When her show premieres on NBC in September, Canadian comedian Lilly Singh will be the only woman to host a current late-night show on one of the four major broadcast TV networks — and among only a handful of women, people of colour and LGBTQ people who have hosted a late-night show.
Her upcoming show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh,” will be notable for another reason: It will be the only current late-night show to have a gender-equal team of writers. Singh’s writers’ room will include Sean O’Connor, Marina Cockenberg, Sergio Serna, Mona Mira, Jen Burton and Jonathan Giles — three women and three men — NBC announced Thursday.
The show’s gender parity is rare in the world of late-night comedy, which is still largely a boys’ club — as dramatized in the recent movie “Late Night,” starring Emma Thompson as a late-night TV host and Mindy Kaling as her show’s only female writer.
In June, the Los Angeles Times found that among the current late-night shows on broadcast, cable and streaming, none of them had writing staffs that consisted of at least 50% women. The show that is the closest to gender parity — where 5 of its 11 credited writers (45%) are women — is TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” (probably not coincidentally) the only show hosted by a woman.
E!’s “Busy Tonight,” hosted by actress Busy Philipps, had an all-female writing staff. But it was cancelled earlier this year, among several recent female-hosted shows that went off the air.
In a statement Thursday, Singh praised her “all-star team of writers,” saying that they will help “bring a new, authentic perspective to late night.”
Earlier this year, NBC announced that Singh, a comedian and YouTube star, will take over the 1:35 a.m. time slot from longtime late-night host Carson Daly, who announced his departure in February.
“An Indian-Canadian woman with her own late night show? Now that is a dream come true,” Singh said in a statement in March. “I’m thrilled to bring it to life on NBC, and I hope my parents consider this to be as exciting as a grandchild.”
“A Little Late with Lilly Singh” will premiere on Sept. 16.