Jon Stewart is stepping down as host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. According to various sources who were at this morning’s taping of tonight’s episode, the veteran anchor told his audience he would be retiring.
Comedy Central confirmed the news in a “thank you” message to Stewart via Twitter.
The message reads: “For the better part of the last two decades, we have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none. Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, ‘The Daily Show’ has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come. Jon will remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”
The end of an era only begins to describe the departure of Jon Stewart from one of television’s most beloved and important television programs. No word has been provided on whether or not he’ll be moving on to directing full time, as his first film “Rosewater” debuted last year to strong reviews.
Stewart has been the host of “The Daily Show” for 16 years (it will be 17 before he leaves). He took over for original host Craig Kilborn after a year-and-a-half on the air, making the identity of the program very much a part of Stewart and vice versa. The news comes less than two months after Stephen Colbert ended “The Colbert Report,” another beloved satirical news program spawned from early beginnings at “The Daily Show.”
The show’s official Twitter account unveiled the below message late Tuesday afternoon.
“The Daily Show” airs at 11pm on Comedy Central. Watch Stewart’s “Daily Show” debut below.