‘The Daily Show’ Is Losing Jessica Williams

     June 29, 2016


This political season should have been an embarrassment of riches for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, but instead it’s turned out to be just an embarrassment. While we always knew there would be growing pains for the young host after taking over for Jon Stewart, we didn’t know that the show would fall so far. Part of the problem is Noah’s inexperience. While they clearly wanted someone who could grow into the role of host, he’s a bit too lighthearted and easy going, and doesn’t tap into the anger that superior hosts John Oliver and Samantha Bee are doing on their weekly programs. It’s not that The Daily Show is “bad” per say, but it’s become an also-ran in the late night landscape rather than one of the leading voices like it used to be.

The Daily Show has now suffered another blow with one of its most talented correspondents, Jessica Williams, telling EW that she’s leaving the show, and tomorrow night’s episode will be her last broadcast. At age 22, Williams was the youngest correspondent to ever join the program and at age 26, she’ll be one of the youngest to leave. She told EW about her experience learning she got the job:

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.


Image via Comedy Central

Williams will continue on with a new show she’s putting together for Comedy Central. Here’s how she describes it:

I’ve had this idea for a while about a young woman who is a feminist and who imagines herself to be “woke.” I think that a lot of the time, we have this idea that when you are, like, “woke” — and please always put this in quotations! — that you should always have your shit together. But I know that often for me, as a black woman of color, I feel like I’m supposed to represent these ideals and values that I was taught as a young lady. Like I’m supposed to carry myself in a special type of way, but oftentimes I’m, like… I’m still in my 20s, and still kind of a mess. So it’s a show about somebody in their 20s who has all these social ideas, but still does not have it together. [Pauses] And she’s, like, goofy and silly and funny!


The main thing about the show is that I’m excited to, in a silly and funny way, be able to explore ideas of feminism and race and LGBT issues — things that I care about and that I talk about on The Daily Show and that I deal with on 2 Dope Queens.

Williams will definitely be missed whens she leaves The Daily Show, but I’m excited to see what she does in her future endeavors. She has a bright future ahead of her.


Image via Comedy Central