In an important step towards brown representation on US television, YouTube star and comedian Lilly Singh made her late night debut with NBC’s A Little Late With Lilly Singh on Monday night. The episode was premiered on YouTube before it was aired on television, reported Hindustan Times.
Lilly shared her three-minute monologue and a special rap introduction to the show, as her guests for the night were The Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling and her The Office co-star Rainn Wilson.
In her opening monologue, Lilly brought her charming YouTube persona to the late night stage with ease. She talked about how white people may be feeling upon seeing a brown woman on their screens after Seth Meyers and how she and Hasan Minhaj look like the IT department of the late night world, jammed between the white men like Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver and many others.
The Indian-Canadian also talked about how minority representation is all Hollywood is about right now. She mentioned how Daniel Kaluuya should replace Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic and how the entire cast of youth-based show Girls should be replaced by Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. “There’s no sex or nudity…just really suggestive handholding. And all the relationships are arranged by their parents,” she joked.
Lilly was showered with wishes and praises on her new venture. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote, “Good luck tonight, Lilly! We’ll be watching from the north of the border.”
Other stars like Zoe Kravitz, Terry Crews and Jacqueline Fernandez also wished the burgeoning starlet well. This comes as no surprise, seeing as how Lilly is only the second woman of colour to host a nightly show on a major network since former VH1 VJ Cynthia Garrett was in charge of NBC’s Later for a year — two decades ago. It’s been more than 30 years since Joan Rivers’ equally brief tenure as the first woman to host a daily late-night show on Fox.
Lilly is the daughter of Indian immigrants who established herself online with “Superwoman” as her nickname. A few years into it and she had become the only woman on Forbes’ 2017 list of highest-paid YouTube stars with estimated earnings of $10 million.
Talking about her show, Lilly said, “Inevitably, it’s a lot of pressure. It’s also a huge honour and I’m focusing on the latter. I’m focusing on how exciting this business is and how much it could mean, rather than focusing on, ‘Oh my God. What will people think and what if this messes up?’ So I’m just having fun while I do it and I think that’s going to get the best result, ultimately.”
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