Nathan Fielder’s Dumb Show Gets a Dumb New Season


Nathan Fielder: entrepreneur, businessman, comedian, philosopher, great human being.

Fielder, who has a show on Comedy Central called Nathan for You, earned a business degree of some sorts from some school in Canada and has been using his ostensible business knowledge to convince business owners to let him help their business with absurd, often awful ideas. Of course, they always turn out to be brilliant bits of dead-pan comic brilliance, like shooting a commercial in which a pig swims to the rescue of a drowning goat. Tada, business is saved.

Fielder, who is between 30 and 31, attended Point Grey Secondary School, where he was part of the improv comedy group, along with Seth Rogen. Fielder uses his mundane looks and banal demeanor to deliver subtly lacerating gags. His most famous joke so far was opening a real, functioning coffee shop that used the same logos as Starbucks, the same products as Starbucks, the same aesthetic as Starbucks, and even called itself Starbucks, the catch being that Fielder added the prefix “dumb” in front of everything.

Dumb Starbucks was only open for 72 hours in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, but lines wrapped around the block. A week after the Health Department shut down the shop (it was intended as both satire and a very real way of making money, Fielder said), cups bearing the Dumb Starbucks logo were selling on eBay for $500. The shop offered Dumb Norah Jones and Dumb Jazz Standards CDs and, free of charge, dumb talls, dumb grandes, dumb ventis, and dumb pastries. Starbucks intended to sue Fielder, but as long as he maintains that he’s satirizing the corporate java behemoth, he’s within his rights.