If you’ve ever surfed though Craigslist you know it can host some ads for wacky things—like a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am that’s a guaranteed babe magnet or a job posting for a babysitter “who also must have experience with composting.” But can someone live off off Craigslist? That’s what Joe Garner set to find out: he took a notebook, mobile phone, a toothbrush, and the clothes on his back and set out to see if he could get everything he needed via Craigslist for 31 days, including food, transportation, and shelter. And the results can be seen in a new documentary called Craigslist Joe, slated to hit theaters and Apple’s iTunes on August 2. And it carries a bit of a big name endorsement: actor/comedian Zach Galifianakis.
Garner himself isn’t quite an everyday guy who just happened to get an idea for a documentary: he was an assistant for The Hangover director Todd Phillips. The idea for the documentary was spawned during work on the 2008 movie, when Garner felt isolated in Las Vegas. Eventually, he used Craigslist (appropriately enough) to hire a cameraman to follow him around as he set off from Los Angeles to, well, wherever Craigslist would take him. Garner’s favorite sections of the site turned out to be the “Ride Share” and “Free” sections. Garner did make one concession to practicality, allowing himself as much water as he could find irrespective of whether it came from Craigslist.
Although Craigslist Joe is certainly a bit of a stunt documentary, Garner meets a number of interesting (and potentially crazy) people, including taking a ride with a man with a rooster in his car and seeing a women perform an unusual ritual in her kitchen. And Garner did learn a few important Craigslist lessons: get phone numbers, meet in a public place, and check ID.