Chicago-based improvisational comedy enterprise The Second City is (finally!) opening a physical location in New York. Given the importance of the operation within the country’s dedication to all things comedy, we’re surprised it took this long for the 63-year-old institution to claim its own stake here.
Set to debut in the summer of 2023, the new entertainment complex will be located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to an official press release about the news, the 11,900-square-foot space will “feature a newly built main stage theater, seven training classrooms and a full-service restaurant and bar.”
“New York City is renowned for its talent and culture, and we could not be more thrilled to bring The Second City’s unique brand of improv-based entertainment and education to the city as we continue to foster the next generation of comedy,” said Ed Wells, CEO of The Second City, in an official statement. “We’re continually innovating on our stages, in our classrooms and beyond to deliver exceptional experiences to our audiences and students. This newest location in New York launches at a time of tremendous momentum for the brand following an expansion of our center in Toronto, Canada and critical acclaim for our latest shows. We see a huge opportunity to serve the New York City market across all of our services and we look forward to bringing smiles, laughter and the full Second City experience to one of the most renowned epicenters of entertainment and the arts.”
As comedy kinds know, plenty of award-winning actors and directors have gotten their start in show business at The Second City. On that very long list are Bill Murray, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Jordan Peele, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant, among plenty of others.
As for the name of the troupe, it’s a funny moniker taken from a series of derisive articles about Chicago that A. J. Liebling wrote for The New Yorker back in 1952.
Expect the new venue to become part of the epicenter of New York’s important comedy scene.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.