According to folks in the audience of tonight’s taping of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart announced today that he’s leaving the anchor chair that he’s occupied there since 1999. It’s not clear when he’ll be leaving (Comedy Central has confirmed that it’ll be “later this year”), what he’ll be doing next, or who will replace him behind the desk.
With Stephen Colbert having just ended his run with The Colbert Report, this represents a total changing of the guard for Comedy Central’s long-dominant late night block. With Larry Wilmore settling in at 11:30 with The Nightly Show and John Oliver having just kicked off season two of This Week Tonight over on HBO, it’ll be interesting to see who Comedy Central picks to fill Stewart’s literally small but figuratively huge shoes.
Stewart recently took a leave of absence from the show in order to direct his first movie, Rosewater. He may be looking to do more work behind the camera in this next stage of his career.
Here’s Comedy Central’s official statement:
For the better part of the last two decades, we 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. 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.