(CBS) — The Second City theater and improv group has been a Chicago institution for decades, and some of its most talented performers have gone on to entertainment stardom.

Now one of its alums, Stephen Colbert, has taken over one of the plum jobs in show business, hosting “The Late Show” on CBS.

Before he made his “Colbert Report” character a decade-long fixture on American TV, he honed his comedic edge on the “Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.

Prior to that, Colbert plied his craft as a member of the famous Second City, working alongside some actors and actresses who would go on to become household names.

“I was hired the same day as Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello. … Chris Farley and I started on the same day at Second City,” Colbert recalls. “He was a great, really sweet, really funny, really intelligent guy, which nobody knows. I miss him a lot.”

Second City CEO Andrew Alexander was Colbert’s executive producer.

“He was what I called the quintessential Second City person. He supported his fellow actors, he was smart, he was terrific to work with, everybody loved him,” Alexander says.

Colbert believes that Chicago and Second City were perfect places for him to polish his skills in comedy and improv.