Stewart has hosted the American late-night talk and news satire series since January 1999. The show originally premiered in 1996 and was hosted by Craig Kilborn. When Stewart took over in 1999, the show shifted its format from pop culture to politics and the national media. Under Stewart, the show has won 18 Primetime Emmy Awards and is Comedy Central’s second longest running program after South Park.
The retirement of Stewart becomes the latest in a shakeup of late night television. Last year, Jay Leno left NBC’s The Tonight Show and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon. Later in the year, David Letterman announced his retirement after hosting CBS’s Late Show for the past 22 years, with his final episode scheduled for this upcoming May. His replacement, Stephen Colbert, signed off on his own Comedy Central news-satire program The Colbert Report last December. Most recently, Craig Ferguson departed from CBS’s The Late Late Show. As of this moment, one of the few late night shows that hasn’t seen a change in host is ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Although Stewart plans on exiting the show, he won’t leave as host until the end of the year. Comedy Central has not announced his replacement at this time.
Comedy Central issued the following statement: