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The Comedic Stylings of Nathan Fielder Essay

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On February 7th, 2014, the coffee shop “Dumb Starbucks” opened its doors to LA coffee enthusiasts, who waited in line for hours to be served by a staff of “dumb baristas”. The shop is a complete replica of a traditional Starbucks, but with the word “dumb” placed in front of everything. You can order a “Dumb Venti Americano”, pick up a “Dumb Nora Jones Duets” CD, and even drink from a traditional Starbucks cup with “dumb” cropped into the classic green mermaid logo. The whole thing was created by comedian Nathan Fielder as an elaborate prank to parodize coffee culture. Nathan appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live later in the week to try and explain the success of Dumb Starbucks, claiming “I think a lot of americans maybe lost hope that innovation in business was gone, and I think people saw; ‘wow’ there’s a whole new way of doing things now” and that “it kind of allowed people to dream again, in a way”. But this isn’t Nathan’s first hoax, he has his own television show on Comedy Central called “Nathan For You” where he sets out to consult struggling small businesses by solving their problems with similar unconventional solutions. Nathan’s humor is derived from witty satirical writing backed by a flawless deadpan delivery, and he uses both high and low comedy to appeal to a wide audience.
Almost all of Nathan’s work parodies pop culture norms or television shows. One of his sketches titled “Who’s Tallest Canada” makes fun of popular talent competition shows like “America’s Got Talent” by creating a dramatic spin off that pits contestants against one another to see who is the tallest. From the very beginning, it is extremely obvious who the tallest contestant is; as one contestant is a lightly tall man and the other a midget. This ridiculo...


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...en seriously for a change. But that is a form of hubris any master ruseman should be prepared to face.




Works Cited

Fielder, Nathan. “Ronald Shoub.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 13 Feb 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn6C4fDEOV8&list=UUIdVOofoUN2rWQPLHX6xmJw

Fielder, Nathan. “Top Chef - Season 4 Ep 7 (part 3 of 4).” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 2 Jul. 2009. Web. 13 Feb 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuBO-32jK2A&list=UUIdVOofoUN2rWQPLHX6xmJw

Fielder, Nathan. “Who’s Tallest Canada.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 13 Feb 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG8g9A7pBqg&list=UUIdVOofoUN2rWQPLHX6xmJw

Jimmy Kimmel Live. “Dumb Starbucks Founder Nathan Fielder on Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb 2014.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MJWz3w5ZQc



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