By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Stephen Colbert is returning to his Chicago comedy roots, joining the new board of directors for The Second City.

The Late Show host also will co-chair The Second City’s Artistic Advisory Board to advocate for artists.

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“As a young comedian, The Second City was my artistic home where I learned my chops and had the freedom to fail with my friends. I want to help keep it that way,” said Colbert.

Colbert first came to Chicago in 1984 and studied at Northwestern University. He learned the art of improv at iO Chicago (known at the time as Improv Olympic) and later Second City.

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“We could not do better than to have an icon like Stephen helping us in our mission to grow The Second City in a way that honors the art and the brand, as well as provides a platform for a broader pool of talent,” said Parisa Jalili, The Second City Chief Operating Officer. “The Second City name has become synonymous with comedic excellence, and we owe that to the talent, staff, alumni and audiences that form our community.”

Colbert joins five others on the newly appointed board for The Second City:

  • Chris Henchy, co-founder of Funny Or Die, the comedy video website and production company Henchy co-created with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Mark Kvamme.
  • Larry Irving, operating partner and chief ESG advisor at ZMC, the private equity group that acquired The Second City in February.
  • Brad Jenkins, CEO of Enfranchisement Productions, senior advisor of The Asian American Foundation, and co-founder of Phenomenal Productions
  • Laura Kennedy, CEO of talent management and production firm Avalon
  • Chris Licht, showrunner and executive producer of The Late Show
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“With this slate of comedy legends and talented leaders, we are more confident than ever in The Second City’s ability to continue to grow the brand and innovate,” said Jordan Turkewitz, co-chief investment officer and managing partner at ZMC. “We are just beginning to write this new chapter of the company together, and we’re excited to do so alongside the incredible artists who make this theater iconic.”

CBS 2 Chicago Staff