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Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Locked Up By Comedy Central Through 2012 Election

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A nation of weary Americans who look to Comedy Central to provide them with incisive political commentary and rare instances of actual accountability on teevee may today rejoice, because the network has signed popular hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to new contracts. According to the New York Times, the two men will stay on as hosts of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report through the 2012 presidential election.

"That's a big deal for us," said Doug Herzog, the president of the MTV Networks Entertainment Group, which includes Comedy Central. "For us, election years are like Olympic years." The two politically oriented comedy shows hosted by the two stars -- "The Daily Show" with Mr. Stewart and "The Colbert Report" with Mr. Colbert -- have both seen big ratings bumps in presidential election years, Mr. Herzog said, "and some of that carries over each time, so we keep going up."

Yes, these elections are exactly like the Olympics for Comedy Central, with the added benefit of the fact that the network does not hemorrhage millions of dollars, trying to cover it.

The Times notes that the timing of this announcement comes on the heels of former NBC host Conan O'Brien's deal with TBS, but says the new contracts are "not directly related" to O'Brien's deal. Herzog is quoted as saying, "Jon and Stephen do something thing different from what Conan does."

In other news, CNN promises to continue to go on the teevee to read Twitter aloud to its viewers through 2012, when they will unveil even doper holograms. Ha, kidding, except I'm probably actually not.

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to tv@huffingtonpost.com -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]

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