Joe Garner of Craiglist Joe is not the first to rely on the internet and the kindness of strangers to accomplish a goal
The trailer for Craigslist Joe, Zach Galifianakis’s documentary effort about living off the kindness of internet strangers, has hit the web. And it’s like Eat, Pray, Love for the rent generation, except the producers have swapped cruiser bicycles for smoke-filled jalopies; gelato for street meat; and romance for “real life” [no screens involved!] friendships.
After appearing to wipe out his phone contacts and clean out his pockets, Joe Garner attempts to live exclusively off the classifieds site for 31 days. You can view the trailer here:
The movie is the latest in a string of schemes featuring people who giveth and taketh from the internet gods. Book, movie or marketing deals are never far behind.
“Yes, it’s another stunt doc inspired by the likes of Supersize Me, No Impact Man, My Date With Drew, and many others,” wrote user Jay C at TheDocumentaryBlog. “Here’s hoping Craigslist Joe manages to avoid collapsing under the weight of its own gimmick (like many of these films do).”
A walk down memory lane:
The plot: Launched during its 2010 boom days, online coupon site Groupon plucked Josh Stevens, then 28, out of a hundreds-strong applicant pool of people who wanted to live off of nothing but Groupon vouchers for an entire year.
The action: Among other activities, Stevens took cooking classes, flew in a hot air balloon and went kayaking with the vouchers provided. Stevens even traveled to London, and revealed a glitch n the vouchers-only rule: “Groupon paid” for the flight to the UK, he admitted to The Guardian in 2011.
The prize: Stevens was supposed to have won $100,000 for living for a year on nothing but Groupon, but there’s nothing – not even a huge-check picture – out there that says he actually received the money. We’ve contacted to Groupon to clarify.
The plot: In an attempt to learn more about the mechanics of religion, self-proclaimed “friendly atheist” Hemant Mehta sold his soul on eBay for $504 to Jim Henderson, a minister from Seattle.
“I promise to go into … church every day – for a certain number of days – for at least an hour each visit. For every $10 you bid, I will go to the church for one day. For $50, you would have me going to mass every day for a week,” Mehta wrote in his original eBay posting.
The action: Mehta visited churches and wrote about his experiences for Henderson’s website.
One Red Paperclip
The plot: Setting out in 2006 – 80 internet years ago, to be exact – Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald blogged about “trading up” on Craigslist.
The action: MacDonald swapped a red paper clip for a pen, a pen for a sculpted doorknob and so on until he landed a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.
The prize: In addition to a farmhouse, MacDonald landed a book deal.
Craigslist Joe hits New York theaters on August 2.