Stephen Colbert joins new powerhouse Second City board

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Stephen Colbert, whose career was launched at the Second City comedy theater, is to re-engage with the famed Chicago institution.

Second City’s new owner, the New York-based private equity firm ZMC, said Thursday morning that the host of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on CBS had joined a new corporate board of directors that would oversee and help advance the theater.

That seems likely to lead to opportunities for Second City performers on “The Late Show,” especially since Second City also named Chris Licht, the showrunner and executive producer of “The Late Show” to the board.

But that show is not the only new national contact.

Others named include Chris Henchy, the co-founder of the comedy video company known as “Funny or Die,” Larry Irving, a partner at ZMC, Brad Jenkins, the CEO of Enfranchisement Productions and Laura Kennedy, the CEO of The Avalon Group, a powerful talent agency and producer whose shows include “Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver.”

Jenkins formerly worked in the Obama White House in the office headed by Valerie Jarrett.

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

Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.

cjones5@chicagotribune.com