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Stephen Colbert among new members of Second City board of directors

Colbert will also chair Second City’s Artistic Advisory Board to advocate for artists.

Comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert has been named to the Second City board of directors.
Comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert has been named to the Second City board of directors.

Comedian Stephen Colbert is coming home.

The Northwestern University graduate and host of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” is returning to his comedy alma mater, Second City, as one of the the company’s newly appointed members to its board of directors.

The announcement was made Thursday morning.

“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, in a statement. During his 1988-94 run at Second City, the then-unknown Colbert created memorable scenes with other future stars including Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris.

Second City management now will report to the board, created following the February sale of the famed comedy company to the private equity firm ZMC. It’s believed to the first time in Second City’s 61-year history that it’s been governed by a board.

Colbert will also chair a new Artistic Advisory Board to advocate for Second City artists.

Joining him on the board of directors will be Chris Licht, a CBS executive who works with Colbert as showrunner and executive producer of “The Late Show.”

Heretofore the board has been made up of several ZMC execs, and other additions Thursday included:

  • Chris Henchy, writer/producer/director and co-founder (along with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay) of Funny or Die, the comedy video website and production company
  • Larry Irving, operating partner and chief environmental-social-governance advisor at ZMC
  • Brad Jenkins, CEO of Enfranchisement Productions, senior advisor of The Asian American Foundation, and co-founder of Phenomenal Productions
  • Laura Kennedy, CEO of Avalon, a talent management and production group based in London, Los Angeles and New York

“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 Second City chief operating officer Parisa Jalili. “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.”

Contributing: Darel Jevens