‘The Daily Show’ Comedian Jessica Williams Is Going Off On Her Own

All good things eventually come to a bittersweet ending – but there’s always a new beginning! This week, popular The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams announced her exit from the series. Williams first joined the team back in 2012 and made history as both the youngest (she was a mere 22) and the first black woman on the Comedy Central show. The 26-year-old chatted about the news with Entertainment Weekly, saying she has mixed emotions as she approaches her final episode this Thursday. And, while it seems like a sudden exit, it is not a huge surprise. Her popularity on The Daily Show not only rallied fans to suggest her as the host of the show when Jon Stewart left in 2014, it also led to a development deal with Comedy Central back in March 2016.

According to Williams, the time she spent on The Daily Show was a pivotal time in her life and career. She told Entertainment Weekly: “When I found out [that I got the job], I was in the cafeteria at Panda Express… 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 even posted a nostalgic photo of her with her BFF after she booked her gig at The Daily Show as a college student.

So, what’s next for the comedy star? Well, it has been confirmed that Williams is getting her own half-hour scripted series at Comedy Central. Williams says the show will be about a woman in her 20s who is a self-described feminist and believes she is “woke” but is still trying to get her shit together. Right now, the details of the show are still coming together, but it’s exciting to see a young woman pursuing her dreams and making strategic career moves.

Outside of TV, Williams brings the funny on “2 Dope Queens — a podcast about everything from sex to hair that she started with fellow comedian Phoebe Robinson. Williams revealed her plans to do a second season of 2 Dope Queens as well as wanting to do more standup. She told Entertainment Weekly:

“I just finished my first season of ‘2 Dope Queens,’ which I do with my comedy partner, Phoebe Robinson. We just finished season one with WNYC Studios, and now we’re gearing up for season two. I really, really, really want to do more — we’re going to do more of those shows during the summer. I also really want to do more standup and get back into doing more shows at Upright Citizens Brigade.”

In honor of Williams’ career at The Daily Show, the series has complied a few of her greatest moments as a final farewell. The montage shows how Williams’ hilarious, no fucks given approach to subjects like race, LGBTQIA issues, and feminism and her unapologetic blackness were key elements on the show.

Congratulations — we can’t wait to see what you do next!