Longtime viewers of “The Daily Show” will soon see a familiar face back in the hosting chair. Jon Stewart, who hosted the show from 1996 to 2015, will return to the program, NBC News has confirmed.
The news comes after more than a year of uncertainty in the search to replace Trevor Noah, who just took home an Emmy for best variety talk series. The comedian exited in 2022 after hosting for seven years. He had taken over from Stewart.
Stewart will host Monday nights through the 2024 election, and then will continue on as executive producer for every episode until the end of this year and the next, according to a news release from Comedy Central. On days Stewart is not hosting, “The Daily Show” will continue to rely on a team of rotating correspondents.
The show typically airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. ET, with Monday widely believed to be its most-watched day.
Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Studios, called Stewart “the voice of our generation.”
“In our age of staggering hypocrisy and performative politics, Jon is the perfect person to puncture the empty rhetoric and provide much-needed clarity with his brilliant wit,” McCarthy said in a statement about Stewart’s return.
During his previous 16-year run as its host, Stewart won two dozen Emmy Awards for “The Daily Show.” Stewart emerged during that time as a leading voice of left-leaning outrage that often targeted Republicans, especially the administration of former President George W. Bush, but pulled few punches with Democrats.
A popular and critical hit, “The Daily Show” was later followed by another newsy comedy show hosted by Stephen Colbert, “The Colbert Report,” that lampooned conservative media and made Colbert a national star.
Stewart made his most high-profile return to media in 2021 when he began hosting “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+, a current events series that ran for two seasons before its abrupt cancellation in October last year.
On Wednesday, Stewart joked on X with references to the collegiate sports transfer system that he was headed to a new challenge.
Noah celebrated Stewart’s announcement with a post on X, writing, “Yessssssss he’s back.”
John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, learned about the news Wednesday in the middle of an interview with TODAY’s Willie Geist.
“It’ll be exciting to see what he does. I do think after 2025 they should appoint a permanent host,” Oliver said. “But it’s going to be very exciting to see Jon again in an election year, as well. That is watchable.”
Others also expressed their excitement on social media.
“So excited to welcome Jon back to the conversation,” legendary television news anchor Dan Rather wrote on X.
“Jon Stewart returning to the daily show during an election year is like when your best friend or older brother showed up when a bully was messing with you,” one X user wrote.
Some people expressed skepticism about whether Stewart’s commentary will resonate in this political climate.
“The market is very fragmented currently, and it’s not really possible for any TV host, let alone Jon Stewart, to cut through the noise and to land a blow like they might have seen him land against, say, Tucker Carlson when he went on CNN in the aughts,” said A.J. Bauer, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama who studies right-wing media. “Things have changed.”