Jon Stewart makes surprise return to The Daily Show for US presidential election

Jon Stewart has announced he will make a surprise return to The Daily Show.

The late night host, 61, left the long-running Comedy Central show in 2015.

However, Stewart is now set to return on 12 February to become the series’ regular Monday night host for the duration of the 2024 US Presidential election cycle.

The rest of the week will be hosted by Daily Show correspondents, including Desi Lydic, Michael Kosta, Ronny Chieng and Jordan Klepper.

In a statement, Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios, said: “Jon Stewart is the voice of our generation, and we are honored to have him return to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to help us all make sense of the insanity and division roiling the country as we enter the election season.

“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.”

Jon Stewart is returning to ‘The Daily Show’ (AP Photo/Brad Barket)
Jon Stewart is returning to ‘The Daily Show’ (AP Photo/Brad Barket)

Stewart first took over The Daily Show in 1999 from original host Craig Kilborn, who had been with the show since its launch in 1996.

When Stewart departed 16 years later, he was replaced by South African comedian Trevor Noah.

Noah helmed the show from 2015 until 2022, when he signed off for the last time.

Shortly before his departure, 38-year-old Noah reflected on his time as host while appearing on Dua Lipa’s podcast At Your Service.

“It’s extremely stressful. It is debilitating at times. It is terrifying. It is a world where most people don’t want you to succeed,” said Noah, adding: “It’s a gruelling environment to be in and understandably. I don’t even say it from the place of, oh, feel sorry for me. It’s just like, well, no, it was a hell of a ride. I do love the show.”

After leaving The Daily Show, Stewart launchedThe Problem With Jon Stewart on Apple TV+ in 2021.

That series was canceled last year, reportedly due to clashes between Stewart and Apple over the show’s coverage of stories related to China and A.I.

Stewart hasn’t been a stranger to The Daily Show in the time since he first left. Last year, he returned dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi to offer some advice to guest host Roy Wood Jr.

“I’m Jon Stewart. I used to work here when the budget wasn’t as big a few years back,” Stewart told Wood. “I actually hosted the programme, to be honest with you.”

“You worked here? The Daily Show had a white host?” Wood quipped. “Why are you dressed like Obi-Wan Kenobi?”