Nathan Fielder’s fourth season is as awkward and brilliant as ever.
In season four of Nathan For You, Comedy Central’s already-cult classic, host Nathan Fielder attempts to revive struggling businesses by making a man change his legal identity to Michael Richards (as in Kramer from Seinfeld). Then he convinces the man to chain himself to Nathan for day and pioneer his own media venture, The Diarrhea Times. Actually, that’s just episode one.
Despite increased fanfare and fame, Nathan For You, which succeeds only if the owners and patrons of the business Nathan is helping are unaware that he is who he is, remains zany and hilariously uncomfortable. After creating a heat-resistant body suit to sneak in chili from a Bakersfield restaurant into a minor league hockey games, Nathan makes owner Robert Bryant sample the gooey product to make sure it’s up to his recipe’s standards.
“It’s got a little bit of an after taste,” says Bryant with a look of utter discomfort after tasting the body-suit chili. “But I’m don’t know if it’s the chives or the sour cream.”
In an attempt to lure customers away from the $40 special and toward Swan Day Spa’s pricier options, Nathan convinces owner Annapa Davis to hire only people with contagious warts to perform the cheaper massage. Interviewing potential wart-bearing hires, Nathan is given an interesting introduction.
“Probably the worst case of warts that I had was on my penis,” says a balding, older man with silk-white hair and beard. “I just took a soldering iron and burned it off myself. Why go to the doctor and have him do it? I know what he’s doing.”
He, in fact, got the job. Fielder is a sort-of confession charmer, often creating the show’s most iconic moments through a relentless line of deadpan questioning that doesn’t relent until Nathan gets the guest to admit to or do something humiliating or virally peculiar on camera. The show finds its peaks, however, when the guests require little coaxing at all.
“I’m not a licensed massage therapist,” says the white-haired man Nathan hired for the massage parlor upon meeting the establishment’s owner. “But I stay in practice with my girlfriend because she gets foot reflexology every single night and then I just work my way up from the ankles.”
Through four episodes, Nathan For You‘s fourth season is still the hilariously uncomfortable, must-watch lesson in deadpan that propelled its first three. I just hope Robert Bryant figured out whether it was the chives or the sour cream.