The popular satirical news show has maintained its appeal during Stewart’s 16 years as host by providing humorous angles to lighten otherwise heavy political issues, often taking on conservative, liberal, and mainstream media outlets in the process.
The show won 19 Emmy awards and averaged around a million viewers since Stewart became host in 1999.
“In my heart I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity,” Stewart told his “Daily Show” audience. “We’re still working out details.”
Comedy Central network executives said in a statement that Stewart would remain“ at the helm of “The Daily Show” until later this year.”
“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,” the statement read.
There are certainly many comedians indebted to Stewart, as his show provided a platform for many up and coming comedians to impress the audience of Comedy Central, including actor Steve Carell and host of “The Colbert Report” and now “The Late Show” Stephen Colbert.
The news of Stewart’s retirement leaked even before his confession on The Daily Show aired. A fan who had attended the show let the news slip on Twitter.
On the show, Stewart announced that he was leaving in an emotional and somewhat cryptic statement.
“This show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host and neither do you,” Stewart said. “I don’t think I’m going to miss being on television everyday. I’m going to miss coming here everyday.”
Stewart indicating that he is “restless” along with his retirement announcement has of course led to speculation about where the successful host will end up next. Last October, New York Magazine cited reports that Stewart might be in line to host the NBC program “Meet the Press,” and Stewart also recently had an opportunity to get into directing with his 2014 film “Rosewater.”
Several R-MC students told The Yellow Jacket that Stewart’s retirement was a bittersweet moment for them.
“I’ve been watching The Daily show since late 2011, around when the Republican primary started,” freshman Jacob Stech told The Yellow Jacket. “I liked how funny it was, and how politics doesn’t have to be so serious, it can be funny.”
“It’s the end of an era for Comedy Central,” Stech said. “Both Colbert and Stewart are retiring at almost the same time. Larry Wilmore is doing a good job, but it really depends on who takes over for Jon Stewart.”
-Henry Ashton ’15, Senior Politics/Opinions Editor