Jon Stewart will be leaving The Daily Show in 2015. He told his audience on February 10 that he’s retiring from the show. You can watch the moment when Stewart broke the news to a devastated nation above. Stewart comments that it will be nice to eat dinner at home with his family who he is told are “lovely people.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stewart Didn’t Say What His Next Move Will Be
There’s no indication of what Stewart will do next. In 2014, he took time off from the show to film is debut as a director. The Iranian-set Rosewater. The news of his departure was confirmed in a Comedy Central press release that read, in part, that the show will “endure for years to come.”
A suggestion that it might not be the end for The Daily Show. Variety reports that Stewart’s contract is due to expire in the fall of 2015. He’s 52 years old.
2. Stewart Replaced Craig Kilborn on The Daily Show in 1999
Stewart has been a mainstay on The Daily Show since Craig Kilborn left the show in 1999. According to a Los Angeles Times report, Kilborn left because he wanted more editorial control. The same Times piece quotes a long-time Daily Show producer, Madeline Smithberg, who felt that Kilborn was under-appreciated. She said, “I always thought Craig was much sharper than he was given credit for.” Stewart appeared as a guest of Kilborn’s back in 1998 (above).
3. This Is the Second Major Loss for Comedy Central in 3 Months
He leaves the show less than three months after Comedy Central also lost Stephen Colbert. There had been rumors that Stewart was up for David Letterman’s job, the one that Colbert got. The Colbert Report was replaced by the The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in January. Comedy Central’s President Michele Ganeless told Variety in December 2014:
I don’t like to think about the day that Jon leaves, but there will be a day. The show will live on. It is a franchise, like the ‘Tonight Show, We’ll figure it out when we get there. He has set the standard. We will identify talent, and hopefully, we will find the next Jon Stewart.
4. Stewart Took The Daily Show to a Different Stratosphere
Since Stewart joined the show, The Daily Show has won 18 Emmy awards. Between 2002 and 2012, the show won Best Variety Series every year. During his tenure, The Daily Show not only critiqued but became a part of American political discussion. Critics argued that Stewart offered his opinions from the safety of his “fake news desk.” In 2004, his influence was such that he was credited with getting CNN’S God-awful Crossfire off the air thanks to his appearance on the show.
5. Stewart Discussed Retirement With Howard Stern in November 2014
Stewart had previously discussed retirement plans during an appearance on Howard Stern’s show in November 2014. Comedy Central haven’t said what date Stewart will leave the show. During that appearance, Stewart took aim at his favorite targets, Fox News talking heads, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity (above). In an interview with NPR, while Stewart was promoting Rosewater,, he said, “I think there are moments when you realize that that’s not enough anymore, or maybe it’s time for some discomfort.”