Legendary US talk show host Jon Stewart has announced his departure from The Daily Show during a live taping of Wednesday night’s episode.
Viacom pay TV channel president Michelle Ganeless confirmed Stewart’s departure later this year, saying his “comedic brilliance is second to none”.
“For the better part of the last two decades, I have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart,” Ms Ganeless said in a statement.
One Instagram user shared a photo from The Daily Show’s New York studio on Wednesday morning, confirming the unhappy news.
“Guys!!! #jonstewart [sic] is leaving he show!!! Just saw the live taping!!!! #sosad,” Dani Jurman wrote.
There is no word on what the 52-year-old’s next career move will be after hosting Comedy Central’s satirical news program for 16 years.
Stewart has recently tried his hand at directing, with his screenplay Rosewater receiving praise at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
Under Stewart, The Daily Show has won 19 Emmy Awards for being an outstanding variety show, and two Peabody Awards for its outstanding journalism.
The show also launched the career of Steve Carrell, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert, who will takeover from David Letterman as the host of The Late Show on CBS later in 2015.