'The Daily Show's' Jessica Williams Is Breaking Into the Gossip Blog Business
The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams already has a bevy of impressive skills. She’s a champion mic dropper.
She can shut down a catcalling —
— In more ways than one.
And not for nothing, she’s all but locked down a spot on the 2015 Pajiba 10. But that’s apparently not enough for Williams. She’s branching out into new arenas. Namely, the celebrity gossip world. She’s already got an interest, she says.
Every day when I wake up, I check Instagram. Then I look at Twitter to see what the One Directioners are talking about. I check Facebook to see how everybody from high school’s doing. I go on Reddit to see what my weirdos are talking about. Then I go on Tumblr to see what my feminists are talking about.
But there’s something missing in all this new new media craziness, and that is something that uses celebrity news as a way to get into a really serious analysis of our culture. The Kardashians are walking clickbait — but let’s look closer. Do Kim and Kanye affect how society feels about interracial relationships and blended families? What does our obsession with Jennifer Lawrence say about third-wave feminism? Start with a headline that’s superjuicy; a flashy, sexy picture. And then, after the first couple of lines, hit them with some really severe analysis. When they think they’re getting dirt, we give them vegetables. Which is kind of what The Daily Show does already.
So she proposes launching what she calls “a more sophisticated TMZ.” She has her media mogul role model all picked out: Oprah. But where Oprah puts herself at the center of her stories and on the cover of her magazines, Jessica Williams will put herself at the center of EVERYTHING. The way she describes it, JMZ (classy) will be primarily selfies of her with strangers.
I’m thinking I’ll begin at New York landmarks — Times Square, Port Authority bus terminal — and just start grabbing people’s phones and taking pictures of myself, then texting their friends the photo with a note that says, “For more, go to JMZ.com.” That’s how you spread the word.And she’s already got the most important element of celebrity gossip down: the clickbait.
I’ve already got my tagline picked out: Willy Believe That Happened? Like, Will You Believe That Happened? That’s how all those celebrity news sites work anyway. Would you believe she wore that dress out in public? And then the reader clicks through and gets the answer. “Yeah. I believe it. This is in the realm of possibility.” Every time.
I hope it doesn’t take away from her Daily Show duties and the obvious long, influential career she’s bound to have in whatever else she ever decides to do, ever. But I for one will happily follow any feed that gives me selfies of Jessica Williams with confused tourists. Oh, and word is she’s staffing up and bonuses include permission to skinny dip in her Scrooge McDuck-style swimming pool full of “dubloons.” Sorry, Dustin. That was the sound of your entire staff updating their resumes.
Read more about JMZ at Wired.
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