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Jon Stewart will step down from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” according the network, which confirmed Stewart’s retirement with a statement:
“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,” Michele Ganeless, President of Comedy Central, said in a statement.
“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,” Ganeless continued. “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,” she wrote. “He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”
According to people who attended Tuesday’s “Daily Show” taping, Stewart told the audience he would be retiring, though no precise date for Stewart’s departure was made.
Update: Here’s what Stewart said tonight:
Doug Herzog gave me the opportunity 17 years ago to pilot this wonderful franchise. In my heart, I know, it is time for someone else to have that opportunity. Not right away. It’s going to be — you know, we’re still working out details. I’m up in September…might be around then, might be December, might be July, we’re still working out details. I don’t have any specific plans. Got a lot of ideas. I got a lot of things in my head. I’m going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who sources tell me, are lovely people. You know, I’m not going to be here and try and sum up what this place has meant to me over the years, but I couldn’t do that — and we have plenty of time, and I have a myriad of people to thank and we’ll get to that over time… I’m not going anywhere tomorrow. But this show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host and neither do you. I don’t think I’m going to miss being on television every day. I’m going to miss coming here every day. I love the people here. They’re the best. They’re creative and collaborative and kind. You understand what I’m saying. I love and respect them so much.
It’s been a privilege, the honor of my professional life. I thank you for watching it, for hate-watching it. For whatever reason you are tuning in. You get in this business with the idea that maybe you have a point of view and something to express and to receive feedback from — that is the greatest feeling you could ask for, and I thank you.