YouTuber Lilly Singh Makes History With Her Late Show

On September 16, 2019, Lilly Singh’s late-night talk show “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” debuted on NBC. It replaced the long-running “Last Call With Carson Daly,” making Singh the first woman to host an American broadcast network late-night talk show since 2001, as well as the first bisexual host and one of the youngest. Who is Lilly Singh?

Singh was born in 1988 in Toronto to a traditional Sikh family. Always an entertainer and seeking the spotlight, Singh aspired to be a rapper, but she ended up at York University for a psychology degree. Her parents wanted her to become a counselor. In 2010, Singh started posting YouTube videos. She was depressed about her future career, and wanted a way to make people laugh and cheer herself up. She didn’t know of any other South Asian women on the site either, so took the chance to stand out. 

Singh’s channel “IISuperwomanII” took time to build success. After graduation, Singh convinced her parents to let her wait a year (they wanted her to go on to get a Master’s degree) while she gave YouTubing a real shot. She made more videos than ever, working constantly, and between 2013-2015 she was collaborating with other well-known Youtubers, cultivating a real fanbase, and moving to LA. That same year, she took a stage show for preteens and teens around the world, released a documentary on the experience, and wrote a New York Times bestselling book. In 2017, Forbes named her the 10th best-paid YouTube star with annual earnings of $10.5 million. 

Moving to late-night makes sense for Singh, and NBC choosing a YouTuber shows the network is paying attention to the shifting tides. More and more viewers aren’t watching late shows live or all the way through – they watch clips on YouTube. Singh knows what people want to watch, and opened her first show not with a traditional monologue, but with a sketch and a rap telling viewers what she’s all about.