Comedian Joe Luna Starts Documenting COVID-19 Experience, Dies Two Days Later
East L.A. comedian Joe Luna, known by his stage name Joe El Cholo, decided to share his journey with COVID-19 with friends and family when he received his positive diagnosis.
He posted a 35-minute video to his Instagram page on Nov. 21, and said, “When I would hear people talk about what COVID did to them, I always thought to myself, man, you know what, I doubted it was that bad.”
“I’ll tell you guys right now, I’ve been put in a fight,” Luna continued. “I’ve been fighting for my life.”
Later in the video, he explained, “I’m going to show you guys my journey through my good and bad times because it’s all about showing my people out there: If you think that COVID is a joke, if you think this won’t be you … trust me, it hits everybody differently.”
The video was meant to be the first in a series chronicling his journey with a positive diagnosis. That series never happened.
Two days after posting the video, Luna’s condition worsened and the comedian died at age 38 in a Los Angeles hospital.
In the video, Luna had explained some of the serious risk factors likely to affect his experience with the virus. “Not only did I test positive for COVID, I have pneumonia,” he said. “I’m a double amputee and I’m a diabetic, so I’m dealing with a lot.”
The comedian suspected that he caught the virus from his mother-in-law who was asymptomatic. Though he didn’t get the virus from going out, Luna did note that many people around L.A. weren’t wearing masks.
“Are we that irresponsible not to even care about our kids, our grandma, and grandpa?” Luna said.
He tearfully spoke about his fears for himself, his family, his finances, and other people. “It’s very scary, guys, you know, out there,” Luna said. “Take care of yourselves. Wear your mask. It doesn’t make you look stupid if you wear your mask. If anything, it makes you look concerned.”
Following Luna’s death, a “mask-mandatory” open viewing and comedy show took place on Dec. 5 in L.A. as a way to honor the late comedian and stick to his wishes.
“For his funeral, he doesn’t want anyone crying so we’re going to put together a show because that’s what he would have wanted. He wanted people to be laughing and having fun,” said his son, Jose Talavera.