Persons-of-color improv comedy troupe offers 'distraction'

While I'm pretty convinced the cast of Affirmative Distraction, the city's first all-persons-of-color improv comedy troupe, could mine all manner of popular culture for laughs, there are some places they just won't go, founder Joseph Moorer told me.

“We don't touch R. Kelly. We don't touch Bill Cosby,” Moorer said. “We've got the internet. We've got memes already covering that. We are the distraction from all that.”

Moorer's notion for Affirmative Distraction was novel, not only because when it started last summer it was the only all-POC improv troupe in Columbus, but because he brought entertainers of all kinds into improv, most of whom had never even tried the format before. Told this seemed like a risk on his part, Moorer replied, “They took a risk, too. And it's working.”

The troupe will hold its sixth Affirmative Distraction at the Pelican Room on Thursday, April 25. Among the guests will be improv vet Mark Hale — who coined the moniker Affirmative Distraction — and a performer who's taken improv classes with Hale and will be making his first public appearance.

“I'm going to keep opening it up, keep on giving people opportunities,” Moorer said.

Opportunities to laugh, too, it would seem.