When Comedy Central premiered a show called Nathan For You last year, featuring an unknown Canadian comic, it faced an uphill climb to interest viewers in caring about Nathan Fielder’s advice for improving small business profits. But that was before the creators struck gold by creating a faux Starbucks in a Los Angeles neighborhood that featured the name of “Dumb Starbucks.” Local residents were confused about the origins of a Starbucks-like coffee house which had the description “dumb” preceding everything in the store until it was discovered that the location was actually part of an upcoming Nathan For You episode.
Fielder was happy to discover that it was perfectly legal to parody the multi-million dollar coffeehouse chain, so long as he put the word “dumb” in front of everything sold in the store. Thousands of people flocked to see what all the commotion was about, driving more and more viewers to watch Nathan For You on Comedy Central. Although Los Angeles health inspectors shut down the “Dumb Starbucks” version within 3 days of its opening for failing to have obtained certain licenses, the producer’s mission was complete in helping to gain international exposure for Fielder’s show.
The “Dumb Starbucks” episode of Nathan For You airs the week of July 28. Fielder himself said he never expected that the concept for this particular show would get such widespread attention. He thought it might make an interesting local story for the food pages, and was unprepared for all of the interest expressed by mainstream news media as well as the public. He notes that one of the added bonuses of the “Dumb Starbucks” concept was that people who were able to come into the coffee house had a very good time, which they’ll be able to relive when the episode airs.