There’s a new late night talk show host in town. With the recent departure of Carson Daly from his long-held 1:35 A.M. slot following Late Night with Seth Meyers, NBC decided to turn to the internet to find its new host. And they landed upon YouTube’s Lily Singh to fill the spot.
Where the infancy of most late night talk shows tends to struggle is as the host begins to adapt to the format. Even the most veteran of comedians have encountered this issue. The problem being hosting a show that displays this magnitude of high energy needs a host that can match it. Someone that is totally confident right out of the gate and knows what voice they want to convey. Hell, it even took Seth Meyers, who is now one of our main go-to’s when it comes to all things political satire, a year to realize that standing in front of a curtain to do a monologue just isn’t his bag. Surprisingly, that level of enthusiasm Lilly Singh brings to the show is just what it needed.
So much of the show feels as if she is running a marathon, as if she has spent her entire life watching all these other people cross the finish line, now that she’s there she’s determined to get the gold and beat them all. That high energy is probably going to serve her best as the rest of the show is still trying to figure out what exactly it wants to be.
As she opens her show in the pilot, we see executives trying to pitch her on what her show should be. But Lilly, who created a rabid and loyal following for herself as an Internet personality, has other ideas in mind. She proceeds to launch into a 2 minute, fully produced music video about how she’s not like the “Jimmy’s” and how she plans to break down the walls of the boys club.
This is the kind of show that is needed right now. As much as we think that the world of comedy and television is diversified, it takes a show like this to show us how much it really isn’t and how much of it remains more or less the same. And yet, the show manages to have its cake and eat it too. While setting out to change the way the talk show is perceived, at its core, much of it feels very familiar, just with a new voice.
You still get your traditional monologue (which included a self-referential comment about her being referred to in the press as a “bisexual woman of color”) and guest interview segment that we’re used to, as well as having the standard desk and chair set up. It being a half hour, it is pretty much limited to one guest a night it seems. But at the pace this show seems like it wants to move, that’s probably for the best.
With her first two shows underway, there are still a few kinks as far as finding out what works best in this format and what might not. Some of the games feels like something we’ve seen before and are more at home on another show perhaps, but that’s something that may change over time. The most important thing is that we can see that something unique and different is happening in the graveyard shift that is 1:35.
A Little Late with Lilly Singh airs Monday through Friday at 1:35/12:35 A.M. on NBC.