Hi guys! 

Hey peeps! I had a field piece air last night! In case you missed it, here it is! 

QUICK UPDATE:

I CANNOT TAKE PICTURES BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT:

rehearsal was good. lots of stuff going on. the set looks incredible. and that’s saying a lot because it always looks fabulous. Nice to see everybody suited up and ready for action. been a long day at work. An insanely long amount of time to anticipate doing a live, half hour show. Found out that the show will be broadcasted on the jumbo-tron in Times Square. I won’t be able to see it, but like, watch out Ryan Seacrest on New Years Eve I’m coming yr ass. there’s been an absurd amount of food lying around. Some people from dunkin donuts brought us a shit ton of donuts so of course i went downstairs and really ripped them doniez a new one. About an hour until showtime. Wearing lipstick tonight because it’s a very special occasion. in an ideal world i would wear lipstick more but like, also no because that would imply a huge amount of time where i wonder if:

a. My lipstick is faded.

b. there is lipstick on my teeth.

i’ll go find some other writers to bug right about now. probably call my mom.

thank you for giving me a pass to write like this because it is a mental exercise. I appreciate you letting me take a dump on yr internet.

(p.s. Thank you for all of the love. I really, really appreciate it. And I would totally rub butts with you if it was

1. Possible. 

2. Safe.)

A Normal Day at Work:

A lot of people ask me what a typical work day is like. Here we go:

8:00am- wake up: Listen to some Aaliyah tuneage while getting dressed. Turn on Fox news. Then get mad because I’m watching Fox news.

8:45- Walk to the subway station while thinking about how hott Eddie Murphy was in the eighties.

9:15- Morning Meeting w/ the writers and Jon. Talk about what topics we want to cover. Find out I’m going to be on the show that day.

10:00- Head over to my office. Turn on Fox news. Mute it after 10 minutes because I remember that it is my nightmare.

10:15- Read the news blogs. Head on over to Michael B. Jordan’s twitter to see what he’s up to for the day. He tweets about something sort of lame like sports. Head over to Drake’s twitter. He tweets about things that are always out of context and that also seems like he is from another planet. Get annoyed that his tweets never make sense. Remember that I’m distracted and head back to the news blogs.

11:00- Field meeting where we talk about the pieces we are working on. Some people somewhere want to pass this law that is weird and unreasonable. We pitch ideas for packaged pieces and update everyone on what is going on with what we currently have in edit.

11:45- Head back to my office and call my mommy in California. She asks me if I am taking my vitamins that she sent me. I say yes, but really it’s a no because I don’t like to swallow things that taste gross.

12:30pm- Walk around the office to grab some coffee from the K-cup machine. Run into Wyatt. I reach over to high five him and he says “No way that’s lame.” Then he hands me a very thoughtful housewarming gift. A print by one of his favorite artists. It’s framed and everything. I say thank you but he’s already walking away and says, “Don’t mention it, Ding Dong.” I remind him to never call me Ding Dong and that my name is Jessica. He responds with, “I call you Ding Dong because that’s your name, Ding Dong.” Then he walks into his office.

12:45- Walk over to Sam and Jason’s office. Sit on Sam’s couch and she tells me very funny stories about her kids. Sam hands me some mint-chocolate out of her purse and asks me how my new apartment is and how my parents are doing. I tell her my apartment is lovely & that my mom sent me vitamins but I’m not taking them. Sam tells me I should probably take my vitamins because being sick and having to work is awful. I agree with her because she is Sam and not my mother. Walk out of Sam and Jason’s office feeling even better than I did when I went in. 

1:00- Two words: Catered. Lunch.  

1:30- Ugh I guess I take my vitamins.

1:55: Pet one of the dogs walking around the office. Wished that one of them belonged to me. Then remembered that I don’t like poop and have already killed several of my new houseplants. Decide, nope.

2:00- Head back to my office. Reflect on how hott Eddie Murphy was in the eighties. Think about how dope his outfits were in Raw and Delirious. Think about how those outfits reminded me of Elvis. Remember that part in that SNL book that I read where it talked about how Eddie Murphy would sometimes just watch old tapes of Elvis performing. Wonder if, by proxy this means that I also think that Elvis is hott. Decide that this is too much to think about right now.

2:30- Get the first draft of the script for the show tonight. Break down the chat. Run my lines.

3:00- Hair, makeup, go downstairs for rehearsal with Jon in the studio. A little worried because my business suit makes me look like a corporate mom. Then remember that I’m about to perform on a show that sometimes does political-butt jokes. Feel good about everything again.

4:00- Rehearsal. Talk to Jon who is in his usual good mood. He does a very goofy dance and I join in. Then, as a joke, he fakingly throws out his back. Then he tells me that I should enjoy my youth now, because one day I will become his age and I won’t be able to dance as liberally as I used to. I quietly note that when I’m Jon’s age I hope that I’m able to dance around at work and fake throw out my own back. We proceed with rehearsal. Jon gives me and writers some notes to make the chat better.

4:30- Head over to one of the editing rooms to record voice overs for a field piece I’m working on. Try to knock out the my news-anchor lady voice in one take. Do. Not. Accomplish. This.

4:45- Re-write of the first draft of the chat with the writers.

5:30- Get called into another re-write room and talk to Jon about the chat we’re doing tonight. He looks through everything and then asks me if I’m okay with the piece. I’m like, “yeah dude of course this is amazing and this is funny and you’re my boss duh.”

5:50- Backstage. Running lines. Get incredibly nervous as I make my way into the studio. Backstage I can hear the roar of the audience and the opening of the show. Starting to get some anxiety and hope I don’t mess up. Before I head out to the studio I close my eyes, put my hand over my heart and whisper: “For Eddie Murphy in the Eighties.” 

6:00- Showtime.

6:45- Change out of my correspondent clothes and think about how much my life rules. Go home to watch re-runs of Living Single and then meet some buds later at the bar on my block.

-Jessica Williams

I’ll tell you somethin’. A year ago today I would’ve never guessed that I’d be on air in the same half hour as R. Pattzzz AND J. Stew.

This place is crazy today!

This is one of those GIFFYYYY EPISODES.

See y’all Twi-hardz later tonight!

How I Got on The Daily Show (*And that’s how I choose to remember it.)

(Bear with me with my grammar today because I’m jacked on caffeine and I want to tell you something.)

So when I was 20 I went and saw my first Upright show alone and I ended up standing in the audience because it was so damn crowded. And I think I saw this Derrick Comedy improv montage and they were just killing it and I walked out of that show being like, “Oh damn. That ruled. This is exactly where I need to be.”

So I just started going to a bunch of UCB shows and just started watching.

And I went back to my parents and was like, “Hey guys. I need to take classes. Like, I HAVE TO. THIS IS MY DREAM. AND LIKE, DON’T SHIT ON MY DREAMS BECAUSE IMMA GONNA BE A STAR. (haha. no i didn’t.)” And they were very understanding so they were both like, “We get it. Go after that shit girl.” So I just kind of threw myself in UCB classes too. Improv and sketch. Then there were Maude team auditions. And I remember auditioning for that and getting on a UCB House team. I was so stoked when I got the phone call saying that I had gotten on Maude I like, really jumped around my living room and lost my shit. So then I started to do shows around the theatre for a while. If anybody around the UCB theatre asked me to take any part in their own shows I would jump at it and just be like, “Yes. Absolutely.” Because at that point I was pretty much going HAM on the whole UCB thing.

The other pretty strange thing is that I was still in college. To be honest I do think that college was something I slacked off of a bit just because I liked performing so much. For example, I remember one semester I convinced my parents to let me go part time so that I could count one credit of a UCB improv class toward my class load. I would sometimes rush out to Hollywood from Long Beach in between classes to go to a rehearsal whether it be in my UCB show or somebody else’s. Comedy was always sort of my focus, not school. Another thing I remember not doing was partying very hard. Like, there could be some wild party in the dorms on a Tuesday night to celebrate like, “The invention of Ramen” and I remember just being like, “Ah fuck..no I have a show tomorrow I can’t be hungover for it.” Like, I kind of didn’t have a wild social life for a while.

So I think I joined UCB when I was twenty and I stuck with that for a couple of years. It was incred. Did a few shows, started working on a solo show, did a pilot I got fired from and also did a couple of pilots that did not get picked up. All in two years. And one dope day, when I finally decided that I would commit myself to finishing school and  to being an English major and that I would focus on being a normal person, I get an audition with Alison Jones who is probably one of the dopest casting directors out there.

She suggested that I send in a tape for the Daily Show. You know my attitude by now- jump at anything. I said, “Hell yes!” And a week later I was in her office putting two correspondent chats down on tape. I remember catching the Daily Show when it was on, but I wasn’t watching it crazily everyday. My thought was that I did not want to look up the correspondent chats on the internet because I did not want like, Jon Oliver in my head during my audition. So we finished recording the tape and I forgot about it and went back to focusing on school because finals were coming up and we all know how the last 3 weeks of school are.

About a week later I was in line at Panda Express and I was about to order a Panda Bowl with Orange Chicken and I was chatting away with my best friend about how much I love food and blah blah blah. And I got a call from my manager and she was like, “Hey hold on to your boobies (nope, she said seat). Jon saw your tape and he wants you to fly to NY in a couple of days to audition with him in the studio.” And the world stopped. And it felt like my stomach dropped into my asshole. And I was like, “NUH-UH! ME? YOU’RE FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT?” And I just couldn’t even believe it.

And two mornings later my parents are standing with me in the driveway, where a black SUV with tinted windows comes to pick me up to take me to LAX. And my Dad is loading up my one suitcase with the fucking Dress suit my Mom used the last of her money to buy me from TJ Maxx. And my Mom is kissing me and telling me how proud she is of me. And my Dad is telling me to go have fun and just knock it out. And I remember looking at my parent’s when my car turned the corner and just being like, “This is a dream. What is happening to me?” And I get on a plane and I’m flying to NY. So all during this particular flight, I’m like, trying not to psych myself out. Because I know I’m about to do this audition. And I know that I am about to meet Jon Stewart. And I hope to God he is not scary. And I stay awake the whole flight just going over the chat over and over again.

So I get to the Daily Show studio the next morning. And it’s freezing because it’s November in NYC and I grew up in sunny Los Angeles and this NY weather is fucking insane. And I walk in wearing my very awkward TJ Maxx Suit (With my green hair.) up to the studio. When I get inside, a couple of people greet me. I get past security and they take me to the Green room. So for a few minutes I’m just sitting and waiting and going over my chat. Finally one of the producers comes down and is like, “Alright let’s go to the studio.” And so I go to the Daily Show studio and it is the most surreal experience in my life. And I run my chat on those teleprompters like, at least 5 times. And I finally feel ready. Everyone was fantastic in making sure that I felt comfortable. And they’re like, “Okay. You ready? Let’s bring Jon down here.” And all of the previous teleprompter confidence I had gained went away just at the thought of knowing that I was about to meet Jon Stewart. Would he be nice? Mean? Weird? Hungry? Like, my mind was going koo-koo bananas. And the first thing I hear when he enters the studio is that he’s singing. Jon Stewart is fucking singing. Singing. What it was I can’t remember because I wanted to pee myself because of my nerves. But I remember thinking… Wow. This dude is singing what a familiar thing for someone to do to make me comfortable….okay maybe I can relax a bit. And he shakes my hand and he says, that today shouldn’t be too crazy. All I have to focus on is doing what I did on the tape that he saw.

That’s it! Could you imagine, all of those shitty job interviews at the mall that I had done previously where my American Apparel interviewer worked harder to intimidate me than to make me feel comfortable? What a great gift it is to give to someone and just be like, “Look, relax. Just do what you know how to do. That’s it.” What an amazing thing. That freed up so much more of the anxiety I had. And so we ran the chat. A couple of times. He gave me notes. We did the chat again.The next thing I know I am back on the plane flying back home and I was just thinking, “WHAT IN THE WORLD JUST HAPPENED TO ME?!”

A couple of days later  I found out I got the job. And that they wanted me to move to NYC in a few weeks.To be a new correspondent on the show. And full time. I am, actually the luckiest girl in the world. Six months in and I can say that it is fucking incredible dopeness to be here. You don’t even want to know what my first few months on the show was like. Well, maybe you do. So I’ll tell you sometime very very soon.

And You Know it.

Jess

*Rilo Kiley.