Lily Singh Premieres New Talk Show “A Little Late” on NBC
November 1, 2019
YouTuber Lilly Singh opened her new late-night show “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” on Sept. 16, 2019, on NBC. She joins the likes of John Oliver, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, hosts of late-night television shows. As a female YouTuber, Singh clearly and proudly distinguishes herself from more traditional late-night show hosts.
In her opening monologue, Singh made fun of the clear differences — primarily gender, sexual orientation and race — between her and her peers. In a white, male-dominated field, these differences demand to be noticed.
As a woman of color leading a significant group of young girls in their path to success, Women of Tomorrow sponsor Trisha Jarrett-Morales comments on the state of representation in the media.
“I never really thought that I really don’t see women represented in that area, but I think it’s cool to have a late-night women’s voice,” Jarrett said.
In the same monologue, Singh thanked influential women that paved the way for a woman of color to have a space in a primetime show on one of the four main television broadcasters, recognizing Mindy Kaling and Michelle Obama for their effect on the media. Despite not being the first woman to host a late-night show, Singh is the first bisexual woman of color to host a show. Through her presence, Singh highlights the importance of having representation for women of color.
“I think she’ll be opening doors for women that come behind her, people that probably didn’t even think that was a possibility for them will now see that they can dream bigger dreams and aspire [to] bigger things in their careers that were only held by men,” Jarrett said.
Another factor that sets “A Little Late” apart is the host’s background as a YouTuber, not a traditional television personality. This shows how the newer generation of mainstream celebrities and personalities already starts to have a strong impact from online influencers and their huge followings.
Coming from Youtube, Singh — also known as iiSuperwomanii — appeals to a younger audience, creating an interesting dynamic between the host and audience. Still, some viewers found the jokes based on identity repetitive or cringy. As a Youtuber, her audience is already familiar with Singh. Yet the public consensus on the show isn’t exactly positive — a clip of her opening monologue from Sept. 16 has 40,000 likes and 34,000 dislikes. However, the feedback drastically improved after two episodes, having 26,000 likes and 697 dislikes by Sept. 18.
Another unusual aspect of the show is Singh’s unwillingness to directly comment on the daily news, and instead focus on delivering humor to daily experiences.
“[When I think of late-night television,] I think about them talking about current events, about what’s happening now,” Jarrett said.
With opening monologues ranging from sex education to dating app anecdotes and the perks of getting older, Singh focuses on the lighter side of comedy, paying true homage to the nature of Youtube humor.
“Sometimes it just is a time when there’s an awakening or an awareness happening and different groups are being exposed and can really represent their culture in a true light, a non-stereotypical light,” Jarrett said. “I don’t know if that’s like a wave that needs to happen or if it just happens naturally if it’s forced by society, I don’t know but it’s good to see that there are changes.”
With guests such as Mindy Kaling, Kenan Thompson, Chelsea Handler, Tracee Ellis Ross, Christina Aguilera, Natalie Portman and a refreshing perspective on television entertainment, “A Little Late” promises to change the relationship between digital and mainstream media and gives Internet personalities a new outlet.