Joe Luna, L.A. comedian known as Joe El Cholo, dies after ‘severe’ COVID-19 battle


Los Angeles comedian Joe Luna died last week from COVID-19, just days after being hospitalized and documenting his battle on social media.

The comic from East L.A., who performed under the stage name Joe El Cholo, died at an L.A. hospital on Nov. 23 at 38, according to the Sacramento Bee. He first opened up about his novel coronavirus journey last month on Instagram, revealing that he had been suffering from chest pains and pneumonia.

“Wow this is no joke and especially if you are diabetic it will rain hard on your parade,” he captioned a Nov. 21 post. “And no i didn’t get it from going out and performing. It was due to close contact.”


“Please take care of yourself,” he added in a followup video. “Don’t think that you can take care of it on your own. ... If you think that COVID is a joke — if you think that this won’t be you — then trust me, because it hits everybody different. ... I got hit with it very severe.”

His last video was filmed the day he died from his hospital bed in a “filthy” COVID-19 unit, which he said had unsanitary conditions. Luna speculated that he contracted the novel coronavirus at his mother-in-law’s house, adding that his partner and kids fell ill as well.

“This is horrible, guys,” he said while wearing an oxygen mask in the Instagram clip. “My pneumonia got very bad. Everything has just been ... in a downfall right now.”

Known for his witty commentary on cholo culture, Luna grew up in East L.A. and Fontana and performed at local clubs such as Hollywood’s Improv and Pasadena’s Ice House. A public memorial for the comedian will be held Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Continental Funeral Home in East L.A.

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“ALL Bombas and Low Lows” are encouraged to “drive ‘bye’” after the event, “hitting your sirens, switches and rapping pipas!,” according to Luna’s Instagram page. Face coverings are required to attend the ceremony.


“I’m gonna live forever through my videos, through my comedy, through my stuff,” Luna said in a 2018 interview. “Then my grandkids ... will always know when they hear my voice. They’ll always know what’s up.”