Jessica Williams will be leaving her post as a correspondent for The Daily Show, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Thursday will be the last time Jessica Williams will be seen on The Daily Show, and Williams is leaving to work on her own show with Comedy Central. Williams started working for the show four years ago at age 22, and she is the youngest person to ever be a correspondent for the show.
Entertainment Weekly asked Jessica Williams about first learning she’d be on The Daily Show and what it’s like leaving.
“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.’ [Laughs] I picked up everything and moved out of my parents’ house and into New York City. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself on the show. I’m 26 now. I’ve learned so much, I always kind of feel like it’s grad school — a sort of continuation of my education.”
Trevor Noah, the current Daily Show host, said he’s sad Williams is leaving, but he’s excited to see what she does with her new show. Many had hoped Williams would be Jon Stewart’s replacement when he left the show last year. She signed a development deal with Comedy Central in March of this year.
Entertainment Weekly claims Williams will be writing, producing, and editing a half-hour show that will also include a producer who wrote for the popular Comedy Central show Broad City.
Jessica Williams has regularly spoken about her role on The Daily Show and topics like diversity in the industry. During a 2014 interview with Mother Jones, Williams explained what she thought about having so much diversity on the show.
“Ultimately, when I deliver something, a lot of times it will be from a black woman’s perspective, but other times it will be just from a satirical, goofy perspective,” Williams said. “I’m a young correspondent, so sometimes I’m just young. Sometimes I’m just straightforward. We have one of the most diverse casts out there, but we’re not putting ourselves in a box.”
In an interview from last year, Williams expressed how much she enjoyed working with Jon Stewart and how supportive he had been while she was working with him. Williams said Stewart was always thoughtful and smart, and she always had a lot of say in how her role would be portrayed.
Concerning Stewart’s legacy, Williams said many viewers felt like Jon Stewart was their friend.
“I think people feel like they have us in their living rooms and I think with Jon in particular they feel like they’ve found a friend who makes them laugh every night through times that can be difficult and complicated and sometimes just naturally hilarious and insane,” Williams said.
Williams is just one of many people who have left The Daily Show to pursue their own shows. Former correspondent Samantha Bee currently has a successful show on TBS, and John Oliver is hosting a very successful show on HBO.
Jessica Williams made many headlines as a correspondent on The Daily Show, so it seems likely she’ll be making many more with her new venture.
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]