Nathan for You (2013–…): Season 2, Episode 2 - Nathan for You - full transcript

Nathan's plan to help a Hollywood souvenir shop has surprising consequences.

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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

to make it in this competitive world.

This is Nathan for you.

Over 10 million tourists
visit Hollywood each year,

And souvenir shops compete hard
to sell them items

that most would consider
embarrassing to own.

But in the souvenir game,
location is everything.

And that's why,
tucked away nearly five blocks



from the Main Strip,
L.A. Fame is struggling.

It's a sad tale,
and with business this slow,

Owner John Kim has a tough time
finding things to boast about.

Recently, we had someone
from of Mice & Men come in--

From the--
They're a rock band

that's pretty popular right now.

But other than that, you know...

So I paid John a visit
to see if I could help.

Why are you wearing a touk?

A touk?
What--

- This.
- Oh.

What do you call it?

It's a beanie.
So that's--

I'm from Canada.
We call it a "touk."



- Oh, okay.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Yeah, I'm just cold right now.

That's why I'm wearing it.

Oh, okay.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Yeah.

- That's cool.
- Yeah.

My mission was to attract
more tourists to L.A. Fame.

If you're visiting Hollywood,
there's nothing more exciting

than seeing the magic
of the movies up close,

so if John redesigned
his storefront

to make it look
like a blockbuster movie

was always being shot there,

every tourist on the Strip
would flock to L.A. Fame

to see the action up close.

Then all I need to do
is offer each tourist

a part in the movie.

Their role?

A paying customer
at a souvenir shop.

Okay.
Okay.

- Tourists get very excited...
- Yeah.

around celebrities
and movie sets,

so they wouldn't think
rationally.

Yeah.

Once you have the crowd here,

it becomes very easy
to sell to them.

Yeah, maybe.

John was onboard,
so to make L.A. Fame

look as much like
a real movie set as possible,

I rented some lights
and equipment

and set them up
outside of his shop.

Next, to make the movie
truly exciting for tourists,

I hired professional
Johnny Depp impersonator

Ronnie Rodriguez, who I hoped
would convincingly pass

for the real Johnny
from a distance.

I also hired a worse
Johnny Depp impersonator

to act as a stand-in

and make Ronnie look better
by comparison.

With everything in place,

the fake movie shoot began.

Action.

As I pretended to direct,

tourists slowly began to gather.

Cut.

Let's do another take of that.

That was really good, guys.

And excitement was building
around our celebrity star.

Yeah, it's amazing.
Yeah.

And once we gave them
a tiny peek of Johnny...

Whoo-hoo, Johnny.

they were putty in my hands,

and it was time
to sell some souvenirs.

Hi, everyone.

So as you can see,
we're filming a movie here.

It's called The Web.

It's about a hacker,
played by Johnny Depp,

who has to hack
into an asteroid

to stop it
from hitting the Earth.

Okay.

So this is
a little bit unorthodox,

but we need some extras
to be in the scene.

I don't know-- Is that okay?
Is anyone interested?

Right here.

Really?
Oh, wow.

With no shortage of volunteers,

I had them brought to set

one at a time
to give them their direction.

Let me just explain to you
what you have to do.

Okay.

Go into the store,

buy an item, and then leave.

Okay, cool.

Okay, so, on action.
Ready?

- Yes.
- Action.

You don't have to go so fast,
sir.

- You can slow down.
- Okay.

It might not have been
an Oscar-worthy performance...

$6.53.

But our first customer
of the day left happy.

- Thank you.
- Okay, thank you.

Have a nice day.

I gave each extra some direction

and let them run with it.

So I need you to go in there,

pick out an item, buy it,
and then leave.

- Okay.
- Okay.

Okay,
so I need you to go in there,

buy something, then leave.

- Okay.
- Okay.

My plan was working beautifully,

as tourists were buying items
in a steady stream.

The scene was fake,
but these sales were real,

and customers were thrilled
with their purchases.

Did you pay for that?

Yeah.

Okay, so it's yours then.

Oh.

But each transaction
was just for a small amount,

so I took John's place
to show him

how he could get customers
to spend more.

Oh, hello, Officer Suzanne.

Hi.

How's the hacker investigation
going?

Um-- Wait,
what do you want me to say?

Oh, just say,
"No leads yet."

Okay.

Go ahead.

Oh, no leads yet
at all, so...

- Okay.
- Mm-mm.

Well, I have the stuff
you asked me to put aside.

Mm-hmm.

That'll be $87, please.

Okay.

Here we are.

Oh, thank you.

You're very welcome.

Are you actually, like,
charging it to my card?

- You're breaking character.
- Okay.

- Just say, "Thank you."
- Thank you.

Okay, yes.

$87 in a single transaction

was unprecedented
for a souvenir shop,

but I soon discovered
I wasn't in the clear yet.

So you had a question
about something or...

Yeah, I mean,
I don't want this stuff, but--

- Oh, do you want a refund?
- Yeah.

I had anticipated that people
might want their money back,

so I came up with a plan
that would hopefully

make them reconsider.

- This movie stars Johnny Depp.
- Yeah.

I don't know if you knew,

but he was watching
the footage...

Yeah.

on the monitor view,

and he just thought
you were,

like, the most natural actress.

- Have you acted before?
- No, never.

- You've never?
- Mm-mm.

If you want, I might be able
to get you in there to meet him.

Yeah, if he doesn't mind,
I mean...

Yeah, I mean...

Okay.

- Johnny?
- Yes?

You decent?

Hey.

Johnny, this is Karter,
the actress you just--

- Hi.
- Oh, hi.

- How are you?
- Nice to meet you.

- Nice to meet you too.
- How you doing?

- I'm good.
- Wow, so...

I heard you did
a good job on the scene.

Oh, thank you.

Are you a--
you're a fan of his, or...

- Of course.
- Oh, really?

Of course I am.

Pirates of the Caribbean,
come on.

Really?

- Good.
- Good, it's a--

- Thank you very much.
- Pleasure to meet you.

Do you want him
to sign some stuff for you?

Like, in here?

Yeah.

I mean--
Oh, wait.

You did--
You wanted to return those?

Oh, really?
Well--

If he signs them,
we can't return them, so...

Yeah, well,
if he signs one, can't you--

Can you, or no?
No?

He usually likes to sign
everything.

I can--

All right.

Let me see.

I can't say no
to an autograph, I mean...

"To my favorite--"
Rum should probably go in here.

It was a tense 15 minutes

as Ronnie signed everything
in her basket.

So when is this movie
supposed to be coming out?

Um...

But in the end,
she kept all her souvenirs

and went home happy.

And as the day progressed,
we got better and better

at getting customers
to make big purchases.

Your character is a customer
who loves to spend money.

He's rich, and he loves
to just buy souvenirs.

So that's your motivation.

Action.

And people seemed to be

embracing their roles.

I'm gonna give myself
an Oscar for being so rich.

- How's that?
- All right.

Over the course of the day,

we sold a record number
of souvenirs.

The total comes out
to $170.92.

$170...

And even though the autographs
may have been fake,

the memories these regular folks
took home that day

would last a lifetime.

And at the end of the day,
I wanted to see if John

planned to keep using
my sales method.

Is this something you might
want to keep doing?

Um...

No, I mean--

Maybe. Maybe, yeah.

Maybe? So--
Okay.

- Yeah.
- That's good.

Unfortunately, Ronnie,
the Johnny Depp impersonator,

has limited availability
outside of today.

Right.

So I found
another impersonator

that could replace him,
perhaps,

if you want to continue this.

Okay.

This is William.

He's a professional
Bill Gates impersonator.

Okay.

Why don't you give him
a little taste of Bill?

Yes, it's a pleasure
to be here.

You know, when we started
our computers,

um, back in the '80s,

it was huge.

And the business--

they were huge machines.

You know, we started--
I started in a garage.

Okay, I think that--
yeah, that's enough probably.

So, yeah,

you do this for a living, right?

- Yes, sir.
- Okay.

Yeah, well,
I'll leave you guys

to work out the details,
I guess.

- Okay.
- You can take it from here.

But, yeah,
great to meet you.

- Great to meet you.
- All right, see ya.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

Um, I mean...

Well, I hope
everybody buys Microsoft--

continues--
continue the business.

We can always use it,

and we're so grateful that--

what we have accomplished.

Okay.

What you--

Um...

I assume this goes
without saying,

but in making this show,

I ensure that every idea
I present to a business I help

is completely, 100% legal.

However, in the weeks
since helping L.A. Fame,

I discovered
that certain elements

of my marketing plan

may have actually
constituted fraud.

And that's not good.

When I finished up with John,

I assumed my work
with his business was done,

but then our production
began receiving

several emails
from souvenir shop customers

asking when The Web,
my fake movie,

was coming out in theaters.

Not knowing how to respond
to these emails,

I met with
retired California state judge

the Honorable Anthony Filosa
for some guidance.

It's fraud.

Theft, basically.

- Theft and fraud?
- Yes.

What you did
was a criminal offense.

It can be punished
by a misdemeanor

or by a felony

depending on the amount
of money involved.

You're admitting to me
that--

No, I didn't admit anything.

Well, you said
that you did not intend

to make a movie.

So how do I get out of this?

You have two options.

You could make an offer
to refund the money.

That would be one way.

Or, of course,
actually make the film.

So if The Web
were a real movie,

then I would be covered?

Yes. Yes.

Judge Filosa had given me

a great way
to beat a fraud charge.

I'd edit the footage we shot
at L.A. Fame into a movie,

but this task
proved to be difficult.

It was all just random scenes
with customers, no story.

I knew this wouldn't hold up,

so I spend the night
writing a script

that would weave
the customer footage

into a clear narrative.

To make it more compelling,

I added a love story
for my character

and cast an actress
to play my girlfriend,

and later that week,

we officially began production
on The Web.

Have you ever done
an on-camera kiss before, or...

- I have, yeah.
- Oh, yeah? Yeah.

- Have you?
- What?

- Have you?
- Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
- Okay, cool.

It's not like we're kissing.

It's like our characters
are kissing.

- Oh, sure, yeah.
- Yeah, yeah.

So it's, like, you know,

it's not, like,
a big deal or anything.

- No.
- Yeah, yeah.

After some actor-to-actor talk,

We began the scene.

I love you so much, Richard.

I love you too, Allison.

Come here.

I don't know
what I'm gonna do without you.

I know.

I haven't done this before.

It's okay.

It was a bit of a rocky start

as my nerves kept
getting in the way.

And as the takes went on,

I was having trouble
staying in character

because I was really enjoying
the kisses.

But with time, our chemistry
became very natural,

and after calling Ronnie back
to shoot some additional scenes,

I felt like we had enough
to make a somewhat logical film.

So I returned to Judge Filosa
and showed him the entire movie

to see if we were in the clear.

So this is it?

It's a rough cut.

If this is your defense

and it's in front of a jury,

they'd laugh you
out of the courtroom.

But this--

You said
anything can be a movie.

No, but I--

I'm assuming a movie has to have
some kind of a plot.

There's a plot.

What's the plot?

He would save the world
through hacking.

Going into a store?

Judge Filosa's reaction

was beginning to worry me,

but then he offered
a glimmer of hope.

If it was accepted
by the showbiz community

as a movie and won an award,
then I--

the court would have
to take that

into consideration,
wouldn't it?

He was right.

Winning an award
was the perfect way

to make my movie
somewhat credible.

So I sent copies of The Web
to several film festivals

in the hope it would be
accepted into competition.

But after getting
nothing but rejection letters,

it seems like I only had
one option left:

to start a film festival
of my own.

So I came up with a name,
logo, and entry form,

and then submitted The Web
in the short film category.

But an award from my festival
would mean nothing

without a respected name
from the film industry involved,

So I made some calls...

Personally,
I am a huge fan of your work.

And was able to land

the second unit
script supervisor

from the Oscar-winning movie
Bonnie and Clyde

to judge the film.

You know, I didn't see
any continuity errors at all.

Thank you.

Is that what
a script supervisor does?

All I needed now
was at least one other film

that The Web would have
a chance of beating,

and after a bit of searching,
I found a contender--

a 90-second clip
of nothing but a man farting.

And with a venue secured,

it was time for the festival
to begin.

Turnout to my festival
was slim,

with only a few people
from the neighborhood

buying tickets,

but the only thing that mattered

was that our industry judge
had arrived,

and with Crayton in his seat,
it was time to start the show.

Welcome to the first annual

Eastern Los Angeles
International Film Festival.

Today is the short film
competition,

And I'm excited to announce

that judging our selection
of shorts

is industry legend
Crayton Smith,

who you might know
from being the script supervisor

on Bonnie and Clyde.

So you know if he picks a film
as the winner,

it's definitely a real film.

Come here a second.

Oh.

Bonnie and Clyde,

I was just the second unit,
so...

Just second unit?

I had no credit or anything.

You're credited on imdb
for Bonnie and Clyde.

Yeah, but on The Wild Bunch,

my credit is on the screen
and...

Oh, okay, sure.

So The Wild Bunch
you'd rather me say?

Yeah, that's fine.

So Crayton just informed me
that actually

he was credited
as a script supervisor

on The Wild Bunch, but--

did work on Bonnie and Clyde,

but was not credited.

Okay, first up,
we have a sci-fi thriller

called The Web.

Please enjoy.

♪ Uh-huh, that's what's up ♪

♪ What it do, homegirl ♪

♪ Is we drinking or what ♪

♪ Yeah, break it off ♪

Coming in on weekends now,
Kip?

I'm a hacker, Mel,
not a slacker.

Cops are getting suspicious.

You should get your own office,

stop using my back room.

Whatever, grandma.

All right, it's hacking time.

Thank you.

Have a good day.

Hey, boss, did you see this?

Microsoft's been putting
microchips into asteroids

to control them.

This can't be good.

You should tell Kip.

Right.

What are you up to,
Mr. Gates?

Crap, the cops are here.

Let me distract them
while you figure this out.

Okay, cool.

Oh, hello, Officer Suzanne.

Hi.

How's the hacker investigation
going?

Go ahead.

Oh, no leads yet
at all, so...

Okay.
That'll be $87, please.

Danger.

Asteroid microchip malfunction.

Oh, no.

What have I done wrong?

I can't believe this.

I've worked so hard

to get this computer project
going.

This is unheard of.

What's going on?

It looks like
there are asteroids

on a straight trajectory
towards Earth.

We'll all be dead
in five minutes.

What are you talking about?

There's a microchip in there.

Can't you hack it?

I'll do my best.

Crap, I have a girlfriend.

Sorry I had to call you
away from work.

This just might be
our last chance

to say good-bye
before the asteroid hits.

Oh, no.

I love you so much, Richard.

I love you too, Allison.

Come here.

I hacked faster
than I've ever hacked before.

When word of the asteroid
got out,

people were racing
to get supplies.

Everyone wanted souvenirs

so they could remember
the Earth.

And people were sad.

Oh.

Angry mobs formed
on the street.

The odds of me stopping
this asteroid were slim,

but I had to try.

Asteroid access granted.

Trajectory has been
reprogrammed.

I did it.

You saved the world, Kip.

♪ The time is now,
start the day ♪

♪ Set the goal,
get underway ♪

The Web went over as expected,

and now it was time
to seal my fate

as the best film of the night.

Our next short
is a documentary

called Me Farting on Command.

My hope was that
the fart movie

served its purpose,

because now that the screening
was over,

it was up to our judge
to pick the best short,

and I nervously awaited
his decision.

Okay, here you go.

All right.

Selected The Web.

I did.

All right.

Hand me this award...

- All right.
- For best short film.

Hand it to you now?

- Oh, yeah.
- Okay, uh, this--

You don't need a speech
or anything, yeah.

- Good.
- Thank you.

I did it,

and with the award in hand,

we now had proof

that my marketing plan
for L.A. Fame

was 100% legal.

My work here was done,

but there was one more person

I wanted to share
the good news with.

I was so proud
of my movie's success,

and I couldn't wait
to tell my costar, Jessee.

I don't know if you know,
but the film we did

actually won an award.

- What?
- Yeah.

What award?

Eastern Los Angeles
International Film Festival.

All right, that's exciting.

It's exciting, yeah.

Pretty good.

Yeah, yeah.

Anyways,
there was something

I wanted to actually
talk to you about.

When we did that--

the kissing scene
that we did,

and I told you
I was in character,

but that might have been a lie.

Well, that's okay.

I feel like
there might have been

some of me in there,

and I guess
I was wondering

if when you did the kiss...

how much of that
was your character

and how much of that was you?

Uh...

Meaning did I, like--

did I want to kiss you?

Me, Jessee?

Yeah.

Uh...

I mean,

It wasn't a big deal,

but I probably wouldn't
grab you on the street

and just kiss you
out of nowhere.

Good to know, I guess.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

In that moment,
I felt sorry for Jessee.

To share a kiss
with another human

and feel nothing
is a horrible way to live.

As I drove home,
I finally understood

what it felt like
to be a tourist,

going somewhere
with so much hope

and leaving with nothing
but a souvenir.