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Jon Stewart is leaving “The Daily Show.” He announced the news during Tuesday’s taping, and Comedy Central confirmed his departure in a statement.

Comedy Central’s statement reads: “For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor 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.”

It continues: “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. 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.”

Stewart took over the show from Craig Kilborn in 1999. No reason for the timing of Tuesday’s announcement has been given, nor has it been announced when Stewart’s end date will be. Speculation about a possible replacement began almost immediately, with no obvious successors to take over what’s become a force in American political humor. 

Watch Jon Stewart Announce His Departure on The Daily Show