Nathan For You, which began its second season last night on Comedy Central, is one of TV's funniest shows. (In fact, in these long summer TV comedy doldrums, it pretty much is TV's funniest show.) In it, comedian Nathan Fielder, who "graduated from one of Canada's top business schools with really good grades" (as per his opening narration), uses that business expertise to help struggling businesses turn things around. Except, because he's also a comedian, Fielder mostly just convinces these businesses to pull off wacky stunts that he sells them on using his trademark deadpan (and he can be very deadpan).
Here's a short clip showing off that deadpan and the show's skewed sense of humor. These two minutes may be the most delightful of your day.
All of this could come across as mean, but Fielder has an expert command of tone that ensures that the joke is always on him, not on the business owners who get swept up into his plans. The show also works because it's a pretty terrific spoof of those "save our business" reality shows that have taken over the basic cable lineup in recent years, and also because it has an appealing earnestness to it that means nothing ever gets too hard to take. Fielder, strange as he may seem, really does seem to want to help these people, and it's possible that by putting their businesses on TV, he's doing just that.
Not convinced? Here are some more videos to make the show's case.
Here, Fielder tries to help a frozen yogurt store proprietor by convincing him to sell "poo" flavored yogurt. The end is priceless.
And here, in a clip from last night's season premiere, Fielder attempts to help a realtor appeal to people who believe in ghosts by ensuring a property she sells is ghost-free.
Or you could just watch it on television! Nathan For You airs Tuesday nights on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m. Eastern.