Lilly Singh makes late-night history alongside Mindy Kaling

As the first woman of color to host a late-night show on a broadcast network, Singh welcomed the Cambridge native as her first guest.


Lilly Singh made history Monday night with the debut of her new NBC late-night show, “A Little Late with Lilly Singh.” As the only woman currently hosting a late-night show on a broadcast network and the first woman of color to ever do so, Singh felt it was important to set the tone by welcoming Cambridge native Mindy Kaling as her first guest.

“Someone like me could not be here without the many successful, powerful women of color who led the way, am I right?” Singh said during her opening monologue. “I think it’s so important to thank them right now. So let’s give a round of applause to people like Mindy Kaling. What about Michelle Obama? And last but not least, the brown M&M.”

Kaling said she was thrilled to be the former YouTube star’s first guest.

“Only for you would I be here at 1:30 in the morning,” Kaling said. “I don’t know who’s watching my child, and I don’t care.”

The pair discussed Kaling’s recent film “Late Night,” in which Kaling plays a woman who gets a job as a writer on a talk show hosted by Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson, “Sense and Sensibility”), and her white, male co-workers derisively consider her a “diversity hire.”

Kaling was obsessed with late-night TV growing up, and told Singh how impactful it would have been to have seen her hosting a show.

“If I had, growing up, seen you on TV, it would have been — I mean, I was already obsessed with late-night TV, but it was like loving something that didn’t love me back,” Kaling said. “And then to have had you? I mean, it’s huge. I can’t wait for my daughter to watch this show, 20 years from now when you’re still doing it and wishing you didn’t have to.”