Jessica Williams has made us laugh with her witty critiques of current events and hilarious segments on the absurdity of racism and sexism, but now the The Daily Show correspondent is moving on.
Williams revealed exclusively to Entertainment Weekly that she will be exiting the show after four years. At 22, Williams became the youngest correspondent to join the show when she made her debut in 2012. "I feel so many emotions. I started The Daily Show when I was 22. I was going to class at Long Beach. When I found out [that I got the job], I was in the cafeteria at Panda Express. I thought I was going to be hired as a contributor, but The Daily Show was like, 'Nah, it’s an election year, we want you to come over here and work full-time.' So I said, 'Okay, well hold on, I need to do my finals first.' I picked up everything and moved out of my parents’ house and into New York City."
Williams started telling her colleagues the news of her departure last Tuesday after Comedy Central offered her the opportunity to develop her own show. She will write, produce, and star in the pilot half-hour scripted comedy series about a politically-minded woman who really has no idea what she's doing, and a title hasn't been chosen yet. "We see her as a great voice — she’s so dynamic and so funny," said Comedy Central president Kent Alterman, "And she’s kind of grown up there at The Daily Show. Rather than say goodbye to her for her to go somewhere else, we want to make sure that we’re developing with her so that when she’s ready for her next platform, it can actually be with us."
Williams has grown a lot at The Daily Show and branched out into acting with previous roles in Girls and People Places Things, and also co-hosts a podcast, 2 Dope Queens. Saying goodbye to her colleagues wasn't an easy thing to do. "It really is such a warm, wonderful place to be. They’re just like a family."
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.