Second City

Second City Purchased by Private Equity Firm

A beloved Chicago institution is changing ownership

The Second City
Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images

Chicago’s iconic comedy club and theater, The Second City, has sold to private equity firm ZMC, the firm announced on Thursday.

The theater’s future was in the air after ownership announced it was up for sale in October last year due to challenges it faced amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

"We are very excited to partner with management and the incredible talent at The Second City to grow the brand and build a diverse organization that elevates all voices," said Jordan Turkewitz, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner at ZMC.

Since its inception in 1959, Second City has been home to some of the legends of comedy, including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch and Bill Murray.

"Over its sixty-year history, The Second City has been home to some of the most beloved names in comedy, and we plan on building the next generation of comedy talent by investing in people and creativity," Turkewitz said in a press release.

While the pandemic has closed down regular business at all live theater venues across the city, there were also highly-publicized concerns about racism within the institution before its closure earlier this year.

"We are thrilled to work with ZMC as we continue to transform the company into an equitable and thriving environment while delivering world-class comedy to our audiences.” said Steve Johnston, The Second City President.  “I want to thank the talent, staff, alumni and audiences of The Second City for supporting us on our journey." 

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