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Pranks for the Memories

Nathan Fielder’s 5 Best Pranks

Nathan Fielder brings his warped humor to Comedy Bang! Bang! Friday starting at 11P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Abso Lutely Productions

With his series Nathan For You and the viral stunts he’s sprung on unsuspecting people, Nathan Fielder has become the new face of so awkward-they’re-funny pranks. With Nathan set to stop by the Comedy Bang! Bang! couch this week, we thought we’d highlight five of the most brilliant pranks this master of deadpan has ever pulled. He must have gotten really good grades at one of Canada’s top business schools to pull some of these off.

5. Tweet Anarchy

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Abso Lutely Productions

Fielder’s pranks aren’t confined to his show. Having made a name for himself on Comedy Central, he decided a couple of years ago to see what kind of influence he really had on his audience. That’s how he ended up sending out a tweet stating, “Experiment: text your parents ‘got 2 grams for $40’ then right after ‘Sorry ignore that txt. Not for you’ Then tweet pic of their response,” and let the good times roll. And roll they did…

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Nathan For you text

Nathan For you text

Nathan For you text


4. Price Matching

Fielder is a master at coming up with ridiculously ingenious plans, and then convincing small business owners to go along with them. Here, he decides to use Best Buy’s price matching policy against them by offering high-end televisions for $1, then using the price match to gobble up inventory at a bargain basement price. If the plan worked, his mom-and-pop electronics store client could sell the TVs for full value and make a huge profit. The only problem? Fielder needed to keep customers from buying up the $1 TVs for the one day they were available. How did he accomplish this, you may ask? By building a secret room, with only a tiny door, and then putting a live alligator inside of it, to protect the TVs at all cost.


3. Dumb Starbucks

In what is easily his post famous prank, Fielder built an exact replica of a Starbucks franchise, but put the word “dumb” in front of everything, thus avoiding any copyright infringement since his “mock-bucks” could be considered a parody. Following the weaving tapestry of confused lawyers, unsatisfied customers and employees who he almost certainly was sexually harassing, this is Fielder at his very best.


2. Daddy’s Watching

As Fielder explains in this prank, women don’t sign up for dating sites because they are pretty sure they are going to get murdered. That’s where his dating site, “Daddy’s Watching,” comes in. The concept is simple: Hire a creepy guy to stalk their date, and make sure the women are always taken care of. If they ever feel threatened, they simply have to yell out, “Daddy, Daddy come over now, save my life, you made a vow.” So, nothing could ever go wrong there.


1. Gas Station Rebate

When a local gas station hit hard times, Fielder decided to use a rebate to lure customers in. But, considering the station didn’t have a dime to spare, he knew he had to make claiming the rebate a little more challenging. The solution? The customers would have to drop it off in person at the top of a mountain. What he didn’t expect was that some customers would actually be willing to do this. That’s how an overnight scavenger hunt, full of riddles and cathartic campfire conversations, came about. By turning one of his most ridiculous ideas into a heartwarming look at the lengths lonely people will go to connect, this became one of his very best pranks.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.