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Not so late with Lilly Singh: The YouTube star adds colour to late night talk shows

In April this year, Lilly Singh aka IISuperwomanII announced the launch of her own talk show with NBC, a first for a Canadian woman of Indian descent. The first episode of ‘A Little Late with Lilly’ went on air today, and had the internet buzzing within minutes. Taking over Carson Daly’s segment, Singh is now the only female to have a talk show with one of the four biggest news channels of America, and to take it up a notch, the ‘Bawse’ lady is co-producing it with Universal TV.

Breathe because here’s another kicker – she managed to rope in Mindy Kaling and Rainn Wilson of ‘The Office’, as guests for the opening episode. Before streaming live on NBC at 1:30 AM EST, it was made available on the show’s YouTube channel (previous day at 10 PM IST). Although the video is now private, snippets of the episode can be viewed.

”Just call it chai, not silly chai tea,” she raps as she takes on a boardroom full of men, stating that she’s empowered enough to create her own space in a white male-dominated circuit of late night talk shows. (And, come on, we should have petitioned against ‘chai tea’ a long time ago.) Singh, a self-proclaimed unicorn and YouTube sensation, tends to keep the show alive and unique with her original comic timing and LOL skits.


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The first episode had wide-ranging topics, like most late night shows, and the laughs were in order. From her ‘reason’ to choose NBC as the show’s network, and Kaling’s ‘What’s the Word’ segment, to her red suit alluding to an Indian bridal look and taking a dig at the ‘browns’ in the audience, gave us a glimpse into the content we can expect from Singh.

However, the segment with Wilson on ‘white noise’, and other few instances through the episode take on the white stereotypes and privilege in a way that is perhaps a tad much. Advocating for equality doesn’t have to be done by making fun of others, right? But we know that Singh comes from a place of peace, and maybe this is something that will evolve with time on ‘A Little Late with Lilly’.

little late with lilly singh
Image: Courtesy Little Late with Lilly Singh/NBC

Make no bones, you’d want to watch this show. And to put it in one line, it’s everything that reads on her YouTube and Instagram bios: ‘Comedy. Inspiration. Good Vibes. Entertainer. One Lover. Unicorn’. The last one the most, because as a ‘bisexual woman of colour’ (an overused term by the media for describing her, which too she calls out in the show), she’s also channeling a whole new wave of inspiration. For the new generation, equality, gender, representation, having a voice, and racism among other things. The show may be ‘A Little Late with Lilly’, but the timing is absolutely right when it comes to its place in the current global socio-cultural milieu.

Megha Uppal
Senior Associate Editor
An innate love for travel and food has translated into many a trips since childhood for Megha; it also fed her curiosity to know about local cultures. When not writing, she is on the lookout for three things: A great dark chocolate dessert, a beautiful pool where she can practice her backstroke, and art that she can save up for.