Nathan for You


Over the holidays, our oldest son told us about a Comedy Central show called Nathan for You, and it is one of the funniest TV series I have seen in a while. I was surprised to find out that not many people have heard of the show, and so in honor of the marketing genius of Nathan, I thought I would use this post as my way of getting more viewers for his show.

Here is a description of the show from the web site:

Nathan Fielder is a business advisor who implements strategies that no traditional consultant would dare attempt. Whether it’s creating a coffee shop called Dumb Starbucks, inventing a poo-flavored yogurt or staging an elaborate video where a pig saves a goat, no idea is too daring. And while Nathan’s efforts may not always succeed, they always have big results. This is Nathan For You.

You may have heard of the Dumb Starbucks incident; it made the headlines of several the major newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, and was featured on multiple TV shows.

Here’s a clip from the Dumb Starbucks episode. The scene with the lawyer is classic.

I’ll share a few of my other favorites so that you can get a sense of what the show is like.

  • Nathan comes up with a plan to buy an endless supply of high-quality TVs for almost nothing.
  • Nathan markets a toy to children by tapping into their desire to be big kids. The Only Proof You’re Not a Baby!
  • A pig and a goat star in a viral video Nathan stages in order to bring people to Oak Glen Petting Zoo.

And the video of the goat rescue did go viral, with over nine million views!

Here’s a bit more background on the show, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The series centers on Nathan Fielder, portrayed by his real-life namesake, a business graduate and consultant whose aim is to help struggling businesses. His marketing proposals are often outlandish and elaborate. One of the show’s long-running story arcs concern Fielder and his social awkwardness. Throughout episodes, his confidence is eroded as his ideas fail. In the show’s first season, Fielder is unaware people do not enjoy his company. The character is based in Fielder’s real life, and his own struggles with social anxiety; he has noted that he did not want the character to “feel like a comedy character” but one that delivers the “most authentic moments from myself.” The show’s central theme is “people and moments between people,” designed to “highlight moments of sincere emotion,” which include unpredictable reactions.

Nathan for You has received critical acclaim. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times dubbed it “the television series with the most incisive take on the 21st-century economy,” praising Fielder for “illuminating the relationship between the economy and absurdity.” John Thorp of The Guardian called its central conceit “genius,” finding it “functions as a razor-sharp satire of commercialism, with a surprising undercurrent of genuine pathos.” Willa Paskin of Slate found it “brilliant, fascinating, and uncomfortable.”

You can watch full episodes and clips at the Comedy Central site, but many of the full episodes require you to have a cable subscription. An alternative to a cable subscription is Hulu, which enables you to watch the episodes commercial free.

Maybe I should hire Nathan to help me get more subscribers to my blog…

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