The Second City Adds Stephen Colbert, Chris Henchy, Larry Irving, Brad Jenkins, Laura Kennedy and Chris Licht to Board of Directors
June, 10 2021
Colbert to Chair The Second City Artistic Advisory Board to Advocate for Artists and Support the Institution’s World-Class Comedy
NEW YORK and CHICAGO, Thursday, June 10, 2021 – ZMC and The Second City, the world's premier brand in improvisation and sketch-based comedy entertainment and education, announced today the following appointments to its Board of Directors, effective Thursday, June 10, 2021:
- Stephen Colbert, Host of The Late Show on CBS
- Chris Henchy, Co-Founder of Funny Or Die
- Larry Irving, Operating Partner and Chief ESG 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
- Chris Licht, Showrunner and Executive Producer of The Late Show
Additionally, Stephen Colbert will chair The Second City’s Artistic Advisory Board to advocate for artists throughout the organization as it continues to grow its 62-year-old brand of iconic, world-class comedy.
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
The Second City Artistic Advisory Board will be announced in full at a later date.
Stephen Colbert currently hosts the Emmy award nominated, #1 show in late night The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. From 2005 to 2014, he hosted The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, following his eight years as a correspondent on The Daily Show. The Report received two Peabody Awards, two Grammy Awards, five Emmy Awards, and thirty-seven total Emmy Nominations. Colbert took over as host of The Late Show on September 8, 2015. In addition to The Late Show, Colbert serves as Executive Producer on the new Paramount+ series, Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out The News and previously, SHOWTIME’s Our Cartoon President. He is also an Executive Producer of Derek DelGaudio's In & Of Itself, now streaming on Hulu. Colbert has also authored five books, the most recent of which, Whose Boat Is This Boat?, reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. All proceeds from the book benefited the victims of Hurricane Florence and Michael, and most recently, COVID-19 relief.
Chris Henchy is a writer, producer and director. He was a Partner of Gary Sanchez Productions and Co-founder of Funny Or Die. Henchy has been a writer and producer on such shows as Spin City and I'm With Her as well as the HBO comedies Eastbound & Down and Entourage. Henchy wrote the feature films Land of the Lost for Universal Pictures, The Other Guys for Sony (starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) and The Campaign for Warner Brothers (starting Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis). Henchy also produced the feature films Tammy, The Boss, Get Hard and Daddy’s Home I and II. Henchy wrote, produced and directed Impractical Jokers, The Movie.
Larry Irving is an Operating Partner at ZMC as well as the firm’s Chief ESG Advisor. Irving is president and CEO of the Irving Information Group, a telecommunication and information technology strategic planning and consulting business based in Washington, D.C. Irving launched his business in October 1999. Prior to starting his business, he was head of the National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration (NTIA), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves as the President's principal adviser on telecommunications policies pertaining to the United States' economic and technological advancement and to regulation of the telecommunications industry.
Brad Jenkins is CEO and Founder of Enfranchisement Productions, an award-winning social impact production company based in Washington D.C. He previously served as the Managing Director and Executive Producer of Will Ferrell's Funny Or Die. Jenkins also spent four years serving as President Obama’s Associate Director in The White House Office of Public Engagement under Valerie Jarrett. In his role, he was involved in the Emmy-award-winning episode of Between Two Ferns, in which Zach Galifianakis interviewed President Obama about the Affordable Care Act. Jenkins is also Co-Founder of Phenomenal Productions, which he launched in 2020 with Meena Harris and is currently a Senior Advisor to The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
Laura Kennedy is CEO of Avalon, the talent management and production group based in London, Los Angeles and New York, which represents a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, writers and directors and produces numerous television shows including Breeders (FX/Sky), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), Spitting Image (BritBox), Starstruck (HBO Max/BBC), Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform/Hulu) and Taskmaster (Channel 4). Prior to joining Avalon in 2019, she was COO at Lionsgate Television Group where she headed operations, strategy and M&A. She serves on the Geffen Playhouse Advisory Board.
Chris Licht joined The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as Executive Producer and Showrunner in April 2016 after five years at CBS News, where he most recently served as Vice President of Programming for CBS News and the Executive Producer of CBS This Morning. Additionally, Licht serves as Executive Vice President of Special Programming, ViacomCBS, consulting on various forms of content for divisions across the Company. In addition to The Late Show, Licht serves alongside Colbert as an Executive Producer of Paramount+’s Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out The News and previously, SHOWTIME’s Our Cartoon President.
About The Second City
Since opening its doors over 60 years ago, The Second City has grown to become the world's premier comedy brand, focused on the mission of entertaining, inspiring, and transforming through courageous comedy. Renowned for its legendary theaters in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood, alumni of The Second City's stages, touring companies, theatrical production, and Emmy-winning iconic TV show SCTV include some of the biggest and most beloved names in entertainment, including Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Aidy Bryant, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Keegan-Michael Key, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Suzy Nakamura, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Chris Redd, Joan Rivers, Sam Richardson, Amber Ruffin, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Willard and Steven Yeun. The Second City brings its unique approach to interactive entertainment and education through a multitude of in-person and digital programming, reaching tens of thousands of students of improvisational-based arts annually, as well as hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies. The comedic empire continues to push new boundaries across a variety of platforms, allowing audiences worldwide to experience The Second City's wholly unique approach to laughter.
ZMC is a leading private equity firm comprised of experienced investors and executives that invests in and manages a diverse group of media and communications enterprises. Founded in 2001, ZMC's investment philosophy centers on operational value creation driven by targeted investment themes, deep sector expertise, and strong partnerships with industry and operating executives. ZMC approaches its investments in collaboration with management teams and has a successful track record of actively adding value to portfolio companies. ZMC is currently investing out of ZMC III, L.P., which closed on $775 million in commitments. See www.zmclp.com to learn more.
Gladstone Place Partners
Lauren Odell / Kiki O’Keeffe