No, sadly, it was not a nightmare. Nor was it an erroneous tabloid report: Jon Stewart really is leaving The Daily Show.
Comedy Central confirmed this surprising news via network statement on Tuesday, but Stewart himself then told the world about it during a taping of the program that made him truly famous.
He did not reveal plans for what's next, but Stewart did make it clear that he's growing a bit "restless" in the job, having held it for 17 years.
“I’m not gonna try to sum up what this place has meant to me over the years… I’ve got plenty of time,” he said of his exit, which will take place later this year. “I’m not going anywhere tomorrow. But this show doesn’t deserve an even slightly restless host, and neither do you.”
Stewart proceeded to praise his crew before growing emotional and adding that it’s “been an absolute privilege” to host The Daily Show, “the honor of my professional life.”
"And I thank you for watching it," he added. "For hate-watching it… Whatever reason you were tuning in for.”
As Stewart explained, fighting back tears:
“You get into this business with the idea that maybe you have a point of view and something to express, and to receive feedback from that is the greatest feeling in the world. And I thank you.”
Unable to hold back the waterworks, Stewart concluded his announcement by making like Frankenstein’s monster (and/or Jerry Seinfeld), and asking: “What is this fluid [in my eyes]?! What are these feelings?"
So now the speculation begins: Who can possibly replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?