The Rehearsal is an American docu-comedy reality television series created, written, and directed by Nathan Fielder. The ground-breaking HBO series, which premiered on July 15, 2022, received critical acclaim. In the series, Fielder allows ordinary people to prepare for life’s biggest moments by “rehearsing” for them in painstakingly accurate simulations of real-world events.
After audiences devoured the episodes of The Rehearsal season 1, many are left wanting more. Despite being renewed for a season 2 in August 2022, the premiere date has yet to be revealed. Luckily for fans, this isn’t Fielder’s only show.
In Fielder’s Comedy Central show, Nathan For You, he plays a fictionalized version of himself where he attempts struggling businesses using his real-life business background. While most of the show’s 32 episodes follow the same structure, some episodes begin to show when Fielder started to lean into his concept for The Rehearsal.
5. ‘Claw of Shame’ S1 E7
Season 1, Episode 7 of Nathan For You is the first time the show departs from the original concept of helping struggling businesses. In the ‘Claw of Shame’ special, Fielder puts a spin on famous magicians’ traditional high-stakes magic tricks, where the consequence is often death.
Fielder ponders a fate for himself he considers being worse than death — becoming a sex offender. This is the first time on Nathan for You where Fielder puts himself in the show as a subject rather than the host, which echoes The Rehearsal.
4. ‘Smokers Allowed’ S3 E5
It isn’t until season 3 that Fielder begins playing with the idea of rehearsing real-life events. In episode 5, ‘Smokers Allowed,’ he attempts to help a struggling bar in Southern California beat out competition by finding a loophole for people to smoke indoors legally.
He circumvented the rules by deeming the bar a set of a live-action play titled “Smokers Allowed” and making the actual patrons of the bar the cast of said play. This is the first time in Nathan For You that a rehearsal takes place.
3. The Hero S3 E8
In another Nathan For You episode, which departs from its original concept, Fielder attempts to prove there is a hero inside all of us. This episode is a landmark for the series, conjuring up pathos for the man he selected for the experiment, Corey Calderwood, who unwittingly becomes a hero.
This episode marks the first time Fielder plays with becoming people by wearing SFX makeup and prosthetics to transform into Corey. Fielder takes it to a new level to trick Corey’s entire family into thinking he’s actually Corey.
2. ‘The Ancedote’ S4 E5
In one of the most iconic episodes of Nathan For You, Fielder plays with the idea of using a talk show as his stage for his magic trick. In an attempt to tell the best story for his best late-night TV appearance, Fielder uses a formula for the perfect anecdote based on his research and comes up with a fictional tale to tell Jimmy Kimmel to garner laughter from the audience.
However, to make it believable, Fielder wants to make the story happen in real life. By hiring actors and putting himself in real-life situations, Fielder recreated his story to make it true when he told it on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
1. ‘Finding Frances’ S4 E8
Season 4 Episode 8 is Nathan For You series finale. This 1 hour and 23-minute long episode is a complex tale of Nathan helping the resident Bill Gates impersonator, William ‘Bill’ Heath, reconnect with his long-lost love, Frances Gaddy.
Bill was featured on the season 2 episode ‘Souvenir Shop’ in which he impersonated the Microsoft billionaire. Fielder also includes rehearsing in this episode but introduces a more reflective and intimate view of Fielder pondering the show’s fate. The ‘Finding Frances’ episode takes many twists and turns and leaves fans with an unexpected ending. This episode is definitely the bridge between Nathan For You and The Rehearsal.