Move over, boys. There’s a new Canadian-Indian woman in late night and her name is Lilly Singh. NBC announced Thursday that Singh, who got her start on YouTube, has been tapped to replace longtime late night host Carson Daly and his show Last Call with Carson Daly. Her show, which will air following Seth Meyers installation, will be retitled A Little Late with Lilly Singh and will debut this fall. This is a big deal for a lot of reasons.Singh will be the first woman on network late night in a long time.It’s been more than 30 years since a woman has been at the helm of a network late night TV show. And that’s not really a fair assessment either. The last example was Joan Rivers, who did a two-year late night stint at Fox in 1986 with The Late Show, though Fox has never been a contender in the late night space. On top of those stats, Singh is an Indian-Canadian, which is just icing on the cake atop the shattered glass ceiling. Singh released a statement saying, “An Indian-Canadian woman with her own late night show? Now that is a dream come true. I’m thrilled to bring it to life on NBC, and I hope my parents consider this to be as exciting as a grandchild.”
Singh is also the first YouTuber to assume the role.This is, in all honesty, a bigger deal. Singh is a 30-year old who got her start on YouTube, rebuffing all the late night men who have worked their way up the comedic ladder via “more traditional” boulevards. Her YouTube work involves everything from comedy to music, with a particular focus on Punjabi culture, which she grew up with. She also has done collaborations with everyone from The Rock to Seth Rogen and Priyanka Chopra. Her ascent clears a way and establishes a deeper credence to comedians who have found their start online.What is her background?Singh is from Ontario, Canada, where she grew up as the daughter of immigrants from Punjab, India. She was raised Sikh, alongside her sister who is also a YouTuber. A lot of Singh’s material comes from family life—in particular, one of her best-known go-tos are videos inspired by her parents’ reactions to pop culture. Hilariously enough, Singh plays both of her parents in those skits.
Singh creates videos under the name “IISuperwomanII,” which is an homage to her childhood when she believed she had an invisible Superwoman “S” on her chest. Her subscriber count is no joke. With more than 14 million subscribers, her videos routinely rack up 20 to 30 million views. That’s a huge deal in an era when late night skits get put on YouTube sometimes hours before the show even airs.
Singh came out as bisexual earlier this year as well, blazing a trail for bisexual women comedians—one of the many monikers she’s carrying into late night. On top of her comedy skits and daily vlogs, Singh has also dabbled in acting, landing a small role in HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 and a small cameo in the film Bad Moms.
Wait. There’s a show after Late Night With Seth Meyers?I know, I know. We all get tired. But the late-late-late show is the perfect venue for someone like Singh. The (oddly specific) 1:37 AM start time gives Singh the kind of stable, but obscure platform to be experimental with the late night format. Though he occupied the 12:35 AM slot, it’s a similar luxury that Jimmy Fallon had early on— with his creative flexes ultimately landing him Jay Leno’s Tonight Show gig when the competition for the spot was tight.So there you have it—prepare yourself for the September debut of A Little Late with Lilly Singh because your girl is getting ready to revolutionize what the future of late night is going to look like.