American television is losing one of its most significant and influential media personalities later this year.
Popular satirist and political talk show host Jon Stewart has announced to step down from Comedy Central’s parody newscast The Daily Show. This announcement came during the recording of Tuesday’s episode in front of the studio audience, followed by a confirmation from the channel itself.
Stewart’s contract expires in the fall, and he has decided not to renew it.
Thank you Jon. pic.twitter.com/yPdxjnkuLw— Comedy Central (@ComedyCentral) February 10, 2015
He claims that he doesn't have any specific plans following his retirement, but he "has got some ideas."
The 52-year-old made a career out of political satire and is considered a highly influential figure in American politics. He has been hosting the show since 1999, and has played a part in launching a number of today’s A-list celebrities.
During Stewart’s 16-year tenure, the show has won 18 Emmy awards, including the award for Best Variety Series nine years in a row – from 2003 to 2012. It has also won two Peabody Awards for the presidential coverage in 2000 and 2004.
Stewart started hinting his retirement late last year when he made his directorial debut with the movie Rosewater.
“When do you decide that even though it's this place of great comfort and you feel like you're plugged into it like you've never been plugged into anything else that you've ever done, you know ... there are other considerations of family or even in the sense of just not wanting to be on television all the time,” he said during an interview with NPR.
Despite all of this, the news of Stewart’s departure came as a shock to most and celebrities, politicians, journalists and fans have all been rather emotional since the announcement.
I KNEW WHEN JON STEWART LEFT TO DIRECT THAT MOVIE HE WAS GONNA TRY SOMETHING LIKE THIS— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) February 11, 2015
Congratulations to Jon Stewart on an extraordinary groundbreaking run.— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) February 11, 2015
what will we do without you, Jon Stewart, oh captain our captain? @TheDailyShow— Jay Duplass (@jayduplass) February 11, 2015
The Show Must Go On
Comedy Central plans to continue the series, but who is going to be its new face?
Twitter has been going wild with speculation. Take a look at the tweets below:
The Daily Show with Tina Fey. Go. #DailyShow— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) February 11, 2015
#JonStewart announces his retirement from The Daily Show the very same day Spider-Man joins the MCU. Coincidence?— Brad Abraham (@NotBradAbraham) February 10, 2015
The Daily Show with Left Shark— Annie Stamell (@stamos) February 11, 2015
The Daily Show With Patrick Stewart And Ian McKellen Being Adorable— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) February 11, 2015
One thing’s for sure, no matter who steps up as the new host, Jon Stewart will be terribly missed during the 2016 presidential elections.
This seems to be a bad time for the network as this announcement comes right after former Daily Show contributor Stephen Colbert ended his tenure with Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. He left the network in December to star as the host of CBS’ Late Show.