As part of a continued commitment to increasing inclusivity both on the air and behind the scenes, NBCUniversal Talent Development & Inclusion has partnered with legendary Chicago-based comedy theater The Second City to invest in a series of programs to broaden our pool of comedic voices.

“NBCUniversal is honored and excited to partner with The Second City to encourage and nurture emerging and diverse comedic talent,” said Paul Telegdy, president of Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBCUniversal.  “The Second City has historically been a premier training ground for comedic and improv talent – and NBCUniversal is delighted, through this partnership, to help make this incredible learning opportunity and exposure more accessible to the diverse talent who represent the comedy voices of the future.”   

“We are thrilled that NBCUniversal shares our passion and commitment to diversifying the comedy community,” noted Andrew Alexander, CEO and president for The Second City. “We are excited to have them as a partner on these initiatives and appreciate their support in the efforts of our Outreach and Diversity division.”

​Three programs will debut as part of this partnership:  NBCUniversal Second City Bob Curry Fellowships (sixteen fellowships awarded to emerging talent to hone their comedic and sketch writing skills); NBCUniversal Second City Emerging Voices Scholarship Awards (three scholarships, one in each of the cities with The Second City training programs -- Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood, awarded for one year of advanced improvisation or sketch writing training); and  NBCUniversal Second City Break Out Festival (The Second City’s new comedy festival spotlighting some of the country’s best emerging talent in sketch, improvisation and stand-up, sponsored by NBCUniversal Talent Development & Inclusion).

NBCUniversal Talent Development & Inclusion hosts a variety of programs and events and partners with other entertainment entities to develop, nurture, showcase and provide networking opportunities for new and diverse actors, writers, directors and other talent.  For more information, log onto

​Beginning as a small cabaret theater on Chicago’s north side in 1959, The Second City has grown to become a comedy empire - building a robust $50+ million business based on its core improvisational methodologies. Resident theaters in Chicago and Toronto create topical sketch comedy revues that satirize politics, culture and news of the day.  Additionally, Second City performs thousands of shows each year in regional theaters, colleges, performing arts centers and through an exclusive partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line.  Beyond its stages, The Second City created the foremost school of improvisation-based arts in the world - with training facilities in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles that currently enroll over 11,000 students annually; a corporate division that works with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies in areas of training, marketing, entertainment and brand services; and The Second City's forays into television and new media include the classic, Emmy Award-winning comedy series SCTV and continues to produce new content and programming originating from The Second City Entertainment's offices in Los Angeles.

​For more information about the new Second City/NBCUniversal partnership, visit
Bob Curry became the first African-American cast member with The Second City in the 1960's. The Bob Curry Fellowship, which will serve to support the training of diverse new voices in comedy, will be part of a new initiative by The Second City and NBCUniversal. 

Bob Curry Fellowship Part of New Second City/NBCUniversal Diversity Initiative