With his helmet hair and banal business casual clothes, Nathan Fielder, 31, operates under the guise of the world’s least interesting man. But fans of his comic reality series Nathan For You know that this Canadian’s office-jockey appearance conceals an off-the-wall sense of humour and genuine comedic daring.
Herewith, five reasons you should be tuning in to Nathan For You, which returns for a second season on July 1 on Much.
The simple and simple-minded premise behind the show is simply irresistible Fielder presents himself as a kind of marketing guru to real-life business owners. He pitches them ridiculous ideas—destined to fail miserably—with the (false) promise of raising profits. The craziest part: the business owners actually agree to give these terrible ideas a shot.
His ideas are just plain funny Season 1 saw Fielder encourage a frozen yogurt shop to introduce a poo flavour, and a caricature artist to create aggressive, insulting caricatures of his unwitting customers (you will never hear the word “lunchtime” again without laughing). Season 2 gets even kookier. In one episode, Fielder gets a real estate agent to sell herself as representing only ghost- and demon-free houses.
He’s poised to become the next big thing in comedy The New York Times recently profiled Fielder and praised the former This Hour Has 22 Minutes correspondent for his “ingenious dumb humor.” Believe it or not, that’s a serious compliment. Fielder, a graduate of the University of Victoria (he studied commerce), was also likened to comic heavyweights Sacha Baron Cohen and Stephen Colbert in the piece.
His comedy is boyish rather than sophomoric We’re saturated with comics who rely on blunt tools, but unlike many of his contemporaries Fielder is not a shouting mouth-breather with a misogynistic streak. He’s a craftsman with a twisted imagination—kind of like an early Steve Martin. He doesn’t reach for an expletive or make the obvious gesture, but rather gets creative when he wants to make you laugh. In an a concealed challenge to Instagram’s rules about nudity, for example, he recently posted seemingly innocuous pictures of himself holding things like CDs and a butter knife. Those reflective surfaces, however, displayed an image of a nude man. Masturbating. Okay, maybe he’s a little sophomoric. But cleverly so!
He’s fearless in service of a joke The New York Times’s comparisons to Sacha Baron Cohen are warranted. Like Cohen, the take-no-prisoners creator of characters like Ali G, Borat and Bruno, Fielder is not afraid to go as far as it takes and he’s committed to his clueless, occasionally creepy persona. In season 1, the longtime magic fan decides to set himself up as a kind of idiotic Houdini. His daring feat: to get out of handcuffs before a robotic arm pulled down his pants and exposed his genitals to a group of children. Because what’s more daring than risking being charged as a pervert, amirite?