Nathan Fielder is the comedian and actor who features in Nathan for You. This show made its debut on Comedy Central in 2013, and makes use of the docu-reality genre. Similar shows such as Parks and Recreation and Modern Family also make use of this format.
Nathan for You ran for four seasons, ending in October 2018. While it isn’t one of the biggest TV shows around, it has a decent fanbase and critics have had many nice things to say about it. Keep reading for more on the show – from its premise, cast and characters to information about its filming and production.
In essence, Nathan for You focuses on a slightly fictionalized version of comedian Nathan Fielder—who plays himself. The series sees Nathan attempt to use his business skills to help struggling companies; his efforts often end in hilarious results. As the series progresses, Nathan offers various businesses a range of outlandish ideas and marketing strategies that parody real-world techniques.
Nathan plays a version of himself who is a business school graduate and business consultant who aims to help companies going through various issues. He is socially awkward, which serves as a long-running story arc. As the show progresses, his confidence slowly disappears as most or all of his ideas continue to fail. Nathan becomes more and more aware that people don’t enjoy his company; something which he is completely oblivious to at the start of the show.
This character is based on Nathan Fielder himself, plus his struggles with social anxiety, which he has spoken out about repeatedly. While Nathan for You is a comedy, the main character was not intended to feel too much like a comedy character. The Nathan in the show is a representation of genuine moments from Fielder’s life and personality.
Cast and characters
The main character for Nathan for You is, of course, Nathan Fielder, who plays himself. The entire show is based on Nathan, although there are a range of other characters.
Nathan for You is a Canadian-made show, although most of it is based in – and filmed around – the Los Angeles area.
There are a number of different trailers for Nathan for You available on YouTube and other video sites. These don’t have the huge viewing figures of other popular TV shows, because Nathan for You wasn’t one of the biggest hits around. However, the most popular of these YouTube videos is the Frozen Yogurt trailer. It has had nearly 3 million views since being uploaded by Comedy Central.
Nathan for You was created by Fielder himself, alongside writer Michael Koman. It was originally part of Canadian show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a news satire show.
Some of Nathan for You’s inspiration came from the economic crisis – in particular the Subprime mortgage crisis and how it affected people.
The show’s creators and writers had a number of different ways in which they came up with marketing ideas for the character to use in the show. These were normally based on the fictional business Nathan was helping in that show or storyline, but sometimes the concepts were completely unrelated. Some of these ideas were thrown out when the show’s production team realised they wouldn’t work well for television.
Nathan for You was eventually picked up by streaming service Hulu, where all episodes can be found. Originally, it was known for airing on Comedy Central.
The show’s creators – and Fielder himself – used a number of different stunts to try and publicise the show. These included Petting Zoo Hero, where they tried to turn a pig from a California petting zoo into a celebrity on YouTube. Other stunts have included Dumb Starbucks and The Movement.
Episodes and reception
Nathan for You first aired to around 354,000 viewers. This improved when the second episode had 570,000 tuning in. While Nathan for You will never be one of the most-viewed shows of all time, it received positive feedback during its initial airing and it has a passionate fanbase.
There are four seasons of Nathan for You available, and these ran between February 2013 and November 2017. The first three seasons each had eight episodes, while the fourth and final season had seven.