Lilly Singh Opens Late-Night Debut With Epic Feminist Rap Sketch
Self-proclaimed “Superwoman,” Lilly Singh, truly lived up to her name last night as she flew into the late-night scene, dressed in superhero red, to trailblaze the way for women of color and the LGBTQ community.
The bisexual, Canadian-Indian YouTuber jumped from the computer screen to the television screen as the host of “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” on NBC, taking over the time slot previously held by “Last Call With Carson Daly.”
To start the show’s long-awaited, 1 a.m. premiere on Sept. 17, Singh set the record straight on how she’s running her show with an epic sketch and rap sequence where she rebels from an all-white male board meeting.
The sketch begins with a meeting room of men throwing around bad ideas for her first episode — encouraging her to wear a dull-colored suit and discuss political headlines.
She then mentions wanting to instead show her own perspective as a woman, to which she gets berated by the men in the room.
Amidst the room’s squabble with Singh as she petitions to just be herself on air, an intern’s ringtone blares off in the corner, introducing a catchy hip hop beat. He apologizes, but Singh has another idea — let it play.
From there, she jumps onto the table and into a powerful rap performance, complete with purple lighting and a wind machine.
She raps about entering a scene of white men, saying she’s going to “throw some melanin up in your late night” as a talking portrait being hung next to photos of fellow late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.
The rest of the rap is an awesome mix of comedy and progressive workplace showcasing, quickly transitioning from making jokes about changing the thermostat warmer to giving an empowering statement about paid leave for parents and allowing mothers to breastfeed their babies in her staff’s office.
She mentions the diversity of her writers’ room, comparing it to the “United Nations” with “more than 50 percent women and people of all races,” saying she created that workplace environment because she wanted to, not because she had to.
She also delves into equal pay alongside fun remarks about crushing on the “Game of Thrones” cast and the correct term for chai — it’s just chai, not chai tea.
The performance showed a refreshing new leaf from the boys’ club of late-night television.
Singh is now one of two women currently hosting late-night shows, joining TBS’s Samantha Bee.
She is the only woman of color currently hosting a major network late-night show and has also broken two glass ceilings as the first Indian woman and first LGBTQ person to host a major network late-night show.
Singh interviewed actress Mindy Kaling, someone she mentioned as one of her role models, and had a guest appearance from Rainn Wilson in her first episode.
In this week’s coming episodes, she’ll be interviewing Kenan Thompson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Chelsea Handler.
Singh started her YouTube channel under the username “||Superwoman||” in 2010, and she soon gained millions of fans for her sketch comedy videos.
In recent years, she has dipped her toes in music, book-writing and acting. She made her Met Gala debut in 2019.
If you missed last night’s full episode, it is now available to stream on NBC’s website.