“It is not goodbye, it is farewell,” Trevor Noah said. “You’re going to be close by, hopefully. Your show is going to be amazing. You’re always welcome.”
“The Daily Show” host called her “the coolest, most awesome person.”
“This whole building is going to suffer from a lack of J-Willy-ness,” said Noah.
He then played a montage of Williams’ work, showcasing everything from her viral “Beyonce Halftime Show” segment to her audition as a tractor dancer.
Noah was interrupted by Williams’ fellow “Daily Show” correspondents as he attempted to “speak for everyone on the show” for how much she would be missed.
“I’ll go first because I’m the white guy,” Jordan Klepper joked. “Jess, it has been an honor working with you. When I came in I was so impressed with how young and talented you were. It almost made me angry. And now, as you leave, I’m honored to say I am still pissed.”
Roy Wood Jr. added, “You’ve covered so many important stories about black women and gay rights and pastors who think that there’s semen in Starbucks coffee.”
The group then clamored for her autograph.
Williams, at 22 years old, became the youngest correspondent on the show and the first African-American woman to hold the position.