After signing a pact with HBO upon leave of his hit Comedy Central mainstay The Daily Show, any and all news for what Jon Stewart has been up to in the meantime has been very quiet. It was originally announced that the pay cable network and the comedian were embarking on an animated project together, but that was soon shelved. Now comes word via Business Insider that Jon Stewart is returning to stand-up comedy with his first special in over twenty years.

Riding high as the host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart took a leave of absence in 2013 to direct the political drama Rosewater, which drew much acclaim upon it's release in 2014. Soon after, Jon Stewart announced his departure from the talk show. He didn't stay dormant long, hooking up with HBO. But the details behind that agreement have been hush-hush. Today, it is revealed that Stewart will be doing not one, but two new stand-up specials specifically for the pay cable network.

Jon Stewart hasn't headlines a stand-up special since 1996's 'Jon Stewart: Unleavened'. The new specials were announced at the TCA summer press tour during HBO's presentation. The announcement was a bit of a surprise, as HBO has considerably cut the amount of stand-up specials it is producing. And the news comes just months after HBO decided to shelve Stewart's animated 'shortform' comedy series. Here is the official press release from HBO:

Jon Stewart is set to headline two HBO comedy specials starting with the Jon Stewart Comedy Special 2017, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. He will return to HBO for his first stand-up special since the 1996 HBO presentation Jon Stewart: Unleavened, with the date and location to be announced as they are confirmed.

Additionally, this fall Stewart will host the latest "Night of Too Many Stars" all-star benefit for Next for Autism, to be presented live from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Nov. 18. The special will feature stand-up performances, sketches and short films. The comedy event was created by comedy writer and performer Robert Smigel to support autism schools, programs and services. Next for Autism (formerly New York Collaborates for Autism) is a non-profit organization that strategically designs, launches and supports innovative programs to improve the lives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Said Bloys.

"We're excited to bring Jon to the network with this pair of specials. We've all missed his uniquely thoughtful brand of humor."

Adds Stewart.

"I'm really thrilled to be able to return to stand-up on HBO. They've always set the standard for great stand-up specials. Plus, I can finally use up the last of the Saddam Hussein jokes left over from my first special."

Jon Stewart became the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 1999, stepping down from the show in 2015. The series received 23 Primetime Emmys® and two Peabody Awards. Stewart hosted the Academy Awards twice, in 2006 and 2008, and wrote the New York Times bestselling books "Earth (The Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race" and "America (The Book): A Guide to Democracy Inaction," which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 consecutive weeks. He also wrote and directed the 2014 feature film Rosewater.

In addition to Jon Stewart: Unleavened his first HBO stand-up special, his previous HBO credits include hosting the special George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy, Mr. Show with Bob and David and a recurring role on The Larry Sanders Show.

B. Alan Orange