Jon Stewart has quit 'The Daily Show'.

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart

The 52-year-old presenter told the audience at the recording of yesterday's (10.02.15) show that he is stepping down from the satirical programme after 16 years at the helm, and will leave either in September, when his contract is up, or possibly December.

He said at the end of the show: "I'm not going anywhere tomorrow, but this show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you...

"I'm gonna have dinner on a school night with my family, who I have heard, from multiple sources, are lovely people."

Network Comedy Central praised the host for his "comedic brilliance" and hard work.

Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said in a statement: "For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honour and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none.

"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.

"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."

It is unclear what Jon - who took over as host from Craig Kilborn in 1999 - will do next, but the network insist he will always be part of their "family".

The statement concluded: "He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be a part of the Comedy Central family."

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