In another loss to the free press, thriftyboy.org is not anymore. Also – he never really existed. In the first episode of Nathan Fielder’s new HBO series, Repetition, the
Stanford Prison Experimenter The comedian creates a fake blog called Thrifty Boy to gain access to his first participant Kor’s friend and teammate Tricia. The plot of the episode hinges on Kor repeating a confession he wants to make to Tricia, to whom he lied about having a master’s degree. For the rehearsal to be accurate, Fielder needs an actress to replace Tricia. The real Tricia runs a blog called Cheap chick in town, where she posts about free and affordable cultural activities and events around New York City. So naturally, Fielder decides the best way to get in touch with the titular Cheap Chick is to invent his own frugal blogger persona: Thrifty Boy.
Repetition, As Nathan for you, implies that Fielder is coming up with unnecessarily complicated ways to achieve his goals, so he reaches out to Tricia to write a guest article for Thrifty Boy interviewing a birdwatcher (“because birdwatching is a thrifty thing to do”) played by the actress who must study the voice and responses of the real Tricia in order to perform her rehearsal with Kor. Fielder later uses his blogger guise to get the answers for an upcoming quiz night (and, incidentally, to cascade down the most frugal drip he can find while downing a packet of ketchup).
In an inspiring commitment to the bit, Fielder and his team have created a the whole site Thrifty Boy, or at least a landing page, which is hilariously, inexplicably a “.org”. When you go to the page, there is a pop-up written by “The Thrifty Boy Team” announcing the closure of the site:
To our loyal Thrifty Boy readers…
It is with great sadness that we announce that Thrifty Boy is closing due to lack of funding.
Across the industry, financial pressures have made it increasingly difficult to do good journalism. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in our short tenure and are extremely grateful to our talented team of freelancers for making us a hub for thrifty New Yorkers.
Thank you to all of our loyal readers. We ask that you please support other publications dedicated to providing information on free and inexpensive activities. Journalism is dying and we need to support it now more than ever.
— The Thrifty Boy Team
Atmosphere “Democracy dies in darkness”. Thankfully, Thrifty Boy (tagline: “Do NY. Cheap.”) has been frozen in amber with nine homepage posts that read like a ClickHole side project. You can’t click on articles, but you can scroll through article titles and teasers. In a beautifully thrifty touch, each post comes with an iStock photo with the always-there watermark. Here are the site’s biggest and only hits:
- Bird watching: free and fun Find out where to see the birds and the best way to see them.
- Send It Back – Your Guide to Free Meals Know your rights! Can a server stop you?
- Friends owe you money? Don’t let it slide No amount is too small – how to hold your friends accountable.
- Our guide to mistaking a normal driver for an Uber then negotiating a free ride once you’re in the back seat Worth it when it works.
- How to reuse greeting cards (and get away with it!) Birthdays, weddings, graduations, condolences – with so many life events, the costs can really add up!
- Never pay for toilet paper again Tutorial from our digital team.
- Best new movie posters to check out this weekend Our guide to reviews of the most entertaining posters, plus the latest must-see billboards.
- How moldy is too moldy? We have all been there. A perfectly good piece of bread with a spot or two of the green fuzzy stuff.
- Top 10 walks in New York Walking is one of the best ways to get around and see the sights NYC has to offer.
We understand why they didn’t keep the site running. Web hosting, after all, is not cheap. But if the internet had fewer crypto bros and more thrifty boys, this would be a better place.