Lilly Singh raps, mocks late-night TV’s whiteness in debut of ‘A Little Late’

Lilly Singh debuted her new show with a rap about the whiteness of the late-night TV space. Corus / Global TV

Canadian YouTube sensation Lilly Singh criticized late-night TV’s whiteness during the opening of her first-ever episode of A Little Late with Lilly Singh on Global Monday evening.

Singh’s opening sketch showed her in a room of all-male, all-white TV executives suggesting she wear dull-coloured suits during her first episode.

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“So, Lilly, for your first episode, we’re thinking you enter in a nice grey suit,” one of the execs says to Singh.

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“Grey. I prefer something a little more colourful… obviously,” she responds.

Other executives offer a navy or brown.

“Brown, I’ll look naked,” Singh says as she shuts their ideas down.

After going back and forth a few times, Singh jumps on the conference table and begins her rap, which highlights what she plans on bringing to late-night TV.

“Hello, my name is Lilly, and I ain’t a white man,” she begins. “My skin got some colour and it ain’t a spray tan.”

“I know you’re used to only Jimmys in the spotlight but I’m going to throw some melanin up in your late night,” Singh raps as she hangs a photo of herself up on the wall beside Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.

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The late-night host raps: “This used to be a boys club but I’m knocking down the doors. Time to switch it up in here ’cause now a lady runs the show. I’m about to lead the way for y’all with my pedicured toes.

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“I’m turning off the A/C and I’m turning on the heat because I’ve been cool at my nine-to-five since I was a teen,” the 30-year-old comedian continues. “Only lady in late-night, that’s cool but eff that. I’m hype to be the only lady who controls the thermostat.

“My writers’ room look like a mini-United Nations. More than 50 per cent women and people of all races and that’s not because I had to. It’s because I could,” Singh raps.

Singh is the second woman of colour to get a nightly gig on a major network since Cynthia Garrett hosted NBC’s Later two decades ago.

During her monologue, Singh joked about the diversity she adds to NBC.

“The media has mentioned that I’m a ‘bisexual woman of colour’ so often I’m thinking about changing my name to Bisexual Woman of Colour,” she said before making a joke about how NBC’s logo looks similar to a pride flag.

“Maybe I shouldn’t be joking about this because one of the biggest fears of white America is that minorities are coming to take their jobs, and honestly, we are,” Singh said.

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In each half-hour episode of A Little Late with Lilly Singh, the Indian-Canadian entertainer kicks off the show with a monologue covering a wide range of trending topics followed by a comedic desk bit and interviews with celebrity guests, who join Singh for personally tailored games, field pieces and pre-taped comedy sketches.

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Singh described the show to Global News as “a half-hour late-night show. It’s going to be sketch comedy, and we’re going to do a take of the monologue. I’m going to have guests and probably some musical sketch comedy as well. It’s kind of similar to the things I’ve done on YouTube, but we’re going to change it up a little bit. Positive, uplifting, comedic, good vibes.”

A Little Late with Lilly Singh airs weeknights at 12:35 a.m. ET on Global.

— With a file from the Canadian Press

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