In the span of nine years, Youtube star Lilly Singh has tucked some serious credentials under her belt. But now, the Canadian comedian, who has ranked #1 on Forbes Highest Paid Youtube Stars list can now add ‘television host,’ to that pile. The achievement makes her the first openly bisexual woman of color in history to host an American late-night show. Other women of color like Wanda Sykes and Mo'Nique have also hosted late-night shows.
Singh is perhaps best known as “IISuperwomanII” to her nearly 15 million subscribers on Youtube. On her channel there, she has uploaded comedic skits, commentary, and collaborations for almost a decade. Some of those collaborations have been with celebrity names like Dwayne Johnson, Selena Gomez, Seth Rogen, Amber Rose, and more.
In 2017, her first book, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, was released and won the Goodreads Choice Awards for the Best Nonfiction category.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Singh said that she initially wasn’t interested in doing late night television, saying that she was already “burned out'' from her existing workload.
“The doubt wasn't whether this was exciting for me, it was whether this was a puzzle piece that would fit well in my existing life," she said. Eventually Singh sought out the advice of Hasan Minhaj, who was prepping for his own Netflix show, Patriot Act.
"Don't think of it as a stepping stone," he reportedly told her. "If it works, great, but if it doesn't you still have millions around the world you can communicate with." And now she has: A Little Late with Lilly Singh debuted last Monday in the NBC 1:35AM timeslot that was previously occupied by Last Call with Carson Daily.
In the first monologue Singh joked that people at home are looking at their TV’s and wondering why “they are playing ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ after Seth Meyers.”
The talk show host also made sure to name women who paved the way for her. “Someone like me could not be here without the many successful powerful women of color who led the way,” she said, giving thanks to Mindy Kaling (who appeared as the first guest on the show), former first lady Michelle Obama and, last but not least, the brown M&M.
Singh appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon ahead of her program’s premiere. There she thanked NBC for being “the only network where a woman can have a show after midnight that allows her to keep her clothes on.”