Film, TV & Stage

At 22, Jessica Williams was the youngest ever correspondent on The Daily Show

YOUNG TALENT: Jessica Williams

YOUNG TALENT: Jessica Williams

IN 2012, Jessica Williams became the youngest ever correspondent on hit late-night series, The Daily Show.

At 22, she was not only the youngest correspondent to work on the series but also the first black woman to hold the position.

Now 26, she’ll be the first correspondent to step down since Noah took the reins from Jon Stewart nearly a year ago.

Her arrival was a big deal for the show, which had famously struggled to include female voices.

And Jessica quickly found a niche – segments about the hot-button issues of race, feminism, and, sometimes, the intersection of the two – that crowned her one of the most popular (and recognisable) castmates.

“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,” she told Entertainment Weekly.

“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.”

She left the show to focus on an upcoming project of her own for Comedy Central and movie roles.

Her own hotly anticipated show for Comedy Central, a scripted series about, as the log line says, “a politically minded young woman who may be ‘woke’ but doesn’t know what she’s doing”.

She also cohosts the popular podcast 2 Dope Queens, with stand-up comic Phoebe Robinson.

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