Nathan For You might be the smartest show that Comedy Central ever aired. Fielder is a Canadian comic writer who has produced material for everyone from H. Jon Benjamin to Sacha Baron Cohen. In four years and a special, Nathan managed to strike this odd blend of comedy and mean spirited marketing tactics to drive home a point. Everything is bullshit. While that might sound harsh to say around Christmas, it’s the truth.
Whether it’s lying about a Michael Richards tip or messing with celebrity impersonators, the show deals in modern facades. Starbucks, hotel chains and others suffer as Nathan Fielder remains committed to driving home a serious and comic look at commercial artifice. It’s only when we get to the series finale that the point almost gets stabbed into us all. Everything is fake because everyone is fake. Yet, that’s a good thing.
William Heath is a Bill Gates impersonator. Well, at least he faked to be one to get a job on an earlier Nathan for You episode. When Nathan revisits him to help the older guy find his true love, he learns something. This love isn’t mutual and William isn’t an impersonator. Much like Nathan, he’s a great imposter shifting in and out of roles that get him further down the road.
Much like the nature of capitalism that the show spoofs, it’s revealed that humanity is nothing more than a series of events to get one from Point A to Point B. Whether there is a side story or not in an episode doesn’t matter. The series is ultimately a reflective piece about the lies we tell to better advance ourselves to get past the lies that we can’t accept. Yeah, it’s one of those series. How many other Comedy Central shows got a fan letter from Errol Morris published in The New Yorker?