US comedian Jon Stewart, his wife Tracey McShane and children Nathan Thomas and Maggie Rose arrive f...

After Stepping Back To Focus On His Kids, Jon Stewart Is Returning To The Daily Show

The comedian said “being present” in his kids’ lives during his hiatus “was such a great joy.”

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Jon Stewart is returning to host The Daily Show on Comedy Central for the first time since 2015, and fans are excited to see him. The comedian has always managed to be strongly principled while also being funny, intense, and entertaining in a very singular way. But that’s not why his wife of more than two decades fell in love with him and had two children with him. It was all about his cats. Here’s what else you need to know about Stewart’s life as a husband and father.

Tracey Stewart was a veterinary technician when she met her future husband.

Jon Stewart started dating his future wife Tracey back in the ‘90s on a blind date, not long before he started hosting The Daily Show in 1999. She is a big animal lover, and one of the things she found most attractive about Stewart was the fact that he got custody of his two cats after the end of a previous relationship. Tracey told The New York Times that her husband getting “custody of the cats said so much about him... This was my dream man.”

She did worry about one hurdle, however. “I also knew that because he loved animals, if those animals didn’t like me, that might really count against me. I was like: ‘They’re going to love me. I don’t care if I have hives.’”

He proposed with The New York Times crossword.

When Stewart decided to pop the question, he enlisted the help of New York Times crossword creator Will Shortz, who incorporated a special crossword clue into that week’s edition that was specifically meant for Tracey. Perfect New York moment.

They married, and both changed their last names, in 2000.

Jon Stewart and his wife both changed their names.Evan Agostini/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When the couple married in 2000, they made the decision to find a shared new last name. Tracey was originally Tracey McShane, while Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz. After they were married, they became Jon and Tracey Stewart, and we really love that.

They run a farm sanctuary for abused animals.

As a serious animal lover and author of the book Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better, Tracey Stewart runs a farm sanctuary for abused animals in New Jersey called Hockhockson Farm with her husband. The couple live on this farm as well, and their love of animals has encouraged both of them to become vegan.

Their son Nathan was born in 2004.

Jon and Tracey Stewart welcomed their first child, son Nathan, in 2004. They have been pretty careful about sharing any information about their kids, but we do know that Nathan helps out around the farm from his mom’s 2016 post where he was seen hanging out with some cows.

Their daughter Maggie was born in 2006.

The couple welcomed daughter Maggie in 2006, and Stewart told People at the time that he was more nervous about being a dad to a daughter. “I don’t know that much about women,” he said at the time. “A boy child, I feel like I’ll know how to deal with it if he has a problem. I’ll just be able to say to him, ‘Well, repress it,’ and he will hopefully swallow that, as I have. And then you figure you have 30 years before it comes out over dinner where somebody spills the gravy and then you’re like ‘I hate you!’” He went on to add, “A girl, she’s going to want me to have tea with her and her panda. Like, what am I going to do with that?”

He quit The Daily Show to be with his family.

Jon Stewart focuses on his family.George Pimentel/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When Stewart stepped down from The Daily Show in 2015, it was with his family in mind. “The best decision I ever made was taking The Daily Show and the other best decision I ever made was leaving The Daily Show because I got to spend years [with my kids] as teenagers,” Stewart said in a PBS clip from 2022. “Just being with them, being present in their lives was such a great joy... something you can't get back.”

Now that his kids are grown, he has the space to return to The Daily Show. Stewart will host the show every Monday beginning Feb. 12 until the 2024 presidential election. And we can’t wait to see it.

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