Comedy: Nathan Fielder
Nathan Fielder’s my favorite unreliable narrator right now. On his Comedy Central show Nathan For You, the quiet, uniquely awkward comedian utilizes bold ideas to help small businesses get an edge:
He tells an electronics store to sell HD TVs for a dollar, then makes it so customers have to crawl through holes and sneak past an alligator to get one. He painstakingly recreates an hour of meaningless interactions at a bar, just so the place could be called a theater and thus dodge a smoking ban. You might’ve heard about the time he convinced a coffee shop to rebrand itself as Dumb Starbucks — a move supposedly protected by parody laws.
I don’t know what to think when I’m watching: What’s real? What’s scripted? Who’s an actor? How did they get these people to sign release forms? In addition to showing bits from the upcoming season of Nathan For You at the Keswick on Saturday, Fielder — a self-described “mediocre improviser” — will do a Q&A. So maybe you can ask, if you feel like ruining the fun.
Meantime, here’s my absolute favorite episode, in which our host attempts to boost sales at an antiques shop by exploiting the “you break it, you buy it policy.” The last scene is priceless.