THE Daily Show host Jon Stewart is to leave the satirical programme which he has fronted since 1999.
His departure was announced by Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless after Stewart broke the news to the audience at a recording in New York on Tuesday.
Stewart turned his biting and free-wheeling humour into an unlikely source of news and analysis to host the US show, which is broadcast across the globe.
“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,” Ms Ganeless said, calling the 52-year-old host a “comic genius”. He will remain host until later this year, she said, but did not specify his exit date or what led to his decision.
The news brought reaction from fans and past targets. “Just had the honour of being the great Jon Stewart’s guest, where he announced he’s leaving. Emotional night,” David Axelrod, former adviser to President Barack Obama, said on Twitter.
His departure is a second big blow for Comedy Central after Stephen Colbert, left The Colbert Report last year.