Jon Stewart Tells 'Daily Show' Audience He's Leaving To Give Someone Else A Chance & Spend Time With His Family

When the news broke that after 17 years, Jon Stewart would be leaving   The Daily Show in 2015, there were some obvious thoughts I, and probably most of America had, including who should replace him, what is he going to do next, and of course, how did he actually announce the news? Well, we got the answer to that last question when at the end of his show on Monday night, Stewart addressed the audience with the news, which was met with resounding sadness and an outpouring of love for the host. After explaining that his time had come to step down and let someone else takeover, he gave a loving speech about his tenure on the show and his admiration for the crew. He explained he is looking forward to spending time with his family.

Before the episode, the news was confirmed via a statement from Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless who stated some obvious and loving words about the show and the man at the helm, including this wonderful line: "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."

But it was really Stewart's emotional announcement that we were all waiting to hear, and he didn't disappoint. The host started out by joking that hosting The Daily Show for 17 years was the longest gig he had ever had by about 16 years and change. And while his bosses and his time on the show have provided an amazing opportunity, he knew he needed to leave. "I am a terrible employee. But in my heart I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity."

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Stewart also endearingly explained his plan to spend more time with his family. "I'm gonna have dinner. On a school night with my family, who I have heard by multiple sources, are lovely people." Despite the audience's disappointment in the host's pending departure, they all loved the humor he brought to the news just as much as the emotion. And the emotion was definitely there as Stewart explained that he just couldn't explain how much the show and the people have meant to him over the years. But even with all that love, he stated, "This show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host and neither do you."

When getting choked up about his crew on the show, an audience member yelled "We love you John!" which brought huge cheers from the audience and even more emotion from the host, who of course turned back on the humor. "What is this fluid?!" he joked about his tears, "What are these feelings?! Frankenstein angry!"

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The logistics of Stewart's departure are still up in the air. "I'm up in September, it might be around then. Might be December, might be July. We're still working out details," he explained. He also said that he didn't have any set plans about what he would do next, so as much as we all might want him to go into politics and/or direct more films, all Stewart really has now are "a lot of ideas."

Stewart ended the announcement on a high note. "It's been an absolute privilege, it's been the honor of my professional life. And I thank you for watching it, for hate watching it." Here, the comedian again got some laughs. "Whatever reason you were tuning in for, you get in this business with the idea that maybe you have a point of view and something to express. And to receive the feedback from that is the greatest feeling you can ask for. And I thank you."

Jon Stewart for President in 2016, anyone?

Images: Martin Crook/Comedy Central