Update: The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams posted the following Sunday on Twitter: “I’m not hosting. Thank you but I am extremely under-qualified for the job! At this age (25) if something happens politically that I don’t agree with, I need to go to my room & like not come out for, like, 7 days. That being said I am super not right for it, but there are quite a few people who are! Can’t wait to stick around & see what happens.”
Earlier: HE readers have presumably heard or more precisely been informed that 25 year-old Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams will replace Jon Stewart later this year. The decision was more or less confirmed a couple of days ago when a clip from Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Paramount, 2.20) announced that Williams will be sitting in Stewart’s chair ten years hence. Williams is sharp, punchy, brilliant, tall, pointed…a cool choice. Then again most of her Daily Show reports have been, naturally enough, about the perspective of a 25 year-old black woman dealing with sexism, racial profiling and other oppressive cards dealt by old or old-ish white assholes. (Including liberal ones.) And after reviewing some of Williams’ clips this morning, I have to say I felt a slight pause. I’m wondering if even 20something guys will continue to watch The Daily Show as often with Jessica using it as a soapbox to fight the power and redress wrongs for you-go-girls.
If I was running Comedy Central I’d say to Williams, “We’re thinking seriously about making you the new Stewart because you have the smarts and the sting and the funny, but the Daily Show can’t become the Daily Scold aimed at white 40-plus assholes and any other sector who doesn’t embrace the femme-militarized pushback mentality. We’re not saying dial that shit down — obviously you’re going to go there, as you should — as much as broaden your horizons. You gotta try and speak for white liberal assholes a little. You gotta jump into Jon’s narrative against assholes of all stripes and colors, particularly regressive Republicans. If you’re cool with expanding your repertoire, you’ve got the job because you’re more in synch with and a little bit in front of the 2015 cultural realm than we are, and we don’t want to be lagging behind. But you’ve gotta broaden it out.”