First Stephen Colbert ends The Colbert Report, and now we lose the very foundation of the satirical news lineup, as Jon Stewart has announced plans to exit The Daily Show later this year.
The announcement came via a statement from the president of Comedy Central Michele Ganeless, praising Stewart’s long run on the show and contributions to the network:
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.
While the announcement is hardly surprising given the length of Stewart’s tenure on the show, it is a sad day for fans of the very long-running satirical news program that Stewart took over in 1999. Since then, him and his team of very funny field reporters have covered Presidential elections, declarations of war, national and international politics, and even human interest stories with the same blend of satire and pathos that has made them one of the most watched shows on Comedy Central. The Daily Show spawned everything from Stephen Colbert’s The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, to John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO and Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show.
It’s not clear what the future of The Daily Show will bring, once Jon Stewart makes his exit later this year. We can expect that he will be involved with deciding who will succeed him as host, although many of his greatest comedic pals have already gone on to other things. It’s a tough act to follow: Stewart was instrumental in the success of The Daily Show as an anchor and a driving force. Still, as long as they keep the same writers and manage to hire someone (perhaps Samantha Bee?) to fill Stewart’s shoes, we can hope for the best. No matter who they find to succeed him, there’s no doubt that it’s the end of an era.
The Daily Show airs weeknights at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central. Watch tonight for Jon Stewart’s announcement.