Colbert plucks Louis-Dreyfus, Carell, Fey, other stars for Second City advisory board

‘Late Show’ host and Second City alum will be chair of the group meant to ‘help encourage a new generation.’

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephen Colbert celebrate their wins at the 2012 Emmys.

Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP

Deepening his involvement with his comedy alma mater, Stephen Colbert has recruited Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and other famous friends to serve on a new Artistic Advisory Board at Second City.

The 15-member board will meet quarterly to “talk about the direction of the theater and [give] their input on some of the decisions leadership is making,” Second City COO Parisa Jalili said Monday.

Colbert, who performed at the Old Town theater in the 1990s, will chair the board. He said in a statement Monday that his recruits “all believe that comedy is better off with a vital Second City. We want to share our experience of this tradition which helped form who we are as comedians and artists and help encourage a new generation to make that tradition their own.”

The CBS “Late Show” host was diligent about making sure the board represented a variety of voices and eras of Second City’s 62-year history, Jalili said.

“This [board] is very near and dear to his heart and was his idea,” she said. “He spent a lot of personal time and thought on this and reached out to people individually.”

The other members, all former Second City students or performers, are:

  • Dwayne Colbert (no relation to Stephen) of “The Conners” and “The Morning Show.”
  • Keegan-Michael Key from “Key & Peele,” “The Prom” and “Schmigadoon.”
  • Jane Lynch of “Glee” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
  • Tim Meadows of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Goldbergs.”

A graphic prepared by Second City shows the 15 performers serving on its Artistic Advisory Board.

Second City

  • Peter Murrieta, a producer on TV series including “Mr. Iglesias” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
  • Suzy Nakamura of “The West Wing” and “Dr. Ken.”
  • Catherine O’Hara from “SCTV” and “Schitt’s Creek.”
  • Sam Richardson from “Veep” and “The Afterparty.”
  • Jeff Richmond, a composer on “30 Rock” and Broadway’s “Mean Girls.”
  • Jason Sudeikis of “SNL” and “Ted Lasso.”
  • Robin Thede, creator and star of “A Black Lady Sketch Show.”

In addition to heading the advisory group, Colbert is a member of the board of directors that has governed Second City since its acquisition last year by New York private equity firm ZMC.

Day-to-day decisions on creative matters are being handled by a department headed by Carly Heffernan, creative director of Second City’s Toronto theater, Jalili said. Heffernan stepped in to assume the duties of the company’s Chicago-based executive producer Jon Carr after his departure in February.

Regarding Carr’s former position, Jalili said, “I am working with the board and owners in discussion constantly on what that role might look like in the future.”

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