It’s no joke — US king of satire is bowing out


America’s King of satire is stepping down as host of the country’s favourite political comedy programme The Daily Show.

Jon Stewart, who was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, announced this week he would be leaving the Comedy Central show after a 16-year run. At the end of Tuesday’s broadcast, the 52-year-old said: “In my heart I know it is time for someone else.

“I don’t have any specific plans. Got a lot of ideas. I got a lot of things in my head.”
He joked: “I’m going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who, I have heard from multiple sources, are lovely people.”

No official reason was given for his departure, no date has been set and no successor has been named.

Mr Stewart took over The Daily Show in 1999, raising the ratings to 2.2 million viewers per night, and earning the show Emmys for comedy and Peabodys — an American media award — for political coverage.

Michele Ganeless, Comedy Central’s president, said: “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.”

Mr Stewart became known for his coverage of presidential elections and also came under fire for criticising Israel, labelled a self-hating Jew in the press.

He began his career as a stand-up comic, using Jewish material. In 1989 he joined cable TV’s Short Attention Span Theatre where he became friends with chat show host David Letterman. By 1993 he was hosting his own MTV show.

He took time off in 2013 to write and direct his film debut, Rosewater.

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