Nathan for You
June 14, 2014 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Nathan Fielder's Ingenious Dumb Humor - "How the star of Comedy Central's 'Nathan for You' makes the most of uncomfortable moments." (via; previously 1,2,3)
posted by kliuless (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The toy was called a Doinkit, and for a coming episode of “Nathan for You,” Fielder had offered his services to its manufacturer, Marky Sparky Toys, experimenting with a marketing campaign that preyed crassly on the insecurities of the target demographic: young children. Owning a Doinkit, Fielder’s copy asserted, is the only way to prove you’re not a baby. This bullying message would unfold in various forms, from packaging that Fielder designed (a Doinkitless child of about 6 slumps dejectedly in diapers while others mock him), to a hectoring television commercial, to a mall Santa instructed to give kids the hard sell: “You aren’t a baby, are you?” The subtext was that advertising is designed to make people of all ages feel inadequate and incomplete; Fielder, whose wife is a children’s librarian, wanted to know what it would look like if he applied that logic coldly and rigorously to first graders

So.. kind of a jerk, then.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:47 AM on June 14, 2014

For sure he is toeing or perhaps over the line, to some, on being a jerk, but to me the show is a brilliant satirical piece on reality television...while also being reality television, in a way.

I get that it might not be everyone's bag. But I think there's a little bit of brilliance in how they pull off his ideas. Like the poop flavored ice cream episode, because "any press is good press." Or the episode where people get gasoline for $1.23/gallon if they complete a series of impossible tasks to turn in the rebate.
posted by glaucon at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Previously (and related). I've heard interviews where he discussed the line between him being the jerk and him being the gag. He's definitely cognizant of it. The episode with the cheap gas, where he ends up camping with a bunch of lonely people who are more excited about the adventure than the discount - there's something else happening in the episode besides "JOKES ON YOU"!
posted by one_bean at 11:44 AM on June 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like this.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:49 AM on June 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

It's crazy that he graduated from UVic's Commerce program (I live in Victoria and am fairly connected to the business world here). It's an okay program but the program itself and the graduates are very bland. It makes Fielder's schtick even more interesting.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:55 AM on June 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd say it sounds like satire, but given the head games he's playing I think he should take a "no kids" policy.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:56 AM on June 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

This reminds me of the terribly executed The Profit in just how pointless and weird the business world can be.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:15 PM on June 14, 2014

"I don't feel anything."
posted by freshwater at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2014

I had no idea the goofy deadpan kid from 22 Minutes was the Dumb Starbucks guy.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:06 PM on June 14, 2014

Won't someone think of the children!

*difficulty: I'm not speaking to Nathan. He's speaking to someone else.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2014

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