×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Williams: UCB trouper gives ‘Daily Show’ youth boost

10 Comics to Watch 2012 - Jessica Williams

Technically, Jessica Williams is still a student at Cal State Long Beach, though few would blame her for taking a leave of absence. After toughing it as an undergrad, the sassy, “not going to take any shit” comic booked a job as “The Daily Show’s” youngest correspondent, interviewing socialist factions and chastising Jon Stewart on-air.

“I’ve been to Del Taco, scraping for change, and the cashier would say, ‘Just take this chicken soft taco,’?” Williams says. “That was my life in September, and now I live in New York City, and I work on ‘The Daily Show.’?”

This isn’t the first time Williams has juggled stardom and school. As a teen, she appeared in Nickelodeon’s “Just for Kicks” for the series’ one and only season, after which she returned to high school and participated in the improv show ComedySportz. In college, Williams started doing sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade, paving the way for her “Daily Show” gig.

Field pieces aside, the show suits Williams’ experience performing in front of live audiences. “The show films in real time, so I still perform live in front of people like I’m used to,” she says.

Looking forward, Williams is most interested in writing sketches or movies and performing standup, which she’s never done. But she wants to try it all: do a one-woman show, write a book or just about anything related to comedy or writing.

“The cool thing about this job is that it’s opening me up to a million crazy-ass possibilities,” she says. “That’s my biggest problem. I want everything.”

LAUGH FACTS
P.O.V.: “Sometimes I collaborate with the writers if they write things in my language. So instead of saying, ‘Cool,’ I would say, ‘Dope.’?”
Influences: Eddie Murphy, Amy Poehler, Lucille Ball, Tina Fey — and Beyonce, for her work ethic
Reps: United Talent Agency/Mosaic

More Scene

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Tina KnowlesSoul of Nation: Art in

    Jay-Z, Tina Knowles Celebrate New 'Soul of a Nation' Exhibit at Broad Museum

    “This show is so important. I mean, it’s our history — and it’s a very important part of our journey,” Tina Knowles Lawson said about Friday night’s opening of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963 – 1983” at the Broad Museum in DTLA. “I’m just so impressed [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content