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TV Ratings: Jon Stewart Signs Off With 3.5M Viewers

The episode is only eclipsed by his Election Eve visit from President Obama in 2008.
Jon Stewart capped off his impressive Daily Show run Thursday night with a near-record 3.5 million viewers.

That leaves it just shy of the 3.6 million-viewer record set with a visit from then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama on the eve of the 2008 election — and considering how much more common DVR use is today, that number will likely be eclipsed after the first round of time-shifting. The episode has already added one million full-episode streams online.

Among adults 18-49, Stewart averaged 1.8 million viewers.

The December swan song for Stewart's former time slot neighbor, Stephen Colbert, brought a record 2.5 million same-day viewers to that telecast — though Colbert was merely getting ready to migrate to CBS, not retiring from late-night completely.

It shouldn't be underestimated what The Daily Show has meant to Comedy Central under Stewart's stewardship. His audience has skewed younger than anyone else's in the late-night game, not to mention they skew wealthy and educated.

The Daily Show will go on a break now, with 31-year-old Trevor Noah taking the host gig when it returns on Sept. 28.

Thursday was a big night for political junkies. In addition to Stewart's exit, the first GOP debate drew a record 24 million viewers to Fox News Channel.

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