Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart will return to HBO with a stand-up comedy special Reuters

Jon Stewart is set to return to HBO with his first stand-up comedy act for the network in 21 years. The former The Daily Show host will headline a comedy special for the network for the first time since 1996's Jon Stewart: Unleavened.

"I'm really thrilled to be able to return to stand-up on HBO," Stewart said in a statement. "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."

According to HBO's programming president Casey Bloys, the 54-year-old will also emcee the Night Of Too Many Stars special which is set to take place at Madison Square Garden, New York, on 18 November.

The event will raise money for NEXT for Autism, a non-profit organisation that works to create innovative programmes for individuals suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Alongside stand-up performances, the night will also feature sketches and short films.

Stewart signed a four-year contract with the network in 2015, under which he was supposed to launch an animated series on HBO's digital arms, HBO Now and HBO Go. Multiple delays and millions of dollars later, network bosses decided to pull the plug on the project citing "technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material".