Stewart leaving 'The Daily Show' later this year
LOS ANGELES - Jon Stewart, who turned his biting and freewheeling humor into an unlikely source of news and analysis for viewers of "The Daily Show," will leave as host this year, Comedy Central said yesterday.
LOS ANGELES -
Jon Stewart, who turned his biting and freewheeling humor into an unlikely source of news and analysis for viewers of "The Daily Show," will leave as host this year, Comedy Central said yesterday.
His departure was announced by Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless after Stewart, host of the show since 1999, broke the news to the audience at yesterday's taping in New York.
"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," Ganeless said in a statement.
She called Stewart, 52, a "comic genius." He will remain as host until later this year, she said, but did not specify his exit date or what led to his decision.
Reaction was swift from his admirers and, in some cases, likely past targets.
"Just had the honor of being the great Jon Stewart's guest [on 'The Daily Show'], where he announced he's leaving. Emotional night," David Axelrod, former adviser to President Obama, posted on Twitter.
Stewart's departure represents a second big blow for Comedy Central: Another star, Stephen Colbert, left "The Colbert Report" last year to take over for CBS late-night host David Letterman when he retires in May.
Larry Wilmore and the new "The Nightly Show" replaced "The Colbert Report."
The Stewart and Colbert shows created templates for a comedic form that offered laughs along with trenchant political and social satire. Authors and politicians were as common as Hollywood celebrities on the self-described "fake news" programs.
Stewart took a several-months-long hiatus in 2013 to direct "Rosewater," a well-reviewed film about an Iranian-born journalist who was imprisoned for 118 days in Tehran and accused of being a spy.
The Comedy Central statement did not indicate what his plans were after leaving.
Actress and comedian Mindy Kaling blamed the lure of filmdom.
"I knew when Jon Stewart left to direct that movie he was gonna try something like this," Kaling posted on Twitter.
When he returned from his filmmaking break, Stewart played a tape of Obama urging military action against Syria because of last month's poison-gas attack.
"America taking military action against a Middle East regime," Stewart said. "It's like I never left."