Written by Jonathan Barker. Media by Emma Canady. [divide]
Comedy Central’s show, “Nathan For You“, is a documentary-reality comedy about a creative business entrepreneur. His name is Nathan Fielder and he “graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades.” His mission? Help out struggling business owners by testing out new marketing idea. Comedy Central began airing the third season last month, also making the show available for viewers on their website.
I would consider the show to be a mix of “The Office” and “Shark Tank“. Nathan employs unorthodox yet hilarious ideas that would baffle any customer. Nathan meets with business owners and pitches insane plans to get their business more attention. Throughout the show, Nathan develops poop-flavored ice cream, hires celebrity impersonators for a fake movie shoot, and even opens up a parody version of Starbucks. However, the best part of the show is Nathan’s sense of humor and intentional awkward persona.
I could spend some time comparing him to the likes of a shy Michael Scott, but I think it would be better if you simply watched it yourself. Jonah Weiner of the New York Times refers to Fielder saying, “he continues a tradition of mischievous comedic personas that includes Sacha Baron Cohen and Stephen Colbert, by playing an exaggerated version of the guy his education groomed him to become: a relentless conniver, dead set on juicing sales for his clients without regard for ethics, much less common sense.”
In my opinion, Nathan is a comedic genius in creating publicity stunts. Nathan made national headlines in spring 2014 after establishing a “Dumb Starbucks” in L.A., enacting parody law to create an entire shop with a similarity to the dominant coffee company. Little did he know, Starbucks was close to pursuing legal action before the shop was clarified as a stunt for television and shut down for not having a health permit.
This wasn’t the first publicity stunt he set up that attained national attention. In 2012, Nathan faked a video containing a pig saving a drowning goat. The video gathered millions of views, but five months later an episode of “Nathan For You” revealed the video was set-up to give a petting zoo a “hero pig” that would attract more guests. I’d say it worked.
In the newest season, Nathan forms a new jacket company after discovering his former favorite company Taiga printed a tribute to a Holocaust denier. Nathan, who is Jewish, formed Summit Ice and designed a new line of windbreakers that have gained some recent popularity. Celebrities such as Jack Black, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jimmy Kimmel have been spotted sporting Summit Ice gear. The new business sponsors genocide awareness (seriously) as “the first outdoors apparel company to openly promote the true story of the Holocaust.”
In conclusion, the show features a variety of ridiculous ideas that wouldn’t be seen anywhere else. Whether he is attaching helium balloons to overweight horse riders or placing a controversial ad in a pet cemetery, Nathan is always finding new ways to satire the commercial marketing industry. Even if you’re not a business major, I feel this show has plenty of entertainment value to make it worth your while. I’m excited for what the third season has in store.