North Haven’s Jon Stewart announced Tuesday that he plans to retire from The Daily Show before the end of the year, sudden and shocking news for his fans.
He thanked those who gave him the opportunity to helm the show and said, “In my heart, I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity.”
Stewart has hosted The Daily Show since 1999, when he took over for Craig Kilborn, who left to become the host of The Late Late Show on CBS. Stewart refocused the program on political commentary and media scrutiny.
Over the years, Stewart has been rumored as a choice for host of The Late Show, The Tonight Show and even Meet the Press, but Stewart stayed put at Comedy Central for more than 16 years.
In summer 2013, Stewart took a leave of absense from the show to direct Rosewater, his directorial debut. Then-Daily Show correspondent John Oliver filled in for eight weeks, an acclaimed run that got him on offer from HBO for his own political show, Last Week Tonight.
In April of 2014, Stephen Colbert was revealed to be the next host of The Late Show, taking over for the retiring David Letterman. While many were happy with the choice, they were also disappointed that it would mean the end of The Colbert Report. Oliver would have been an obvious choice to take over the 11:30 p.m. timeslot after The Daily Show; however, Oliver had already left for HBO.
Colbert ended The Colbert Report in December 2014 and Daily Show “senior black correspondent” Larry Wilmore was granted the 11:30 slot, with The Nightly Show.
Comedy Central did not hint at who the new host of The Daily Show will be, but said the program “will endure for years to come.”
Watch Stewart’s announcement: