It’s four more years of “The Daily Show” for Comedy Central cut-up Jon Stewart.
The brainy comic has signed a deal to remain the anchor of the cable channel’s popular news satire through 2008.
“Jon is really focused on his work,” said outgoing Comedy Central chief Larry Divney yesterday. “He really enjoys it. I call him a pundit and he says, ‘stop,’ I call him a humorist and he says, ‘stop.’ ”
Stewart’s current deal is believed to expire at the end of this year and several networks, including Fox, are purported to have met with him in the last few months to discuss new shows.
“We weren’t privy to his conversations with [other networks] or what kind of money they were talking about,” Divney said. “We just put what we thought would be our best foot forward based on what our resources are.
“I think he likes having his platform of creative freedom, and he likes where the network is and the company that he keeps,” Divney said.
Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in January 1999 from then-host Craig Kilborn and has turned the news lampoon/talk show into one of the most sought after gigs for politicians and movie stars to appear on as guests.
In a strange twist, since Kilborn’s departure, the show has even become a primary news source for many viewers in their 20s and 30s.
Stewart has also become something of a well-known political pundit, known for his quirky insights into politics and skewering the media.
So far this year, viewership has averaged about 1 million for the nightly 11 p.m. broadcast – an all-time high for the show.