'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart to stand down

Jon Stewart has hosted the award-winning show for 16 years. AP Photo

Host Jon Stewart will leave the satirical and pioneering "The Daily Show" later this year, his bosses at Comedy Central said Feb. 10, calling him a "comic genius."       

The 52-year-old, who took time off in 2013 to direct a film based on an Iranian-Canadian journalist's nightmare in a Tehran jail, has hosted the award-winning show for 16 years.
      
"His comedic brilliance is second to none," said a statement on the channel's Twitter feed, after Stewart made the announcement during a taping of the show.
      
The "Daily Show," which airs four nights a week in the United States, offers Stewart's trademark sideways take on the news. The show has been running to acclaim since 1999.
      
"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," said the channel.
      
It added: "Through his unique voice and vision, The Daily Show has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and an unparallelled 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. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family."      

The statement gave no indication of what Stewart plans to do after leaving the show.
      
"The Daily Show" has been a launchpad for numerous comedians over the last decade and a half, including Ed Helms, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver.
      
Colbert left his own "Daily Show" spinoff program "The Colbert Report" last year to replace David Letterman on "The Late Show" in 2015, while Oliver launched his own show, "Last Week...

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