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Jon Stewart to return to The Daily Show

Comedian will host show he previously helmed for 16 years every Monday starting 12 February and serve as executive producer

Jon Stewart during a taping of The Daily Show on 30 November 2011. Photograph: Brad Barket/AP

Jon Stewart is returning to The Daily Show, the groundbreaking comedy news program he had previously helmed for 16 years.

The homecoming, announced by Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios on Wednesday, comes after the production’s yearlong search for a replacement for host Trevor Noah – and just in time for the 2024 presidential election to heat up in earnest.

The plan is for Stewart to host every Monday, beginning on 12 February. He will also serve as an executive producer for the show, which will have a rotating lineup of comedians during the rest of the week.

Noah took over after Stewart’s exit in 2015 and spent seven years as host, before stepping down himself in December 2022.

Early reactions cast Stewart’s return as a major coup for Comedy Central. While Noah’s turn as host brought the show critical acclaim, including a surprise Emmy for best variety talk series, it was Stewart who established The Daily Show as a force not just in popular culture but current affairs.

In a statement, the Showtime and MTV Entertainment Studios CEO, Chris McCarthy, hailed Stewart “as 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.

Stewart shot to fame with the innovative show, which sought to mock the news cycle but also helped a generation of viewers learn about politics and led the way for other comedy programs to inform as well as entertain – though he always claimed the show was just for laughs.

He specialized in takedowns of political hypocrisy and was particularly vocal about the damage done by the mindless partisanship that was increasingly becoming a facet of American public life.

After The Daily Show he hosted The Problem, for Apple TV+, but reportedly chafed against corporate editorial influence on a show that was less topical than The Daily Show.

Returning to hosting duties once a week will probably be appealing to a comedian who often spoke of his exhaustion as a reason for leaving the show in the first place.

Following Noah’s own decision to step down in December, the show featured a variety of hosts, including Sarah Silverman, Leslie Jones and Hasan Minhaj.

The Paramount+ service said it will stream episodes featuring Stewart the day after they air on Comedy Central, in a victory for a platform still struggling to match the viewership figures of its competitors.

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