The satirical news anchor broke the news of his own departure during Tuesday’s taping of “The Daily Show,” which airs at 11 p.m. ET. Comedy Central told TheWrap it has no plans to release any early video of the announcement. The company’s president did, however, share a statement.
“For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart,” Michele Ganeless said. “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,” she continued. “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,” Ganeless concluded. “He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”
Author David Axelrod was Stewart’s guest on Tuesday’s show. After he plugged his book “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics” during the third-act interview, Axelrod tweeted that it had been an “emotional night.”
In addition to boosting the fame of Stewart to household name levels, the half-hour fake news program has spawned the careers of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle and John Oliver, among many others.
Stewart began his long “Daily Show” relationship on Jan. 11, 1999, taking over for Craig Kilborn, who had anchored the program for three years. Kilborn had left Comedy Central for CBS’s “Late Late Show,” which he claimed the desk of through 2004.
In a 2009 Time magazine online poll, Stewart was ironically declared America’s most trusted newsman. The outgoing cable host’s current reported salary is in the $25 million-$35 million range per year.
Last summer, Stewart took some time off from the show to direct his first feature film, “Rosewater,” which he also wrote and produced. Oliver took over for Stewart during those warm New York City months and found great success, eventually landing his own show on HBO, “Last Week Tonight.”
“Rosewater” currently has a 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from Top Critics, and is a few clicks higher per All Critics and the Audience Score. The film, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal, has made $3.13 million at the domestic box office, per Box Office Mojo.
Stewart’s produced and hosted “Night of Too Many Stars” autism benefit airs on Comedy Central on March 8.
Stewart first began to get national notice in the mid-1990’s, when he did a lot of work on MTV, including hosting “The Jon Stewart Show” for three years.
The cable channel suddenly finds itself bleeding its long-running late-night talent. After Oliver left for a starring gig, Comedy Central suffered a huge loss at the end of 2014, when Colbert stepped down from “The Colbert Report” to takeover for David Letterman this year. Wilmore recently debuted his own show in the timeslot, “The Nightly Show.”