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Joaquin Phoenix Is Now a Hairy Belafonte

Photo of Joaquin Phoenix

(Photo: Johnny Louis / WENN)

Here’s a story we missed in October: Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix told reporters he was giving up acting. His new love? Music.

Following through, he appeared at the Las Vegas nightclub LAVO this weekend for a three-song set, looking like a cross between Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and Microsoft engineer Paul Allen. (Not to be snarky, but also: Bigfoot.)

Early reviews have been, well, mixed. has a cheery report. E! Online, that hotbed of distinguished rap criticism, calls him “Joke P.” and adds, “instead of mad skillz, he brought sad skillz to the mic.” The NY Daily News wonders if he’s really serious at all: “The ever-present cameras have left many wondering whether Phoenix’s foray into music is a drawn-out joke.”

Those cameras belong to actor Casey Affleck, who says he’s shooting a documentary on Phoenix’s new career. That’s led to speculation that Phoenix’s new career is actually an elaborate, Borat-style deadpan joke.

Judge for yourself: grainy video follows.

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