Jon Stewart officially announced Tuesday, during an episode of "The Daily Show," that he will step down as its host at the end of this year. Stewart, who has anchored the satirical news program for 17 years, said "it is time for someone else to have that opportunity."
"This show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host," Stewart told a live studio audience Tuesday. "I'm going to miss coming here every day. I love the people here. They're the best."
Comedy Central confirmed Stewart's departure earlier Tuesday after fans who reportedly saw the taping live leaked the news on Twitter , the A.V. Club reported. Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central, released the following statement Tuesday on the network's official Twitter handle:
The fake news anchor took over as "The Daily Show" host after Craig Kilborn left in 1999. Comedy Central has yet to announce Stewart's replacement or if the show will continue without him.
Stewart made no mention of his next move during Tuesday's episode, but said he is still working out the details. "I don't have any specific plans," the political satirist said at the end of Tuesday's episode. "We have plenty of time and I'm not going anywhere tomorrow."
Stewart joked with his audience about his departure, saying he was a "terrible employee" and was looking forward to spending more time with his wife and two children. "I'm going to have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people," he said to a crowd of laughter on Tuesday.
Last month, Stephen Colbert concluded his news satire television program "Colbert Report" and announced he will be taking over for "Late Show" host David Letterman, who is retiring. "The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore" will replace Colbert's departed news satire show.