Jon Stewart announced last night (Tuesday) he’s going to be stepping down from The Daily Show later this year. He’s been the host of the long-running franchise since 1999.
He made the announcement to a shocked audience during last night’s taping of the show:
Seventeen years is the longest I have ever held a job by sixteen years and five months. The upshot therebeing I am a terrible employee. In my heart I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity.
I don’t have any specific plans. I’m gonna have dinner on a school night with my family – who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people.
I’m not going to try to sum up what this place has meant to me over the years. I couldn’t do that and we have plenty of time and I have myrid people to thank.
But this show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you.
I don’t think I’m going to miss being on television every day, I’m going to miss being here every day. I love the people here, they’re the best. They’re creative and collaborative and kind… I love them and respect them so much.
It’s been an absolute privilege, the honor of my professional life.
During Jon Stewart’s time at The Daily Show he’s helped the programme win 19 Emmys and nurtured the talents of many of his team including Stephen Colbert who went on to host a spin-off show The Colbert Report (and is now set to take over the Late Show on CBS later this year), and John Oliver who now hosts his own show on HBO after a successful stint guest-hosting The Daily Show whilst Stewart was directing Rosewater last year.
It’s a year of change in late night TV in the US, with Letterman’s departure from the Late Show coming up, Craig Ferguson’s departure from the Late Late Show last Christmas, James Corden taking over the Late Late Show shortly and Stephen Colbert taking over the Late Show later in the year.
Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless has released a statement:
For the better part of the last two decades, I 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.
He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.
The question that’s now being asked is who will take over as host. BBC News has been speculating and have suggested Daily Show reporter Jessica Williams, former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver, Daily Show alumni Jason Jones and comedians Amy Schumer & Chris Rock.