Nathan for You (2013–…): Season 3, Episode 7 - Nail Salon/Fun - full transcript

Nathan helps a nail salon overcome racial stereotypes while providing a service. Meanwhile, Nathan proves to the world, once and for all, that he is fun to hang out with.

- 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.


is "Nathan For You."

For most women,

nails are the main way
they can express to others

what color they like the most,

which is why, in the town
of Altadena, California,

there's a nail salon
on nearly every corner,

and this competition

has left Kim Han,
owner of Corner Beauty Nails,

desperate to stand out.

- I always try to be different
from other nail salon

to make my customer happy.

- Because I'm unfamiliar
with the nail-salon experience,

I decided to visit
Corner Beauty

undercover as a gorgeous woman
looking to get a manicure.

You may have expected me
to wear a dress or long hair,

but I believe a modern woman
can present herself

however she likes,

And once inside,
I was able to get a sense

of the female experience
at the salon.

Oh, this one's gorgeous.
- Yes.

- That's lovely.
- Yes.

- After 20 minutes
of being there,

I hadn't seen any issues with
their offerings or services.

But after,
while digging through my purse

to find my car keys,

I discovered that I completely
ruined my nail job.

And later that week,
when I finally met Kim,

she agreed that it was
a problem for her business.

- They lose something.

They looking for the key,
or they hit the door.

Anything can happen
when the nail wet.

- And then
you have to fix it.

- I have to fix it for free.

- But customers would never
have to dig for their keys

and ruin their nails again

if Corner Beauty
offered a free valet.

- I don't know.
Good idea or not. I don't know.

- I mean, I know I'm a bit
of a fish out of water

when it comes to this stuff
because I'm not a woman.

- Mm-hmm.

- But you should know
I was raised a feminist,

and I have a very strong
female side to me.

So, even though on the outside
I appear masculine and rugged,

on the inside, you know,
I feel like I can relate to you.

- Good.
That's good.

- Kim liked my valet idea,
but to save on staffing costs,

she suggested
I use her current employees

when they had downtime
in between clients.

So, after she pitched it
to her staff

and they seemed interested,

I brought them out back
to prep them for the job.

So, who here has operated
a valet stand before?

Okay, no problem.

It's really easy.

First rule of valet is,

you got to know
how to catch keys,

'cause people
are gonna park their car,

and they're gonna throw
their keys at you.

And you never know
when they're gonna come.


After practicing a variety

of key-catching methods
with the staff...

If it's a pop fly,

one person's
got to call it, okay?

- Mine.

- Call it before it--
before it lands, yeah.

I felt like they now
had all the skills they needed

to run a valet.


[humming rock music]

You know, guitar?
all: Yes.

- You guys play?
- No, no, we don't.

- No.
Yeah, I don't either.

With the training complete,
we were ready to get started.

So, the next day, after setting
up our valet stand

and outfitting the staff,

it was time to offer
our new service to customers.

Hey, welcome.

So we're offering
free valet today.

So, after
you're done, you know,

you don't have to be going
through your purse

and ruining your nails
trying to find your keys.

- Oh, that's great.
- Yeah.

The customers
seemed to love the idea,

but I sensed some hesitation

when I presented Tina
as the valet driver.

- Um, well, whomever.

Who usually does it?

- They're the valet.
- Okay, then let them park.

- At first, I just figured
it was people's surprise

at seeing a valet run
by nail technicians.

- Why would she be
parking my car?

- She's doing the valet.
- Oh, okay.

- Yeah.
- Okay.

- But then I realized
it might be something more.

- You have a driver's license?
- Yes.

- Yeah, she's a--
she's a good driver.

She has a license.
- Okay. All right, thank you.

- And later, when I talked
to Tina, she seemed to agree.

They think that?

That's when I realized
the disturbing truth.

These customers
seemed to be influenced

by a common
but misguided stereotype

that Asians are bad drivers.

If this valet
was going to work,

it became clear
I would have to do something

to change these customer's
long-held beliefs.

So I went online
and found an Asian stunt driver

named Verena Mei,

who could do some pretty
impressive stuff with a car,

and I felt that
if she could stand in

as one of our valets,

would finally see the truth

about what Asians
can do behind the wheel.

So I'm working with a nail salon
whose customers

are, unfortunately,
a bit behind the times

when it comes to their thoughts
about Asian drivers.

- Okay, got it.
- You know what I mean?

- I got it--
all the stereotypical stuff.

- You've heard all that,
I'm sure.

- Absolutely. Yeah.
- Yeah.

So I figure if they saw someone
who wasn't only a good driver,

but the best in the world,

they'd be forced to permanently
change their ideas

about Asian drivers.

- Okay.

- Do you think
you could help do this?

- Absolutely.
I would love to do it.

- The only thing
is the staff at the salon,

they all have very thick
Asian accents.

- Okay.

- And I noticed you don't,

and I don't want any of the
customers there

thinking, you know,
you're a plant, you know?

- Yeah.

- So would you be able
to maybe put on an accent?

- Asian accent? Um...
- And then--

- I could try,
but I don't really

want to be, like,
a stereotypical one, but...

For example,
what do you want me to say?

- You want me to show you?
- Yeah.

- I mean...

I'm not totally comfortable
doing that.

That's not offensive
if I do it, is it?

- I don't think so, but...

- Okay, I mean, I'm trying
to counteract stereotypes.

The last thing I want to be
is--do something racist.

- Yeah.

- I just wanted
to make sure that--

I'm just
showing you the voice,

but I'm not, like, saying
I'm necessarily right.

It's just my idea...

maybe, but I'm not--

Like, I don't want to offend
or do anything...

- Yeah.

- Okay, I'm not the best
at this, but--

- It's okay.

- Maybe something like...

[imitating Asian accent]
"Oh, would you like me

to park your car?"

Is that...

Sound Asian or...?

- It sounds a little Asian.

Yeah. Yeah.
- Yeah.

With Verena on board,

the next day,
we returned to the salon,

and I made sure to dress her

to look identical
to the regular staff.

When the first customer
arrived and saw her valet,

I knew she was
probably nervous,

but my hope was
that once she had finished up

with her manicure,

Verena would be able
to show her once and for all

the truth
about Asian drivers.

So what do you do
for a living?

- I work at Bloomingdale's.

- Oh, okay. Wow.

- And this is prom season,
so I'm selling lots of dresses.

- Oh, wow.
Yeah, I bet.

Lots of girls going to prom.

- Yes.

- Got to go to prom.
- [chuckles]


[tires squeal]

[tires screeching]

[tires screeching]

- Thought they
couldn't drive, huh?

- Yeah.

- Right away I could see
a lifetime of prejudice melting

out of her brain.

And as more and more
Corner Beauty Spa regulars

saw Verena in action...

[tires screeching]

I could tell
they would never be hesitant

to use a valet run
by Asians again.

- Your car.

- So, with that,
I could now return to Kim

confident that my solution

to prevent women from chipping
their nails would work.

Worked pretty well, right?

- I have to say,
you do a good job.

- And I bet you didn't think,
as a man, I could've come up

with something that would work
so well for women.

- Maybe you feel
how the women feel.

- And I know what women want.

- Yeah. I think so.

- Thank you for those words
of encouragement.

- Yeah.

Thank you.
- Well, thank you.

- Thank you so much.
- Oh, you're welcome.

Very nice--
happy to work with you,

and good luck
with your business.

- Okay.
- Okay, bye.

- Bye-bye.
- Bye.

- You know, making this show,
I get a lot of feedback,

and one of the most
common misconceptions

viewers seem to have about me

is that I'm a guy
who never smiles

and doesn't know
how to have fun.

And that really bugs me

because it couldn't be further
from the truth.

In reality,
I'm actually very fun, relaxed,

and easy-going.

Now, obviously, I could just be
saying that to you,

so tonight
I'm going to prove it.


By spending the entire day
with a complete stranger

and measuring
his dopamine levels

during our hangout,

comparing them
against a baseline

to prove scientifically

that he did have fun
hanging out with me.

To start things off,
I went on Craigslist

and searched
through the listings

in the "strictly platonic"

in order to track down
a stranger

who'd be willing
to spend time with me.

I then sent emails to a handful
of posters looking to hang out.

And the next day,

after fielding a number
of inappropriate responses,

I got a nice email
from a man named Brendan,

who had recently relocated
to Los Angeles

and seemed eager
to make new friends.

So we made plans
to hang out later that week.

But since this was all about
proving to you at home

that I am indeed fun,

I would need to get evidence
that cannot be refuted.

So I paid a visit
to Dr. Whimsy Anderson,

a specialist
in neurotransmitter testing,

to advise me
on how to scientifically prove

a person is fun.

- When someone's having fun,

you might see an elevation
in serotonin,

an elevation in dopamine,

or an elevation

of both serotonin
and dopamine both.

- So, if their serotonin
or dopamine levels go up

when they're
hanging out with me,

that would mean that I'm fun?

- For them, yes.

- Dr. Whimsy said,
to get accurate results,

I'd need to obtain two samples
of either urine or blood

from the person--

one before our hangout began
to act as a baseline,

and a second at the end

of doing several activities

But knowing
it would skew the results

if he was aware of what was
being tested,

I would have to obtain
Brendan's urine

without his knowledge.

So, prior to his arrival
at my office,

I set up a tempting selection
of beverages

in the waiting area.

Then, in the bathroom,

I put an "out of order" sign
on the toilet

and attached a clear
plastic bag to the urinal mat,

creating a reservoir

that would discreetly collect
any liquid stream

on its way down the drain.

With everything set and me
positioned in a van outside,

I watched as, moments later,
Brendan arrived.

To buy as much time
as possible,

I sent him a text,
telling him I was running late

and to wait for me
in the lobby.

After only a few minutes,

he began browsing
the selection of drinks

and eventually settled
on a Dr. Pepper.

Then a half hour later,

the moment I'd been waiting for
finally came,

as Brendan got up and headed
towards the bathroom,

hopefully to deposit what would
be our baseline urine sample.

So, once he was done,

it was time to head in
to introduce myself.

- Yeah.

- Hey, Nathan.
- Yeah, Brendan. How you doing?

- Hey, nice to meet you.
- Good to meet you. Yeah.

- I'm just gonna go
to the bathroom,

then we can head out, okay?
- Yeah, yeah. No problem. Yeah.

I pretended that I had to go
to the bathroom too,

but in reality, it was just so
I could transfer the sample

from the secret urinal chamber
into the specimen cup

while it was still fresh.

one of my production assistants

informed Brendan that our day
was going to be filmed

for a documentary
about Craigslist hangouts,

and Brendan seemed more than
happy to participate.

- Yeah, sure.

- With his sample sealed,
I hid it

a hollowed-out candle

and then lit the wick
to signal to my unpaid intern

that it was ready to be taken
to the lab for testing.

And with the sample secured,

I could finally begin my day
with Brendan.

I just wanted to be clear
before we leave,

I posted
in the platonic section,

but I know a lot of people

on there were looking
for sexual stuff.

That's not you, right?
- No, no, no, no, no.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
- Okay, good.

Just wanted to make sure.

- Sorry, no.
- Okay, cool.

- I'm just looking for someone
to hang out with.

- Oh, yeah, yeah.
- That's--'Cause I--

- Okay, great.

And with both of us
on the same page,

it was time to have some fun.

I had planned
several activities

that I hoped would raise
Brendan's dopamine levels

enough to get
the results I needed.

Buckle up.

And as we headed
to our first destination,

we got to know each other.

- Like, "Star Wars,"
you had the red and blue factor.

You had--
the dark side was the red,

and the light side
was, um, blue.

In "The Matrix," you had
the red pill or the blue pill.

- Okay.

- In "Shaun of the Dead,"

the little cone
that he ate was red.

- Okay.

- In "Hot Fuzz,"
the color was blue.

In "Next Generation,"
if they wore blue,

they typically would die.

In the original series,
it was red.

- It seemed like Brendan and I
didn't have a lot in common,

but I was hopeful
that once he saw my fun side,

things would change.

- All right.
- So...

We're gonna go
into a hat store

and try on silly hats.

- Okay. Let's do it.
- That's fun, right?

- Yeah.
- I mean, that's something--

Is that fun for you?
- Yeah, let's do it.

- Okay, let's go.

All right.
- Oh, this is pretty cool.

- Trying on hats is something
everyone can enjoy,

and it was the perfect way
to show Brendan

that I'm the type of guy

who doesn't take
himself too seriously.

This is what girls would wear.
- Yeah.

- I don't know
about this one.

But Brendan wasn't having
the reaction I expected,

and after we left,

I was doubtful
his neurotransmitters

were sufficiently raised
by the hat-store experience,

so I was counting on the day's
next activity to do the trick.

You like go-karts?

- Hell, yeah.
- Yeah?

Right away I could tell
Brendan was excited.

- I've got to go with red

because of the red factor
in "Star Trek."

- All right.

Go-karting is like
normal driving,

except the car
is so much smaller,

so the fun comes from the fact

that you know your body
is too big for the car,

and as we started going
around the track,

I could tell it was working,

'cause Brendan
was smiling from ear to ear.

- [laughing]

- It seemed like his fun levels
were peaking,

so I wanted
to get a second sample

as quickly as possible.

But since waiting for his urine
again could take hours,

I had a plan
to get this sample immediately

at a clinic
via blood test.

The only thing I had to do now
was convince him to go.

You know, I was thinking...

we should do something
totally random, you know?

- Yeah, is there something
you want to do?

- I don't know.
We should, like--

we should, like, go for, like,
a blood test or something.

Like, wouldn't that be crazy?
So random.

Just go to a lab and get
our blood drawn and stuff?

- A blood test?
An actual blood test?

- Yeah.

- I haven't done--
Uh, yeah.

We can do that.
That sounds cool.

- I mean,
they're pretty fun to do.

- Yeah, let's go do
a blood test.

That'd be kind of cool.

- And with Brendan on board,
we were off.

- Coming off the thrill
of go-kart racing,

I wanted to harvest Brendan's
blood as quickly as possible,

so we headed
to a nearby medical clinic

where I had prearranged
for the necessary lab work.

To make sure his levels didn't
drop due to the un-fun setting,

I asked the nurse
if she'd be willing to hide

an electronic fart machine
on her person

that I'd be able
to activate by remote control

during the blood draw.

Do you think
you could do that?

- Um, I'll try my best.

- My hope was that
Brendan would think

they were real farts,

and that the fun of that
would spike his dopamine levels

right as the blood
was being taken.

- Who's going first?
- I guess I'll go first.

- Do you want to? Okay, yeah.
- Okay.

And with Brendan in his seat,

it was time
to see if this would work.


- Sorry about that.


My apologies.



- You have some gas today?

- Nope, I'm okay.

- Oh, you're okay?
- Yeah, sorry about that.

- Okay. That's okay.


- Oh, sorry.

- I mean, you should stay home
if you're that sick.

- I apologize for that.

- I mean, if your bowels are--
- I'm okay.

We're just done, so I will be
stepping out in a moment.


Sorry about that.


Upset stomach today.

- It's okay.

- My apologies.

- The farts were working,

and it seemed like Brendan
was having

the time of his life.

All right, so I'm gonna
do mine, and I'll see you.

- Okay.
- Okay, cool.

[whispering] That was great.
Did you see he was laughing?

- Yeah. That was good.
- Okay.

So, with everything I needed,

it was time
to say good-bye to Brendan.

- I'll catch you
on the flip side, man.

- "Flip side"?
- On the flip side.

It means
"Catch you later, dude."

- All right, see you, man.
- Yeah, see you.

- But whether this would
translate into actual science

was still to be seen.

So, later that week,
I returned

to Dr. Whimsy's office,
nervously awaiting the results.

- His serotonin when he started
was within normal range.

The number was 87.22.
- Uh-huh.

- The day of fun,
it was 219.92,

so it shot up 2.5 times
what it initially was.

- Well, that's huge.

- They're
very impressive numbers.

So this person who was with you
was not only having fun,

but they were happy,
and they had a greater sense

of well-being
when they were with you.

- Wow.


Uh, that's amazing.

'Cause, you know,
I think a part of me

has always had this thing
ever since I was a kid that,

you know, people maybe
don't like hanging out with me,

and, you know,

even though they might say
they're having fun,

they're really not.

And it's really hard to,
you know, have those thoughts.

I think it can really
take a toll

on your self-esteem a bit.

You know?
- Mm-hmm.

- But now
if anyone questions me

and ever says
that I'm not fun

or is uncomfortable
hanging out with me,

I can say,
"No, you're wrong.

I am fun, and it's been
scientifically proven."

Uh, sorry.
I just kind of opened up to you.

You're not--I don't know.
- No, that's cool.

I think it's great.
- Yeah.

- I think it's great.

- There was no denying it.

After getting the data
from Dr. Whimsy,

I now had scientific proof
that I am fun.

But as I was looking
over Brendan's results,

I realized that if he enjoyed
his time with me this much,

maybe this could be more than
just an experiment for my show.

Maybe this could be the start
of an actual friendship.

So, later that week,
I arranged a meet-up

at Brendan's apartment,

because if this was gonna turn
into something real,

he deserved to know the truth.

So, um, there's something
I should tell you.

- Okay.

- I mean, to start off
a friendship,

you need to start
on the right foot,

and that means honesty.

- Yeah, exactly.
- So...


when we were first
hanging out,

I was secretly collecting
your urine

to have it tested
in the lab

to see if your dopamine levels
went up.

- Why would you do that?

- I wanted to see if you were
having fun hanging out with me.

- I'm--I've never had
anybody do that.

I mean...

you know, secretly, you know,
taking my urine to find out

if my dopamine levels
went up or not.

I mean, I don't--

- I mean, I know that's weird,
but it was a one-time thing.

It won't happen again,

and I wanted to be honest
with you,

so now you know
you can trust me.

- No...

No, you took my urine.

I mean...

I mean, if you're looking at it
in a scientific way,

you know, you did
what you did, you know.

I mean,
it's not gonna hurt me.

I mean, it's just urine.

- Am I still someone
you'd want to be friends with?

- Yeah.
I mean, you just took my urine.

I mean,
that's in the past, man.

I'm fine.

Let's--I want to go
do something today, you know.

Let's go do
something exciting.

["Steal My Sunshine" by Len]

- Oh.
- Hey!

- ♪ Sunday morning
of last week ♪

♪ Indulging
in my self-defeat ♪

[girl screams]

both: Aah!

- ♪ I know it's up for me
- ♪ If you steal my sunshine

- ♪ Making sure I'm not
in too deep ♪

both: Aah!

[both laughing]

- ♪ If you steal my sunshine
- Ah! That's awesome.

- [exhales sharply]

[keys jingling]