Lilly Singh’s late night show was announced early this year in March, and people are losing it all over. She’s a comedy sensation who has conquered YouTube with a following of 15 million people. Then why oh why, are people surprised that she got her own show on NBC? Don’t give it a second thought; we’ll break it down for you.
Late Night Shows
Such talk shows aren’t really a thing in India, but it’s a huge deal in the United States of America. Late night shows are a particular genre of talk shows that revolve around hilarious monologues about current events, guest interviews, comedy sketches and some performances. Straight, white men havve dominated this format of talk shows since the concept was popularised. Johny Carson was a huge name in the business, followed by others such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. All these men are immensely talented and choke-on-your-food funny, but they are, in fact, all straight white men.
There are anomalies such as Trevor Noah, a South African comedian, who has a lot to say about politics and the current scenario of the USA. Needless to say, his perspective differs from his white contemporaries. It’s easy to comment on policies, amendments and acts from a distance. However, when political change truly affects you as an individual, your voice and perspective come from a place of authenticity, as does Trevor Noah’s.
Who is Lilly Singh?
You’ve probably never heard of Lilly Singh, if you live under a rock! Lilly Singh is a thirty year old, Indian Canadian YouTuber who has become a sensation in the last decade. Her YouTube alias Superwoman made waves on the internet before digital stardom was an established career. She didn’t even aim for stardom! In fact, she turned to YouTube as an outlet to vent about various subjects in a witty, hilarious manner. She made fun of her parents (because all us Indian kids do), she talked about cultural and religious differences, as well as nudged subjects like gender roles and norms. There is nothing this woman has not done to make us laugh!
Since her birth as a content creator and YouTube sensation, she has moved on to many, many avenues of moolah-making. Since 2015, Singh has earned $29 million only on YouTube. This doesn’t even begin to cover other gigs she took up along the way. She’s the best-selling author of How to Be a Bawse, she cracks six figure deals by tying up with large brands, and she has her own line of merchandise. This girl went places, literally, and we love her for it.
Earlier this year, in February, Singh came out as bisexual through her social media platforms. While others celebrated her for being such a badass, this didn’t come as a surprise for some of her fans. She’s female, she’s coloured, she’s bisexual, and she’s owning it like a bawse.
Lilly’s Late Night Show
So what’s the big deal about Lilly Singh getting a late night TV show you ask? Let’s point out the obvious first: she’s the first bisexual women of colour to do so (a fact that has been pointed out countless times since the show was announced)! She brings an extremely fresh perspective to late night TV, and understands the nuances of issues related to women all too personally.
The 1.35 am slot used to belong to Last Call by Carson Daly; Lilly Singh has moved into breaking the glass ceiling in late night comedy. The opening rap is a commentary on that:
The first guest star Singh chose to have on her show was Mindy Kaling, another Indian origin actress who has spent decades breaking down barriers in the world of TV. The two comedians discussed how seeing brown women on the silver screen boosts morale for brown women who want to work in media everywhere; they aren’t wrong about that!
Not only does Lilly Singh’s show suggest a change in late night comedy show dynamics, but it also shows how large TV networks are turning to new media stars for fresher content; content that a larger crowd can relate to. Lilly Singh also made sure that her late night show airs on Indian television so the motherland can appreciate her even more. The show has an air of inclusiveness, something that has been loosely missing in late night comedy until now. It has been on for two weeks now, and viewers are beginning to warm up to Singh’s chirpy, ranting style of delivery. The first week of Singh’s show received linear ratings are at par with Carson Daly’s late night show ratings, which is encouraging to know.
While A Little Late is still finding it’s bearings in the world of late night comedy, it’s definitely motivating to see the splash the first couple of weeks of the show has made. We love Lilly Singh for being her authentic self, even on network television, and can’t wait to see what else she does!