Jon Stewart Fights Back Tears As He Announces His Daily Show Departure

Truly confirming this is the end of an era, Jon Stewart announced on Tuesday that he's leaving The Daily Show after 17 years in the seat.

"You probably know things these people don't yet," the host explained at the top of his show. Waiting until the very end to surprise his in-studio audience, Stewart's announcement drew gasps and sadness from the folks watching the taping live.

The news comes only two months after Stephen Colbert's own departure from The Daily Show companion series The Colbert Report in December. The duo had long been the political-comedy forefathers for the network, but with Colbert's move to host of The Late Show and Stewart's own foray into film with his feature Rosewater, we all (deep down) knew he would not be long for this show.

"In my heart I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity,” he said, though no specific date has been set for the final episode, several months have been bandied about — July, September, and December. (Stewart's contact itself is up in September.)

“This show doesn't deserve an even slightly restless host,” he said, getting emotional. "And neither do you."

Naturally, this all left Stewart very emotional, causing the comedian to do what he does best — make 'em laugh. "What is this fluid?" he yelled, aghast. "What are these feelings? Frankenstein angry!"

The host closed his announcement with at least one confirmed plan for his life after The Daily Show: "I'm going to have dinner, on a school night, with my family — who I have heard from multiple sources are lovely people."

Watch the whole announcement here: