Superwoman Not Sensational

New Lilly Singh Show Fails to Captivate


Ada Carter

Lilly Singh recently began her own late night show, Late Night with Lilly.

Luca Johnson, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Rating: 2.5/5 Falcons

On March 14th of this year, Lilly Singh, a prominent YouTuber, announced on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon she would be starting her own late night show, Late with Lilly. Singh came out as bisexual the month before this announcement, making her the first bisexual Indian woman to host a late night show. The late night field has consisted primarily of white men, and NBC (the network that hired Singh) seems to want to break this mold by introducing a more diverse cohort of hosts. When Singh first announced her late night role, she was met with an outpouring of support from many people on the internet. 

Lilly Singh gained her fame through YouTube under the name “IISuperwomanII”. She created the channel in 2010 and quickly became one of the most prominent YouTubers of the early to mid-2010s. Many of her videos categorized relatable experiences like “Types of People in Airports” or “5 Things Girls Do That Guys Love.” These videos amassed millions of views, with many even reaching above ten million views. While her style of comedy is neither nuanced nor completely original, it appeals to a broad audience and turned her into a multi-millionaire. 

It’s not hard to see why NBC saw so much potential in Singh, but they grossly overcalculated the interest that younger people would have in her in a TV setting. Frankly, the show has not been making waves in the way that NBC no doubt expected for a few reasons.

For one thing, Singh hasn’t yet presented why she is individually special and unique beyond the fact that she is a bisexual Indian woman late night host. Her humor has always been general in its appeal, but since starting the show, Singh has revealed far less about who she is as a person and as a comedian than she did in her YouTube videos. Many of Singh’s sketches thus far have not stuck the landing, and the audience’s laughter often feels canned. 

Singh hasn’t yet presented why she is individually special and unique.”

Another issue with the show is that it seems to be catering mainly to younger people, but most people who watch late night TV are older. In the opening rap skit of the show, Singh declared that she would not be talking about politics, a topic that has traditionally dominated late night shows and that likely has less appeal to younger people (at least in the eyes of NBC). Younger people already have access to Singh in a much more personal and accessible way through her YouTube videos and they don’t watch late night television as frequently as older audiences do.

However, Singh has proven herself in interviews on the show. She interviews guests in a way that allows her own personality to shine through without overshadowing. A highlight of the show was her interview with Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira & Alexa Demie, in which  began with a casual and friendly conversation about Ferreira’s inability to pass her driving test, the conversation displaying  a level of candor common among close friends, then moved swiftly and seamlessly into the specifics of filming their hit show Euphoria

Lilly Singh has just started out on her new show, and it may take some time for her to find her footing in such a new, unfamiliar arena, but she has a lightheartedness that makes guests comfortable and helps them shine. Her conversational humor may need some development to transition into such a new setting, but she is off to a solid start.

This piece also appears in our October 2019 print edition.