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Highlights from Jessica Williams' First Year at The Daily Show

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She meets Al first, since they're sharing an office. He congratulates her, hands her a Comedy Central mug with a bow on it, and offers to show her around before the Morning Meeting. Fifteen minutes later, Jessica's head is spinning with the names of everyone she's been introduced to, and then they walk into the writers' room for the meeting and she realizes that wasn't even half of the staff. It takes a fuckton of people to make a TV show. She looks around at them all, wondering how the hell she'll remember everyone. But Jon stands up to shake her hand and makes a joke about feeling shorter than usual next to her, and she recalls how he walked into the room singing at her audition to put her at ease, and relaxes.

The dogs' names are much easier to learn, though it takes her months to correctly pair each one with its owner.

***

Her parents, brother, and sister fly to New York to see her first on-air appearance. They're given the best seats in the VIP section of the audience, and she sees her father wave at her just before her cue. After, Jon talks to them for nearly half an hour and tells them how talented he thinks she is. Jessica is practically floating an inch above her chair all through dinner at the fancy restaurant they take her to that night.

***

On John Oliver's birthday, they have a cake during lunch and a bong after the taping. She gets invited to take a hit, and does, forgetting that she is terrible at doing weed correctly and promptly having a massive coughing fit.

"Dear God, we've killed the new kid!" John exclaims.

"No, I'm okay," she chokes out. "I always do this."

Jason pats her on the back repeatedly until Sam tells him to stop, because it obviously isn't helping any. Jessica ends up getting way too high from that one hit, eating an entire box of Ding Dongs by herself, and explaining, in great detail, the plot of the last two seasons of Buffy to anyone who will listen. Sam lets her sleep it off on her office couch before gently suggesting that perhaps weed isn't her thing. Jessica agrees and turns down the next invitation, but that doesn't stop Wyatt from calling her Ding Dong for the rest of the year.

***

Some parts of it are strange and awesome in equal amounts, like the gifs of her on Tumblr. She finds that ninety percent of the show's fans are sweet and supportive, which makes up for the ten percent who are assholes. Jon and Sam both tell her to let them know immediately if anyone is making her uncomfortable, but so far the worst it gets is just kinda pathetically hilarious.

The first time she's recognized in public, a guy says, "Hey, aren't you that chick from The Colbert Report?" and she says, "Well, The Daily Show, but close enough, I guess."

"Right," he says. "Cool dude, that Stephen Colbert."

"Uh... yeah," she says, and he nods and walks off.

***

Their flight to Tampa for the RNC is so full of news personalities that she's sure someone is going to start a fight over a joke they made on the show, but everyone ignores them. Well, except for Anderson Cooper, who says hello to Jon and then sits down right behind her and falls asleep twenty minutes after take-off. She spends the rest of the flight dividing her attention between watching The Avengers and looking surreptitiously over her shoulder at him.

***

She meets Stephen for the first time at the Emmys, and he tells her he thinks she's funny, and she nearly faints because STEPHEN COLBERT THINKS SHE'S FUNNY. He's even nicer than everyone says. On top of that, Kristen introduces her to a bunch of other people -- including Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- as "the girl who will one day rule the world," which is pretty fucking dope.

***

Eventually, she saves up enough money to get a studio apartment of her own, rather than crashing with a friend. Everyone at work gives her advice on the best neighborhoods and what to look out for when reading a lease. When she finally finds a place, her parents ship out the rest of her stuff, and as she unpacks it, Jessica starts to feel like maybe she's not just pretending to be a grown-up anymore.

Then the box with her Hello Kitty onesie ends up in her office somehow, where Al finds it and says, "I'll give you fifty bucks if you wear this to the Morning Meeting."

"Make it a hundred and you've got a deal," she says, and he writes out a check and slaps it down on her desk.

All conversation stops as she walks into the writers' room, until she shrugs and says, "That's how I roll, bitches."

Jon doubles over in laughter.