Nathan for You (2013–…): Season 4, Episode 1 - Nathan for You - full transcript

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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 make it

in this competitive world.

This is "Nathan for You."

Mmm mmm mmm. Look at this food.

You want it, right?

Well, you can't have it



unless you pay a visit
to Joe K's Deli Restaurant

in the small town of Vernon, California.

But lately, owner Steve
Mullen has been struggling

to draw in customers from
the rest of L.A. County.

People are not aware of us anymore.

So we need something new.

We need...

We need exposure.

The problem could be that
the last piece of press

they got was from an
unknown news journal

published over a decade ago.

So I decided to pay Steve a visit

with a plan to change that.

I do watch that program
on TV with, um...



What is it, "Dine and
Drive"? What is it?

Oh, "Diners, Drive-ins, and Drives"?

Yeah, yeah. That's
a... That's a good show.

Well, you know this
isn't that show, right?

- Yeah, I know it's not.
- Okay, yeah.

- That's Guy Fieri.
- Yeah, that's right.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

- Um, it's okay.
- You have to contact them, no?

- I...
- How to get on

- "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives"?
- Yeah, yeah.

I don't know how to get on that show.

No. Well, you came through.

So let's see... You
know, I'd be very happy

to... work with you to
get this thing promoted.

- Okay.
- Yeah.

One thing I've noticed that always

gets restaurants press coverage

is when a celebrity leaves a bit tip.

If we were to get an
impersonator to pose

as a celebrity and leave a $10,000 tip

at Joe K's Deli, the real celebrity

would never deny it was them

because it make them look so good

and Joe K's would instantly become

the talk of the town.

Okay.

Yeah...

Steve was excited
about my plan to get him

to get him some new
press, but to pull off

the illusion of a major
star leaving a giant tip,

I would need a celebrity impersonator

who was completely convincing.

So I held an open audition to
see if anyone had the goods.

Do not go in there.

Whoo!

Yikes.

Well, all righty then.

So are you a Jim Carey impersonator

or an Ace Ventura impersonator?

I guess, uh, I'm more
focused towards Ace.

Um, but I'm a little
bit of Jim Carey overall.

With all the talent that came in,

it was hard to decide who would be best

for this critical role.

So once the auditions were done,

I brought the footage to Joe K's

to see who Steve liked the most.

He doesn't look like Bill Gates.

When I founded Microsoft...

I don't think this guy will work.

Steve turned out to be
a pretty tough audience.

Can you feel it? Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

- No.
- And of the dozens of options

I showed him, he seemed to only connect

with one.

Jerry. Jerry, I'm pleading with you.

I-I like this guy.

- Kramer from "Seinfeld"?
- Yes.

The guy was a dead ringer
for Michael Richards

who played Kramer on "Seinfeld."

I was a little concerned
about his relevance.

Do you think he might
be a little bit dated?

Maybe, but a lot of people know him.

But Steve loved him,
so we officially decided

that Michael Richards
would be the celebrity

leaving the tip and later that week,

I had our impersonator
meet me at a rehearsal space

I rented so we could
run through the plan.

Is this something you
do full-time, or...

Well, I was... for a
while I was doing it a lot.

I was doing it a lot
and then when Michael...

When Michael Richards... When
he had his little problem,

like after The Comedy Store... Right.

My persona was... for a little while,

- corporately non gratis.
- Right.

I know Michael Richards is a great guy.

I know he's not racist.

I began by asking
Ostrow to walk me through

how he would leave a
large tip at a restaurant

as Michael Richards to
be sure his performance

was realistic.

And... whenever you're ready.

It was clear right away
that we had some work to do.

I think it might be a
little bit too... big.

Remember, people need to
believe you're Michael Richards,

- not Kramer.
- Oh.

- Got it. Okay.
- Okay. Cool.

But after hours of rehearsal,

it felt like we were getting closer

to a believable performance.

- A lot better.
- That's what I do.

But to pull off this tip under
the scrutiny of the media,

the details would matter.

It seemed like the centerpiece
of every celebrity tipping story

is a photo of the transaction receipt

with the celebrity's full
name and account number on it.

If we fake the receipt, there's a chance

a nosy journalist could
verify the transaction

and expose the fraud.

So if we really wanted
it to appear real,

We'd have to use a bank card
that was owned by someone

with the same name as our celebrity.

So I started calling
every Michael Richards

listed the local white
pages to ask for permission

to borrow their bank card
for a one-time transaction

they'd be fully reimbursed for.

- ...and for...
- _

_

_

But unfortunately, none
of them would help me out.

_

Ok... hello? Mr. Richards?

For a moment, I thought
I was all out of options,

but then it occurred to me
that if we could find someone

who was willing to temporarily
change their legal name

to Michael Richards, we'd be able

to open up a bank
account on their behalf

and get the debit card we needed
to make the transaction real.

And after posting several
ads, we finally got a response.

- What's your full name?
- Robert Paul Holmes.

So can I ask why you
wanna change your name?

I've been Paul for a long time.

Since I was a kid, uh,
I think probably five.

Um...

my family started calling
me by my middle name

and it just stuck. So you just wanted

- to be Paul Holmes?
- Yeah.

Okay, for this project,
I'm willing to pay you...

- Mm-hmm.
- To change your name

- to Michael Richards.
- Okay.

Why?

We're trying to make it
seem like a man by that name

left a big tip at a restaurant.

- Okay.
- And...

for that I'd be willing
to pay you $1,000.

Uh, what's going through
my brain right now

is the huge pain in the ass this is.

You know? Uh...

and I'm thinking if $1,000 is worth it.

Um...

I mean, is this a yard sale?

Can I counter offer with some money?

What amount do you
feel comfortable with?

14's in my head. I like it.

Uh, you can counter offer with 12.

Whatever man, you know?
Give me anything over 1,000

and I'll think that I win.

- So, like, $1,001?
- Mm-hmm.

- You'd be happy with that?
- Yeah, sure.

Okay. So, she we do $1,001?

Sure. Yes.

- I mean, is that...
- Mm-hmm.

- As long as you're happy.
- I am happy.

I just wanna make sure
you're happy with that.

Mm-hmm.

Okay, well, it was great
negotiating with you.

- Yeah, good.
- I'm an easy negotiator, man.

- Yeah, great.
- Yeah.

- Well thank you.
- Absolutely.

After settling on an
amount that we are both

happy with, I had Paul
fill out the legal paperwork

that was required to begin
the name change process.

But that's when I realize
we had a big problem.

To complete a name change in California,

you're legally obligated to
publically announce the change

in a newspaper of general circulation

for four weeks in a row.

If anyone suspected that the
Michael Richards tip was fake,

finding this name change in the paper

would be their smoking gun.

I tried calling my legal
advisor Judge Anthony Filosa

to see if there was any way around this.

You have to publish it?

You can't just change
your name secretly?

_

But unfortunately, there wasn't.

So I felt like the only way to do this

while maintaining our secrecy
was by creating a newspaper

that no one would ever read.

My hope was that by calling
it "The Diarrhea Times,"

no one would ever want to pick it up,

but to ensure our publication
seemed legitimate to the courts,

I rented us an office space
in a media building downtown

and hired a professional
ghost writer named

Austin Bowers... who once
wrote me an entire book

in less than a week,
to serve as the paper's

Editor-in-Chief.

You ever been the editor
of a newspaper before?

Nope, this'll be the first time.

The paper would obviously need content

and it seemed like
Austin had a big vision.

Um... definitely wanna
include lots of topics:

um, business, arts, politics.

Draw lots of people in and they'll come.

They'll read. They'll share.

Right? Just make sure there's a section

for name change announcements? Okay?

- Right.
- I felt a little bad for Austin

that no one would be
reading this newspaper,

but hopefully, it will be a
valuable experience for him

that would lead to future opportunities.

So after having him introduce himself

to the other tenants in the building,

to add to the paper's legitimacy...

I'm the Editor-in Chief
of "The Diarrhea Times."

- We're new in the building.
- Uhhuh?

Austin got to work and a few days later,

I was excited to learn that
our first edition was complete.

Your lead story is a movie review of

"Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist"?

Yup, it is my favorite
movie of all time.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

I feel like how they came
together was kinda beautiful.

I'd like to find something
like that one day.

- Are you single?
- I am. Yes.

What about you?

Yeah, I'm single.

- You wanna see the...
- Yeah, let's see

what else you got.

Austin walked me through
the rest of the paper

which included articles
on entertainment,

current events, and even a section

for political cartoons
that he drew himself.

That supposed to be Donald Trump?

- Yes.
- And after including the name

change announcement in the
bottom corner of page three,

next to an op-ed
about "Zelda Symphony,"

the first issue was ready to print.

So you're gonna start
working on the next issue?

- Yes.
- Okay, awesome.

So after receiving thousands
of copies back from the printer,

we circulated our inaugural
issue of "The Diarrhea Times"

to the dozens of distribution partners

we had set up around L.A. County.

Meeting the minimum requirements
to be recognized by the courts

as a legitimate publication.

Since California law dictates
the name change be published

for four weeks in a
row, over the next month,

Austin wrote three more issues

with the name change
announcement in each

that were made publically
available to L.A. residents.

So with all the legal
requirements now met,

Robert Paul Holmes was
given a date to appear

at the L.A. Superior
Courthouse where his name change

to Michael Richards was approved.

Here I am. I am officially
Michael Richards.

Which is... weird and...

again, I'm not relating
to it that much, but...

time will tell, I guess.

With his new identification,
he was now able to open

a bank account under
the name Michael Richards

and receive a Visa/debit card
that would hopefully stand up

to media scrutiny when our
impersonator left the tip.

Now, all we had to do
was fund the account

with the money we needed
for the transaction.

Because the production
has limited cash on hand,

I decided to borrow
the $10,000 for the tip

from the bank account of a
Holocaust Awareness Charity

that I started knowing
that I'd get it back

from the restaurant once
the tip was complete,

but when I called up
Michael to schedule a time

to make the deposit,
he casually brought up

that the last time he
had handled this much cash

was when he stole it from someone.

So what was the charge?

_

Okay.

_

Michael told me that
he was once involved

in an armed robbery and
even though the crime

occurred almost a decade ago,

I became very concerned
that once the money

was in his account, he'd be
tempted to take it and flee.

After all, if this guy changed his name

to Michael Richards for $1,001,

I couldn't imagine what
he would do for 10,000.

So, as you know, I'm gonna be, like,

- depositing $10,000 cash...
- Yup.

- Into your account.
- Uh-huh.

And, uh, I was just
thinking, like, after the...

the call we had where you...

where you told me you
had committed, uh...

- armed robbery...
- Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Yeah.

- I was a little nervous...
- Yeah. Yeah.

- Just about...
- Makes sense.

- And I trust you. Yeah.
- Cool.

Like, I trust you. I know
it was a long time ago.

- Yeah. Yeah.
- But I was thinking,

just if it makes me, like...

if it makes it a little bit safer, um...

would you be comfortable
just being handcuffed

to me until tomorrow when
we... I actually do the tip?

No. Wait, what?

So you want me to be
handcuffed to you for 24 hours?

I mean, just 'cause the
money will be in your account.

Right. Right. Right. Right.

Ah, I got ya. I got
ya. I got ya. I got ya.

I'm having a hard time following.

So we're gonna deposit the money

and then I'm gonna
handcuff myself to you...

- Yeah.
- So I don't leave and go take

- that shit out.
- Exactly. Yes.

- I'm following you now.
- Yeah.

We'd be handcuffed before we go in.

Just like right now.

- I mean...
- Sure. Yeah.

You know, I don't have
anything going on today.

- it.
- I mean, I definitely want

you to be comfortable with it.

Yeah, yeah. I think
it's a weird request,

but now that you
explained it a little more,

I understand where you're
coming from and I get the logic.

- Yeah.
- Totally get the logic.

- Cool.
- And... yeah, again, sure.

Thanks. Yeah, it would just
make me feel more comfortable.

- Cool, man.
- After a bit of convincing,

Michael Richards agreed
to be handcuffed to me

for a full 24 hours
until the tipping plan

was completed the following day.

It might be best if we
do it in a way where it...

we can make it look like
we're just holding hands...

so it doesn't look suspicious, you know?

- 'Cause we're going into a bank.
- Sure.

And once Michael was
locked in beside me,

it was time to head
out to make the deposit.

Entering a bank
handcuffed to another man

is a very risky maneuver,

so I was hopeful
people would just see us

as two close friends
making a deposit together.

- Thank you, man.
- Thanks.

_

Oh, hanging out. Enjoying
the... the clouds.

_

- Mm-hmm.
- _

Good. Yeah, you as well.

- Thank you.
- See ya.

Thank you. And with that,

the account was fully funded.

But since I needed to
stay handcuffed to Michael

until noon tomorrow when the
tip was scheduled to take place,

I booked us adjoining hotel
rooms for us to spend the night.

So once inside, I switched
our traditional handcuffs

for some custom ones I had made

with an extra-long chain

so we'd be able to have our own space

so I could be sure he wouldn't run off

in the middle of the
night. Have a good night.

You, too, my friend.

It was a little uncomfortable at first,

but after we each negotiated
a fair amount of slack,

I was able to go to
bed knowing that Michael

and my Holocaust money
wasn't going anywhere.

After a night of subpar sleep,

it was time for the big day.

So I unlocked myself from the cuffs

and secretly snuck out without
telling Michael I had left

I then met up with our
Michael Richards impersonator

near Joe K's Restaurant
to give him the debit card

he'd be using for the transaction.

So you feel good about all
this? I'm good. I'm ready.

Let's make it happen. Giddy up!

Okay. Um...

Just remember, you're Michael Richards,

- not Kramer.
- Yeah.

- Right? Got it?
- Yeah. Yeah.

Okay, great. All right.

Before Joe K's open that day,
my crew had set up cameras

throughout the diner so I could monitor

everything that happened
from a surveillance van

down the block.

So with the lunch rush in full swing,

it was time for Michael
Richards to arrive.

The plan was for
customers to take notice

once the tip happened in
the hopes word would spread

to the local press so I
instructed our impersonator

to keep a low profile at first

and order whatever dish he felt

the real Michael Richards would have.

Okay, you all ready, sir?

- I believe I am.
- Okie dokey.

What we having today?

Mmm... All right, I'm gonna go

- veggie melt.
- Okay, one veggie melt.

The staff was fully prepped
on what was about to happen

and we went through extensive
rehearsals to make sure

everything ran like clockwork.

I'm gonna go... we're gonna go with

the vegetaria... the veggie melt.

Okay, one veggie melt.

But the only thing that
really mattered was the tip.

So to ensure the
signature on the receipt

would be authentic, I had a light box

built into the back of
one of the restaurant's

check holders with a traceable
overlay of Michael Richard's

actual signature that I found online.

So once he was done eating,
and the restaurant ran the card,

it was time for the
pivotal moment of my plan.

Thank you very much. Glad
you enjoyed your lunch.

You have a wonderful, wonderful day

and a great weekend as well.

And my heart was racing
as our impersonator

filled in the largest
tip to ever be left

on a $14.00 sandwich.

And after having him exit quietly,

it was time for Steve's server
to execute the surprise reaction

we had rehearsed so many times.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God. $10,000 tip?

Are you kidding me?

Steve, Linda. What is it?

- God. $10,000 tip.
- That says $10,000.

- No way. What?
- A $10,000 tip.

- That's crazy.
- Who is this guy?

- $10,000?
- It was Kramer.

I think it was Kramer from "Seinfeld."

Michael Richards? Michael Richards?

- Yeah.
- The staff's performances

were flawless and our
waiter made a huge point

of ensuring that
everyone in the restaurant

knew about the generous tip.

I couldn't believe
it, man. It was Mike...

It was Kramer from "Seinfeld."

- Yeah.
- Oh, my God.

Michael Richards. The guy
Kramer from "Seinfeld."

- Oh!
- Just ate...

I was hopeful this would be enough

for word to spread to the local media.

_

And lucky for us, it was.

This next story is so
wild it might belong

in a "Seinfeld" episode,
and it apparently involves

a cast member from that hit TV show.

A waiter at Joe K's Deli in Vernon

received a $10,000 tip on Friday night

from Michael Richards who
played Kramer on "Seinfeld."

Customers took some photos there.

Claimed the waiter was so happy

they thought he was actually gonna cry.

While the story is not
verified, the customers insist

it was Cosmo Kramer himself

- who left that very generous tip.
- I love it.

I had delivered on my
promise to put Joe K's Deli

back in the spotlight
and when I returned

the next day, Steve
couldn't have been happier.

You came like an angel and, uh...

An angel? Really?

Angel, yes.

And with all the press
coverage they got,

I was sure business would
be booming for a while.

"Seinfeld" Michael
Richards leave $10,000 tip.

- Yeah.
- Perfect.

I can't make it out. What's that?

"The Diarrhea"?

I had decided to keep
"The Diarrhea Times" open

for one final issue
so that Austin's work

could be displayed proudly
in a place of honor.

But it still wasn't
easy to say good-bye.

Well, I had a lot of fun here.

Well, maybe we could, like...

get a beer sometime or something.

Or a tea.

Mm, that'd be cool.

- All right, see ya around.
- All right.

- Pleasure working with you.
- Yeah.

- All right.
- Okay, bye, Austin.

Bye.

*

Absolutely.

Smokin'.

Somebody stop me!

Hold on, sugar,

daddy's got a sweet tooth tonight!

Great.

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