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For years, TV viewers who have no time for 24-hour news cycles have looked to one name to fill in the blanks on the biggest stories flooding America’s headlines: Jon Stewart. And though we may have hoped that the suavest of the suave anchors would remain at the head of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, it looks like our days with Stewart are numbered. Today, Comedy Central announced that The Daily Show host will officially leaving the show later this year.
Comedy Central dropped the shocking news via Twitter, giving the longtime news anchor a fond pat on the back for sticking with the network for all of these years.
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 uniqute 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.
Dammit, we don’t even get to know when the last time we’ll see Stewart hosting will be. It looks like we’re going to have to tell political corruption that its time is also coming to a close, since there won’t be anyone around to tell it like it is.
Okay, so there probably will be someone around to do it. Rumors started floating last year that Stewart might be interested in heading out the door, as his career now incorporates directing feature films like Rosewater and all. So Comedy Central probably has a file somewhere with a list of clever, genial comedian-types who could serve as worthy replacements. Or the show's execs could just promote from within, as they’ve done in the past.
Comedy Central must be used to this by now, as Stewart took an extended break in 2013 to film Rosewater, during which time John Oliver stepped up as guest host. Oliver then left to host his own HBO series, Last Week Tonight. Later, it was announced Stephen Colbert would be leaving his own show to take over CBS’ Late Show, with Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show filling the post-Daily Show timeslot. Next year, the network’s late night will be almost unrecognizable.
And let’s not forget that Stewart took over hosting duties on The Daily Show after Craig Kilborn left in 1998, turning it from an amusing talk show into a news-devouring cable powerhouse. It doesn’t seem likely that anyone would follow Stewart by revamping The Daily Show into something else, but maybe we can just put Lewis Black in a Jon Stewart mask and pretend that it’s all business as usual.
We’ll miss you, Jon.
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