Jonah was born with muscular dystrophy. At nineteen he learned he had cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening heart complication that would require a heart transplant. “I don’t want to just sit here and wait for something bad to happen, that’s silly. I’m just going to go do something,” he said. Jonah used the next eight years to become a standup comedian, visual artist and mayoral candidate for the City of New Orleans.
“I think people expect me to be a certain way and then when I’m not, either they’re surprised and find it funny or they’re even more uncomfortable and don’t like it.” Jonah would laugh at the assumptions associated with him as someone relying on a motorized wheelchair. “People think that you’re not supposed to be confident. They think you’re in a bad situation so why are you not being like that?”
Through the combination of Jonah’s comedy, archival and observational style footage, and animation sequences drawing from his visual aesthetic, Jonah Stands Up explores the nuances of disability, death, and Jonah’s unique way of facing them.