Daily Show's Jessica Williams' performance in limbo, SA hopes for April date

Jessica Williams' canceled March 12 performance may not be rescheduled


Jessica Williams’ performance as the 14th annual Comedy Series headliner next Friday has been canceled. It’s uncertain if the Student Association will be able to find a new performance date for the famed Daily Show correspondent or if it will have to reach out to another comedian, according to SA President James Ingram.

Ingram said he doesn’t have a “ton of specifics that we can say or that I even know,” on Wednesday.

“We just know that there was a scheduling conflict and that they want to reschedule for April, if we can find a date that can work for April,” he said.

The SA deleted the Facebook event page for the Comedy Series and a post appeared on its page stating an “unforeseen scheduling conflict” was the cause of the cancelation. SA found out about the scheduling issue late Tuesday evening.

“She’s working on another project as well, and the deadline for it was moved up, so she was unable to make the show,” said Erin Lachaal, the SA entertainment director. “She’s got a lot going on between her work at the Daily Show and everything else she’s doing on the side.”

Ingram said SA needs to find a date that would work with both the Center for the Arts, where the Comedy Series was set to take place, and Williams’ schedule without “stacking on top of” another already scheduled SA event.

“I don’t want it to be on the same date, so hopefully we can work out something that will fall in between our other April events that are already planned,” Ingram said.

In the event that SA can’t reschedule Williams, Ingram said SA would begin looking into other options.

“Typically, our Comedy Series comes together easier than a fest, so it wouldn’t be out of the question to try to find a different comedian to bring in,” Ingram said. “Or if we decided we wanted to go a different route and look into a different type of programming, we could discuss that, but at this point I’m not quite sure.”

The cancelation and rescheduling came six days after Williams was announced to frontline this year’s Comedy Series and nine days before the event was set to take place.

Ingram said the SA has already began talking with the CFA about possible dates, but he’s not sure about the timeline or when SA will have a confirmed rescheduled date.

But some students look forward to the annual comedy event and already made plans after SA announced Williams’ performance.

“I planned on going with some friends,” said Angela Toscano, a sophomore pharmacy major. “I’ve seen her on Comedy Central before and know who she is. I’m disappointed that it’s canceled, and I’m hoping they bring someone else. I wouldn’t mind seeing John Oliver again.”

Oliver – another comedian known for news satire – performed at a packed Alumni Arena back in December.

Williams was set to perform a “comedic lecture” about “For More We Turn to Jessica Williams.” The Daily Show correspondent was going to play clips from her work on the show, giving insight into how they were produced, her stance on each issue and stringing the performance along with jokes and anecdotes.

Now, SA must members said it’s focusing on spreading the word that the event is canceled.

“It’s especially unfortunate because we had just made the announcement on Facebook, but we also just sent out the email to everyone including the date [of] Comedy Series yesterday,” Ingram said Wednesday. “Now, we’re just making sure we spread the word on our social media and other platforms. We don’t want students still planning on going when it’s not going to work out.”

This has been updated to include comments from SA President James Ingram and Erin Lachaal, the SA entertainment director.

Tori Roseman contributed reporting to this story

Jordan Oscar is a senior arts editor and can be reached at jordan.oscar@ubspectrum.com