by David Mendez
If you've ever wanted to see a 78-year-old man with muttonchops like Lemmy from Motorhead "rap" in the desert hills while wearing a hat made of horns, then I've got the opportunity for you.
Funny World, a documentary about Phoenix's Donald Roth — or "the World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper," Space-Alien Donald, as he calls himself — is short (only 10 minutes long), but fascinating. It gives a look into the life of Roth, the eccentric owner of Phoenix's Funny World arts and performance venue...and honestly, it's pretty damn great, if only because it's a peek inside the mind of a man who knows he's different than the rest of the world, and embraces it as tightly as he can.
For a bit of insight, check this excerpt from a 2011 blog post by the Phoenix New Times:
Besides hosting art shows and live music events at the venue, Roth — a self-proclaimed "backyard scientist" — will also conduct physics and gravity experiments inside and outside. Local artists will display their works during art shows at Funny World, and Roth will allow them any sort of mural they desire on its walls.
Roth purchased the residence for $40,000 [in 2011] with the intention of hosting "loud rock shows," performance art events, and other creative endeavors. He named it Funny World after a humorous religion/life philosophy called "Must Be Funny" that was created by his friend Derek Brownlee of Prescott. Artist Daniel Funkhouser, who lives at the venue, painted its name on a carport wall outside.