Nathan for You will not be returning for a fifth season. Fans of the cult hit are taking the news especially hard since the recent season finale was a critical darling. Over four seasons, comedian Nathan Fielder “tried to help” local businesses with his quirky and often outright insane ideas. Most famously, Fielder made national news when he tried to rename a local coffee shop “Dumb Starbucks,” but many of his other wacky business plans slipped under the radar. His schemes often have a Rube Goldberg-esq quality to them. Each episode he starts with a simple goal like selling more souvenirs and ends up with Fielder having to accomplish a big task like starting an independent film festival. While most aren’t good plans, every once and awhile a plan might actually be crazy enough to work. Here are seven Nathan for You projects that would actually make good businesses:
7) Cab Babies – Season 4, episode 3
In season 2, Fielder helps a small cab company by encouraging people to give birth in their taxis for media attention. After the episode aired, Uber started a “baby onesie” promotion for anyone who gives birth in the back of one of their cars. Fiedler’s next idea is to help the company blackmail Uber. While blackmailing a major corporation is not exactly a stable business model, Fielder’s original idea was good enough for the rideshare giant. So in all, his ideas for the cab company are not as silly as they sounded.
6) Fear For Your Life- Season 1, episode 5
People love immersive experiences. From theater to virtual reality, audiences love feeling a part of something. Fielder might have taken this idea a little too far when he tried to make a haunted house scarier by telling visitors that they had been exposed to an airborne disease. Haunted houses are always pushing the limits of what they can do to visitors. It usually has to do with how much actors can touch or mess with guests, but having a more psychological terror in a haunted house isn’t a terrible idea.
5) The Movement- Season 3, episode 3
Fielder tries to source free labor by renaming a moving company “the movement” and selling it as an exercise class. People do CrossFit. In New York, there is a class where people do yoga with goats. People would at least try this class.
4) Steal This Dress – Season 1, episode 3
Fielder convinces a clothing store to allow attractive people to shoplift an item if they promise to promote the store. This was ahead of its time in 2013, but giving out free giveaways to influencers is now a part of most trendy brands’ advertising strategies. If you replaced “shoplifting” with “gift boxes” and “attractive customers” with “Instagram models” this is a 100% viable strategy.
3) Hero Pig- Season 1 episode 2
In hopes of promoting a petting zoo, Fielder attempts to fake a viral video featuring a pig rescuing a drowning goat. The video made national news and achieved viral status. In the end, Fielder feels guilty that the video is fake and does not attach the name of the petting zoo too it. The response to the video shows that, as humans, we love cute animal videos. Not a bad marketing move.
2) Jackets that don’t deny the Holocaust- Season 3 episode 2
After learning that his favorite jacket brand allegedly supports a famous Holocaust denier, the Jewish Fielder starts his own clothing brand, Summit Ice Apparel. The brand’s mission is to produce quality outdoor apparel and to raise awareness of the Holocaust. The brand makes surprisingly good jackets and all their proceeds go to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. Celebrities like Ellie Kemper, John Mayer, Jack Black, Blake Griffin, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have all been photographed in the jacket. The brand has donated over $150,000 to the VHEC.
1) Ghost Free Homes – Season 2 episode 1
Fielder is usually committed to staying in character and seldom breaks on the show. One of the only times he loses composure is in the episode where he convinces a realtor to rebrand as a “the ghost realtor” by guaranteeing, with help from a medium, that every house she sells is spirit-free. On a walkthrough with the medium, the realtor confesses that she had a ghost experience in her youth and gets extremely into the idea of checking the house for paranormal activity. Fielder cannot contain his shock that this is something she actually likes and breaks character for a moment in pure confusion. While a ghost real estate agent might not be the most universally praised idea, the fact that the client loves it so much makes it the most viable plan in the four seasons of the show.