Jessica Williams, one of the highest profile correspondents at The Daily Show, revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Thursday’s episode will be her last. After four years with the show, she will depart to work on a scripted project of her own for Comedy Central alongside Naomi Ekperigin. Here’s what Williams shared with EW about her upcoming project:
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. – Jessica Williams
Williams joined The Daily Show in 2012 as both the youngest and first black woman correspondent. Throughout her tenure on the show, she used her perspective to poke fun at sexism and racism in current events. Her field pieces earned her wide popularity, enough for fans to jockey for her to succeed Jon Stewart after the host announced his decision to depart in 2015.
“We see her as a great voice — she’s so dynamic and so funny. 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.” – Comedy Central President Kent Alterman
In addition to the new pilot, Williams also has a podcast titled 2 Dope Queens, which she produces with fellow comedienne Phoebe Robinson and showcases LGBT comics and comedians of color, as well as an upcoming movie.
“The sadness I have for Jessica leaving is only eclipsed by the joy I have for her starting her new show.” – Trevor Noah, Host of The Daily Show
With the announcement of Williams’ departure, The Daily Show takes a look back at her greatest moments below. Enjoy!