Deaf comedian CJ Jones performs this weekend in Iowa City

CJ Jones at Floodwater Comedy Festival

Pappajohn Business Building — Sunday, April 19 at 6 p.m.

CJ Jones, one of the foremost deaf comedians, will bring his unique blend of humor and storytelling to Iowa City as part of the Floodwater Comedy Festival this Sunday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in room W10 of the Pappajohn Business Building.

Jones will perform his new act “World’s Adventurist,” which he describes as a mixture of Jerry Lewis, Chris Tucker and Richard Pryor. The production combines voice, American Sign Language (which will be interpreted), mime and percussion, and will detail Jones’ obstacles growing up as a deaf comedian while also sharing his experiences and travels around the world.

His performance is unique not only for how he communicates with the audience, but also for how he is so easily able to drift from hilarious and animated to personal and riveting. Jones attributes the development of his style to his childhood, as well as his diverse experiences in theater and performance.

“Growing up at the deaf school, I created many skits and learned how to be comfortable on stage,” said Jones. “I did everything from elementary school to college: producer, director, writer, actor, motivational speaker and even musician.”

Jones is a self-proclaimed “guy next door,” and rather than presenting his deafness as a point of difference, he says his experiences are very relatable.

“Being deaf is not an obstacle but the passion and inspiration in my life,” said Jones. “It is my experience of life as a human being.”

This will be Jones’s first performance in Iowa City. When asked what compelled him to comedy, he describes it as something that has always been inherent in his personality.

“People ask me that question all the time. I always say I’ve been a comedian and actor since birth. I am a born actor and comedian. I love to watch people enjoy themselves.”

Tickets can be purchased online and range from $12 to $15. A VIP option is also available for $25, which includes priority seating and access to a special meet and greet with Jones after the performance.

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