However, the talk show host had a litany of reasons, none of which had to do with the content of the show.
"It's not like I thought the show wasn't working anymore, or that I didn't know how to do it," he told the Guardian newspaper. "It was more, 'Yup, it's working. But I'm not getting the same satisfaction.'"
Calling it "the most perfect job in the world," Stewart is ready to move on to other endeavors. Plus, with the presidential election just around the corner, the timing felt right.
"I also felt that, for the show, you don’t want to leave when the cupboard’s bare. So I think it’s a better introduction when you have something providing you with assisted fuel, like a presidential campaign," he told The Guardian. "But really, the value of this show is so much deeper than my contribution."
He also wanted to see more of his family. The talk show host has been married for more than a decade and has two children, Nathan, 10, and Maggie, 9.
“It would be nice to be home when my little elves get home from school, occasionally," he said.
Now, Stewart, 52, is looking forward to what the next host, Trevor Noah, has to offer, calling him "incredibly thoughtful, considerate and funny." He also insisted the mourning over his leaving the show was overblown.
"If Oprah can leave and the world still spins," he said, "I honestly think it will survive me."