Pop-Ed: 8 Reasons to Watch ‘Nathan For You’


It’s been a few weeks since my boyfriend introduced me to Comedy Central’s Nathan For You, but since that faithful day, my life has never been the same. After binge-watching Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2 in the week, and then watching the rest of Season 2 during it’s normal air time, I can safely say that this show is the best television show of the summer.

It’s a very big statement, I know, but Nathan Fielder captured my heart this year. That’s why it totally sucks that the season is over, however I plan to hold myself over by re-watching these episodes. If you haven’t tuned into this show yet, here are 8 reasons why you should check it out before Season 3 premieres next summer.

1. The show is more real than any reality television show on the air.

This is my number one reason because it was what drew me in to this show in the first place. The first episode I saw was the second episode of Season 2 where Nathan devised a plan for a souvenir shop to make more money by producing a fake set for a non-existent movie. One he revealed that part of the plan was for people to actually buy store merchandise for the sake of the film, I turned to my boyfriend, and went “Wait is this real?”

Real it was, and very much illegal. But that didn’t stop Nathan from bypassing the law by creating a fake movie about a web hacker saving the world. Starring a Johnny Depp impersonator, no less.

Photo Credit: Ian White
Photo Credit: Ian White

2. Nathan’s marketing ideas are incredibly bizarre, but also incredibility smart.

I don’t think there’s any specific episode I could point out to justify this, as all of Nathan’s plans have been very out of the box but clever. Let’s just put it this way: there hasn’t been a single episode where at the end I didn’t say, “Wow I don’t think any business in their right mind would ever pull something like that, but maybe they should.”

3. He’s also a pro at keeping a straight face.

One of the most memorable episodes of Nathan For You I have seen is the fourth episode of Season 1. In this episode, Nathan helps a struggling gas station by implementing a rebate customers could receive if they climbed a nearby mountain. At the end of the episode, Nathan meets with the store owner to discuss what happened on his mountain expedition with a few of the participants. Then, after some further conversation, the gas station manager revealed to Nathan that he drinks his own grandson’s pee. Much like Stephen Colbert, Nathan is a character of himself, so it’s amazing to see him almost break. But like I said, Nathan is a pro and managed to get through this scene like a boss.

4. Nathan genuinely wants to help people with their personal and professional life.

I think the best example of this is Sue Standford, the newly proclaimed “Ghost Realtor.” Before writing this piece, I read this Grantland article, to which the writer Molly revealed that the “Ghost Realtor” featured this season is actually now a Ghost Realtor. Nathan’s plan actually gave her the incentive to include this new service into her business. That would have never happened unless Nathan didn’t try and convince her to focus on houses with entities.

Another great episode that exemplifies this is an episode this season where Nathan comes up with a motivational tactic that will help people lose weight. This tactic has participants taking a picture of themselves doing something embarrassing with a promise that it will be shown to important figures in their lives if they don’t follow through with a five pound loss. Many of the participants lost even more weight than five pounds, minus one person who was very close. Though it was funny to see the types of scenarios the people put themselves in, it was also heartwarming that Nathan could motivate them to do something for themselves.

5. He’s also willing to do anything for the common good.

Nathan likes to emphasize what’s right and wrong, especially when it comes to the business owners. He doesn’t leave the place of business until he feels his time is done and puts everyone above himself. Despite his reaches for a good laugh, he’s mostly selfless when corroborating his plans.

6. No really, he will not rest until justice is served.

The perfect example of this is from an episode two weeks ago, where Nathan devises a “no line cutting unless it’s for an important reason” plan for a hot dog business called PINK’s. When he discovers through elaborate stalking that someone cut the line, he decides to bring that person on a boat with all the people who he cut to “punish him” for lying about having a doctor’s appointment.

The reaction on this liar’s face is hilarious and the way Nathan spins this punishment plan to the PINK owners is even more priceless.

7. Nathan has a magical way of getting people to try or do anything, regardless of what it is.

One aspect of Nathan For you that I’ve always found particularly shocking is how easy Nathan can get someone to agree to something completely unconventional. Over the last few seasons Nathan has convinced vulnerable business owners to implement crazy rules and business practices. But people actually went through with them, and for the most part, did them without resistance.

Photo Credit: Comedy Central
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

I think my favorite scenes from Nathan For You involve Nathan asking participants to sign documents. The majority of the time, people don’t even read what they are signing away to, even lawyers! It’s mind-boggling to see that happen.

8. But the best part is – he’s not about the spotlight.

Though it was weird that the “Dumb Starbucks” episode ended with a heartfelt, solemn monologue about fame and friendship, it solidifies my previous statement. Nathan For You is more about the people rather than Nathan. Yes, most of the people have no idea what they are in for when they meet Nathan but at the end of the day, it’s more about whether or not they can find a mechanism to improve their business.

I could go on with more reasons, but the point is you most definitely should be watching Nathan For You. Though Season 2 is now over, I highly suggest perusing Comedy Central’s website or your On Demand service for episodes from seasons 1 and 2.

As the Managing Editor, Lauren Stern is responsible for curating Pop-Break.com’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.