Nathan for You (2013–…): Season 1, Episode 4 - Gas Station/Caricature Artist - full transcript

Nathan helps an independent gas station by devising the world's greatest rebate. He also attempts to make a fledgling caricature artist famous.

- My name is nathan fielder,

And I graduated from one
of canada's top business schools

With really good grades.

Now I'm using my knowledge

To help struggling
small business owners

Make it in this
competitive world.

This is nathan for you.

Running a gas station
is not easy,

And no one knows that more
than daniel ashikian

Of sevan gas
in burbank, california.

- It's tough business.

I cannot compete
with the big companies.

- With these days
it being more economical

To fill up your car
with champagne,

It can be hard
to draw in customers.

So I paid daniel a visit
with an innovative way

To lower his prices.

So I want you to charge
$1.75 per gallon.

- You know what is utopia?
- Yeah.

- It's in your mind.

You're not gonna see
$1.75 gasoline anymore.

Only in the pictures.
- Well, listen--

- No, no, no.
You get reasonable--

- No, I am being--
I am reasonable.

You didn't let me finish.
- Okay.

- After rebate.

- Oh.

- The plan:

$1.75 gas after rebate.

A rebate will legally
allow daniel

To advertise the cheapest gas
in the country.

And because
it's such a great deal,

It would only be fair
to make claiming this rebate

A bit more inconvenient
than normal,

By asking customers
to drop it off in person

At the top of a mountain.

- At the top
of the mountain.

Yeah, that's good tricky way
to make money.

- About an hour and a half
drive from sevan gas

In the middle of
the angeles national forest,

The peak of mount chileo
is only accessible by foot.

I explained to daniel

That as long as he was up front
with his customers,

Putting the rebate box
atop chileo

Was completely 100% legal.

- If some of them
is gonna claim it,

It's gonna cost me money,

- Do you think people
are gonna hike up a mountain

To get this rebate?

- Uh...

- After a week
to get everything prepared,

We implemented the offer.

Within minutes
of the sign going up,

It proved to be
an instant hit,

With a line of cars
down the block.

- Is it really $1.75?

- After rebate.

- What type of rebate?

- It's not mail-In rebate.

You have to take it

- Where's it at?

- Mountain chile.

- Where?
- Mountain chile.

Nathan, it's mountain chile,

- What's so special
about this place

We have to go
and get the rebate?

- That's just where
the drop box is.

- You can't just mail it in,
like just--

- It's not
a mail-In rebate, no.

- Uh, i'll get the gas,

But, no, I don't want
the rebate.

- Okay, it's up to you.

You don't want to do it,
it's fine.

- It's up to you.

Well, we're providing a free
shuttle to the base if you want,

And then it's an hour and a half
hike from there.

- Are you kidding me?

- It's totally official.

Everything is explained there.

Like I expected,
people were filling up

And no one wanted
to claim the rebate.

But then,
the tide shifted.

- Hey, I'm back.

I changed my clothes,
and I'm ready.

- Are you serious?
- I'm serious.

- That sounds good.
Yeah, i've never been there.

- You're gonna do it?

- Yeah.
Is that cool?

- Yeah, yeah,
that's great.

- I've hiked.
I like hiking.

- Really?
- Yeah.

- I've never
been up there before.

I hear the view
is beautiful.

- It was clearly working
to bring in customers,

But to my surprise the shuttle
was actually filling up.

I saw that this
was worrying daniel,

And I took him aside
for a chat.

To be honest,
i didn't expect

So many people
to want to do the hike.

However, be assured
that once they get up there,

It's only just beginning.

- Okay.

- It was going to take
an hour and a half

To drive to the base
of the mountain,

So we'll check back
with this in a bit.

But first, do you find
this drawing funny?

If you answered yes,

You're probably caricature
artist greg dohlen.

He was the one that drew it.

And after two decades
of doing caricatures,

He has yet
to make a name for himself.

- It's always a struggle.

And i've kind of--

I've been doing this
since '89.

- But sometimes
the solution is as simple

As keeping up
with the trends.

- You drew me here.
- Yeah.

- It's enjoyable
to see yourself

Portrayed as a cartoon.
- Yeah.

- But I don't think
it makes me laugh.

are insult comedy.

- Well, yeah.

- In the category
of insult comedy,

Just to show you what's
currently popular right now,

Here, just watch.

- I like you, jason alexander.
I find you sexy.

Kiss me, you fat [bleep].

I've always wanted to see

What jerry seinfeld's
[bleep] tastes like.

- I showed him a clip
of the wildly popular

Comedy central roasts,

Which proved that to be
a hit in insult comedy,

The meaner you are,
the better.

The plan:

To re-Brand greg
as "the king of sting."

- Um, i've got--I've gotten
more negative reactions

From going extreme
than positive reactions.

- No one liked elvis
when he first came out,

You know what I mean?

People were offended.
- Right.

- But you have
to power through that

If you wanna become big.

At first, greg seemed
resistant to the concept.

But as we started
brainstorming ideas...

- Yeah, it might be funny
if he's chinese,

And I make him a photographer
with the big buck teeth.

- Oh, yeah, yeah.

- Little squinty eyes
and big buck teeth.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

He quickly began
to embrace it.

I left him with a few edgy
concepts of my own to work on,

And he started
sketching them out.

The next day, I returned
to see the results.

All right, so this is
the idea I had for a couple,

And you have to draw a couple.

So that's you, the artist,

Uh, doing the woman
of the couple from behind,

Doggy style,
she's saying, "i like this."

Her boyfriend is looking
at a hummingbird's penis

And thinking, "that's huge."

Yeah, this is good.

It's really funny.

This is, um, your version
of an asian businessman.

Um, do you think
this one, uh...hmm...

- See, I'm not--
I'm not sure, uh,

When you presented
an asian picture

Which direction
i should go with it.

I went all directions really.

We could try it out,
see how it goes.

- Sure, yeah.
I mean, I'm not gonna get--

You know, in art, you know,

You don't want to get
in people's way or anything,

So I'm not gonna--
But, yeah.

I mean,
this is definitely--

I mean, the pearl harbor thing
is almost not even a joke.

The rest of greg's new edgy
caricatures looked great,

And I could tell that
he was ready to try them out

In the real world.

- Do you have any hobbies?

- I like to bike
and surf a lot.

I like swimming, deejaying,
playing the trombone.

- Things were off
to an okay start,

But I got kind of worried
when an asian man sat down.

- I draw caricatures that are
a little mean and edgy.

Are you okay with that?

- Definitely.
- Yeah, okay, good.

How's that?

You like it?

- Yeah.
- Oh, good.

- But I was wrong.
The guy loved it.

You like it?
- Yeah, yeah, I like it.

- And from then on,
it was smooth sailing.

- Oh, nice, man.

- Will that work?
- That'll work, dude.

- Greg was hitting
nothing but home runs,

And it was amazing
to watch him work.

- Oh, nice.

- So how do you feel
it all went today?

People laughed.
I saw people laughing.

- People laughed.

Like, the deep side
of people's humor comes out

When you show them shock.

- You know, at the beginning
of all this,

I had you draw me,
it wasn't funny.

So now with everything
that i've taught you,

I'm saying go as hard
as you want on me,

As mean as you want.

- You want the king of sting?

- I want the king of sting.
- Okay.

- 'Cause I wanna laugh.
- Okay.

- All right,
this is funny,

But it's hard for me
to see my grandpa

Depicted in that way.

He's a canadian war hero,

And he's, like, a very--

He has, like, a very important
role in our family,

So I don't like seeing him
depicted like this.

It just--

It was a real shame that
greg chose to end the day

On such a tasteless note.

But regardless
of my feelings,

He truly was
the king of sting.

- My gas station
rebate was underway.

But as we shuttled
to the base of chileo,

I began to doubt

That any of these
eight determined cheapskates

Would drop out before reaching
the peak of the mountain.

You might think
i'd be nervous

That sevan gas
was going to lose money,

But what I had told no one

Is that this was about more
than just helping a gas station.

I set out to create the world's
first perfect rebate,

A completely legal rebate
that absolutely no one claims.

Fortunately, most of them failed
to read the fine print

On their rebate slips.

They didn't realize they
had signed up for a lot more

Than just a hike.

- The gentleman who worked
in the gas station

Told me that I would have to
come hike mount chileo

To get that rebate.

It's been a long day,
but it's been an adventure,

So it's not too bad.

- What appealed
to me about it

Was it just sounded
kind of interesting.

And once you're there,
you might as well do it.

I love being out here
out of the city,

Getting to relax a bit,

But it is a little bit

Because it's the woods.

- All right,
welcome to mount chileo,

A place whose history
is as rich

As its peak is high.

Do you have any questions?

- Where's the box?

- Well, you have
to answer some riddles first.

- Wait, at the gas station
you just told us

We'd have to insert the paper
into a box or something

And then get our rebate.
- Right.

- Nothing was mentioned
about a riddle

Or a series of riddles.

- Look, I don't have to pick up
my kid till 3:00 tomorrow.

- Let's do it.
- Let's do this.

- Yeah.
- Let's do this.

- I'm a me, me, me system.

I take care of me,
i wash me, I feed me.

- Okay, be quiet
so we can--

I was going to point out that
this was all in the fine print,

But they didn't even
seem to care.

This might go on longer
than I thought.

I've been resting
for a million years,

But I never sleep.

I'm a kind of music,

But out here
i do not make a peep.

- Wind.
Woodwinds, wind music.

- Is it the wind?
- Is it wind?

- It is not wind.

- Rock.

- Yes.
- Right on.

- Great, okay.

All right, so the next riddle
is under a rock.

I was stunned
by the number of people

That had given up their
entire day for cheap gas.

Was it the thrill
of saving money?

Or were these people
just completely insane?

But after nearly
an hour of riddles,

People finally started
dropping out.

You have a test at 9:00?

- Yeah, but, I mean,
i do want that rebate.

- What percent
of your grade is it over?

- It's about 30% roughly.

- Yeah, you can't miss that.
- No.

- I was thankful there were some
sensible people in the group,

But not matter
how hard I tried...

You know, but again, if you
don't want to claim the rebate,

I can understand
if you would wanna leave.

Some people
just wouldn't go.

I am round and hard.

In water,
i sink deep.

But if you do me
to a baby,

He surely shall sleep.

- Do you have any intentions
on giving us our rebates?

- Yeah, we're almost done
with the riddles.

It's just dark,
it's hard to read them.

- I can read it for you
if you'd like.

- Well, I think we should
just finish in the morning.

- Everything that you told us
today hasn't happened.

Yeah, we're here.

- Wait, you can't be
so annoyed right now.

- I can't be annoyed?
- No.

- You're out of your mind!

- Well, why are you--
This is part of the deal.

This is the rebate.

- No, the deal is I stay,
i get my rebate.

If you're staying,
you can't yell at me like that.

It's not appropriate.

- Okay, I'm not going
nowhere then.

- I didn't think
it would get to this point,

But I had tents
and camping gear on hand.

Three people
decided to stay the night.

- Do you guys know
won't be the same

By pettinger, bojanic,
and hooper?

- Nope.

- It's a royalty-Free
music song

From the internet.

- Well, play it.
Let's hear it.

- It goes a little
something like this.

™ª these days
i just can't think straight ♪

™ª I got too many angles

™ª running round my brain

™ª 'cause I know

™ª it won't be the same

™ª won't be the--

- The only drugs
that the fda will approve

Are drugs that
pharmaceutical companies

Will spend $200 million on.

- As ray began lecturing me
about alternative medicine,

I found myself regretting
this whole plan.

- Naturopaths drink urine.

They tell their patients
to drink urine,

And that's part of a cure,
and the reason why--

- So you would drink urine?

- It's safer than
almost anything out there.

- If my naturopath told me
to drink urine,

I might--I might--

- Like, whose urine?

- Their own urine.

- Drink your own urine?
- Yeah.

- But as the night went on,

I began to see that ray,
laurie, and elizabeth

Weren't just cheapskates
looking for a deal.

In fact, money was
the least of their problems.

- So now the state police
major crimes squad

Is investigating me
for arson.

Still wear my wedding ring
25 years later.

Haven't talked to her
in 23 years or so.

- You need to be
with someone else.

Your wife left you
25 years ago,

And you haven't
moved on yet.

- How come I have
to do this first?

- 'Cause you have no fear
of anything.

- I have a fear
of kissing people.

- Hey.
- Oh, laurie.

- That's not laurie.
- Yes, it's on laurie.

- You know, I wasn't
supposed to leave him.

You know,
i was supposed to stay.


But you can only push
a person so far.

- Do you want a hug?

- Thank you.

- So the pharmaceutical
companies don't want us to know

That we can
drink our own pee

And that will cure
every disease?

- That's right.
How come you got away with--

- Oh!

- What?
- Elizabeth.

- Ray.

- By the end of the night,

I felt like I had made
new friends.

Let's do it, man.

It'll be fun.

You wanna come?

- No, I'm sleeping.

- All right,
so it's 4:15 a.M.,

And I'm gonna go play a prank
on the girls' tent.

Oh, my god.

I can't believe
she stayed asleep

The whole way in the tent.

All right, day two.

You ready?
- We're ready.

- My cousin
holds ice cream.

My uncle reroutes traffic.

You can find
a wreath made of me

Up in your grandma's attic.

- A wreath of me--

- Santa claus is the only thing
i can think of.

- Lights.

- Let me honest
with you guys.

- Yeah.

- This will never end.

When I began this thing,

I never thought
that I would meet

Three people
with so much free time

That they'd be willing
to camp out

On the top of a mountain
with a complete stranger

Just to save $13 on gas.

But I did.

And those three people
turned out to be

Three of the most fantastic
people i've ever met.

- Yeah.

- Over the past 24 hours,

We've all gained something

Even more valuable
than a rebate--Friendship.

- Amen.
- I totally agree.

- So what do you say we all go
down this mountain as friends?

- Yes.

- And take that to the bank
instead of the rebate?

Because to be
perfectly honest,

There is no rebate box.

- I knew that there
was no rebate box.

- Well, we agree with you,

The friendship that we gained
here is just incredible,

So let's go down the mountain.

- All right, come.

I really did
like these guys.

But in the end,

Business is business.

- The next day,
i headed back to sevan gas

To follow up with daniel.


- It works, but let's see
how many people

Gonna come and pick up
the rebate.

Oh, we got one.

Nathan fielder.

Oh, that's you.

- Only one person,
which is pretty good, you know?

- You wanna get
your rebate, huh?

- Yeah, yeah.

- $16.54.

- I did this whole crazy thing

So people
wouldn't redeem the rebate.

But really in the end,

What I realized is that
more important than any of this

Is friendship.

- Oh, that's right.

- And doing this
i made some very good friends.

Ray premus
was one of them.

- Who?

- Ray premus.
- Oh.

- He was willing
to drink pee.

- Pee?
- Yeah.

- Whose pee?

- No, just anyone's pee.

- Anyone's pee?
- He says there's no germs.

- Maybe they can drink
my grandson's pee.

It's very clean.


- Why--
- Because it's clean.

Why drink my pee
or your pee?

- You're promoting
your grandson's pee.

- I am promoting because
grandson's pee sometimes helps.

It really helps.

- Have you drank
your grandson's pee?

- Yeah.
- Why?

- I was scared.

- What do you mean
you were scared?

- Yeah, sometimes
you're scared for something.

- What are you talking about?

- Accident or something,

You drink
the grandson's pee,

And it's gonna help you.

- I don't understand.

Why does it help you if
you drink your grandson's pee?

- That's what they say,

- Who says that?
- My grandma.

- Your grandma said--
- Long time ago, yeah.

- You drink your grandson's
pee if you get scared?

- Not grandson's.
Any little kid.

- You drink any--

- Not over age of five,

Because before
over age of five,

It's terrible.

- I have never--
- I am serious about it.

- But why--

- Yeah, if you're scared,

You drink
the small child's pee.

It helps.
I heard from my grandma.

You can ask your parents
or grandparents.

Maybe they tell you too.

- I will ask, I guess.

- Thank you
for giving this idea.

- ™ª now I'm in
another time zone ♪

™ª now you're in
another space ♪

™ª I was up

™ª baby what would I do

™ª if you'd be here today