Jon Stewart announced Tuesday during a taping of the Daily Show that he is stepping down this year.
The 52 year old late night comedian has interviewed thousands of guests throughout his tenure on the Daily Show, including politicians, actors, writers, scientists and other cultural celebrities. He has hosted the program since 1999.
“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,” said Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central’s president. “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 Daily Show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series for a remarkable ten straight seasons. The program also earned eight awards for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program.
Stewart earned a reputation as a veteran interviewer willing to challenge his guests no matter their political orientation. His non-confrontational style on the Daily Show is grounded in quick wit and humor rather than the in-your-face style typical of cable TV news.
Jon Stewart’s departure from the Daily Show comes just two months after Stephen Colbert signed off for the final time on the Colbert Report. Colbert, who started his career as a Daily Show correspondent, is replacing David Letterman on the Late Show. Letterman is retiring after 22 years.
The announcement did not come with any details on a potential future for Jon Stewart or the Daily Show.
The Comedy Central Twitter account had a simple message: “Thank you Jon.”
Thank you Jon. pic.twitter.com/yPdxjnkuLw
— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) February 10, 2015