On this day, Fri. Mar. 25th, 2022, most comedy venues that had survived to this side of the pandemic or brand new stages for comedy had already re-opened or announced their intentions to do so. That said, the question mark behind the once might trio of letters UCB remained as the neon sign on UCB Sunset would keep turning on (even though the building had been sold off several months ago) and that UCB Franklin supposedly would reopen when it could.
That question mark has been resting unanswered for the better part of two years with no indication as to what was going to happen. Many former Upright Citizens Brigade house sketch and improv teams to perform at other venues whether it be Asylum NYC or The Yard Theater in LA or even long time watering hole Silverlake Lounge.
Well, as of today, Upright Citizens Brigade will rejoin the world, but do so not under the guidance of the UCB 4, but its new owners Jimmy Miller, founder of the respected talent management firm Mosaic, Mike McAvoy, former co-owner of the Union, and the Elysian Park Ventures segment of the LA Dodgers franchise. All things considered, this acquisition is less strange than ZMC’s takeover of Second City, after having only previously wheeled and dealt in blockbuster video game titles like Grand Theft Auto.
Together this new head of UCB will seek to further the initiatives of inclusion that UCB was criticized for leading up to and during the pandemic, reopen UCB Franklin in LA and reestablish UCB operations in NYC, pay performers (probably one of the biggest changes for the theater and possibly a new changing of the tide for working and getting paid for doing comedy), and opt for a three person committee regarding programming decisions (somewhat similar to Groundlings) as opposed to a singular Artistic Director.
The details of what this will be and UCB’s re-entry into the world and LA and NYC and the art form of comedy and the hearts and minds of all the performers, employees, creatives, students, and fans offer up more question marks even still. At the very least, UCB won’t become a deep cut reference on comedy podcasts in the near future like so many other places have become.