On Sunday, during her Vulture Fest panel with 2 Dope Queens co-host Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams recounted her recent too-close-for-comfort encounter at the Peabody Awards the night before:
“Yesterday, I was doing the red carpet for the Peabody’s so I was doing interviews. I was doing an interview, and all of the sudden, this guy, this popular actor comes up behind me and just grabs me and just pulls me in towards him. I was literally talking to somebody, and was like, ‘What? What is happening?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, girl. You fine.’… If I was at a f—ing bodega in Harlem and this happened to me, I would literally stab you. But because he’s a great actor, everybody’s, ‘Haha, that’s funny, right? Good one, you got touched.’ ”
While Williams was studying film and English at Cal State Long Beach and performing with Upright Citizens Brigade, she landed the role of correspondent for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” In 2012, she was featured on Variety‘s “Top 10 Comics to Watch” and this summer was seen in the Sundance comedy People Places Things. Williams and fellow comedian Phoebe Robinson perform as 2 Dope Queens and host a monthly stand-up and storytelling show in New York. Currently, Jessica has continued as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah since its premiere in September 2015.
The fact that 2 Dope Queens is a valuable resource for young people of color searching for representation is not lost on Williams, as she recalls “how difficult it was in the day to day to be a young Black woman” and how that adversity helped shape her sense of humor.
“The things that bother me and the things that in my day-to-day affect me is where good art and good material comes from,” she advised in an earlier interview. “Embrace that sort of messiness.”
Unless you’re some creepy douchebag. In that case, no embraces for you — especially at Harlem bodegas.