Stephen Colbert Tells Jon Stewart Why He's Leaving 'Colbert Report': 'I've Won Television' (Video)

On the heels of his being named David Letterman's "Late Show" successor, the TV host surprised the "Daily Show" audience at Wednesday's taping.
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Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert popped by his former show -- Jon Stewart's Daily Show -- on Wednesday night to explain why he's leaving The Colbert Report.

Colbert, who recently was announced as David Letterman's successor on Late Show when the latter retires next year, surprised Comedy Central's Daily Show audience in character as his conservative pundit.

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"Jon, I have some terrible news. You'd better sit down," he told Stewart, who was already sitting down.

He went on: "Jon, this is going to come as something of a shock to you."

"You're ending your show," Stewart replied.

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"Jon, please, I'm ending my show," Colbert said. "I have to. Jon, don't beg me to stay. You see, there is no mountain left to climb. It's become clear to me I've won television. At this point, I'm just running up the score."

When Stewart replied that it's "not really a contest," Colbert quipped: "Not anymore, Jon, 'cause you see, Jon, almost nine years ago, I promised to change the world, and together -- I did it."

Colbert, still in character, also said he's not taking over CBS' Late Show, joking that the job was given to "some fat guy."

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He also introduced a package he'd put together of his own highlight reel on Daily Show, claiming Stewart had never done one for him.

Watch the clip below.

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