online as LisaNova, is an American actress and YouTuber. She is one of the co-founders of Maker Studios, a YouTube video network which provides production and marketing services for over 1,000 YouTube channels. She is also a founder of Zappin Productions, a production company specializing in viral videos. She is currently in charge of Creative Development.[1]

Early life

Donovan grew up in Scarsdale, New York.[2] She was a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder before moving to Los Angeles, California.[3]

On YouTube

Donovan uploaded her first video, "Introducing LisaNova," to YouTube on June 7, 2006. She has parodied a number of celebrities and public figures; her impersonation of Sarah Palin was praised in Wired as "ruthlessly hilarious", and in 2008 Ralph Nader made a guest appearance in one of the skits. Her 2010 half-hour interview of Katy Perry on Perry's official YouTube channel has received over 4.7 million views.[4] In a Forbes magazine article, YouTube founder Chad Hurley highlighted Donovan's success as an example of the changing paradigm of entertainment. Donovan is also a co-creator of the popular YouTube channel 'The Station', which led to her co-founding the YouTube network Maker Studios.

Mainstream success and MADtv

Donovan was one of the first YouTube content creators to cross over to mainstream Hollywood when she was cast on MADtv in 2006. She debuted in a spoof of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she played Salma Hayek, the producer of the ABC Comedy Ugly Betty, and Rosie O'Donnell. The episode aired on February 17, 2007. After signing a contract and only appearing in four episodes of MADtv, she left the following season.

In 2010, she was given a role in Cosmopolitan's Fun & Fearless campaign for females.

In 2011, she was honored as Pioneer in New Media at the third annual Burbank International Film Festival[5] alongside fellow honorees Bill Plympton, Mark Kirkland, Fred Willard, Al Jean, and Roger Corman.

In 2015, she played the role of the flight attendant in Jeremy Garelick's The Wedding Ringer.[6]


  1. Zappin Productions (click 'contact' on website)
  2. 15 Minutes of Fame: Becoming a Star in the YouTube Revolution by Frederick Levy, P. 75
  3. Lisa Donovan Joins the Cast of MADtv (2007-01-31). Retrieved on 2007-07-11.
  4. Donovan, Lisa (May 2, 2013). "The YouTube Interview with Katy Perry". YouTube.
  5. Burbank International Film Festival, 2011 Honorees
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