Earlier this week the Internet was set ablaze with word of a new coffee shop in L.A. called Dumb Starbucks, which was just like a regular Starbucks except with the word “Dumb” in the name, and also they gave everything away for free. The dumb coffee shop was shut down by health inspectors for lacking a valid permit, but not before comedian Nathan Fielder came forward as the brains behind the operation. Now, Comedy Central is capitalizing on the newfound attention to Fielder by releasing season one of his show, Nathan for You, online for free.
The show can be streamed through Comedy Central’s website, and it is totally worth the price of admission. Nathan for You was one of the funniest shows to debut last year, following a format in which Fielder offers businesses advice for gaining customers. The Dumb Starbucks prank falls right in line with some of the pranks he pulled on his show, such as convincing a frozen yogurt shop to offer poo-flavored yogurt or staging a viral video to drum up business for a petting zoo.
Despite the L.A. location being shut down and the possibility of legal action by the actual Starbucks corporation, Fielder has stated that he would be opening another location in Brooklyn some time in the near future. He had claimed that he was legally able to use the Dumb Starbucks name because it was covered under fair use law as parody. Whether or not that is actually true is up for debate, as some have pointed out that such a fair use protection applies to copyright law, but not necessarily to trademark law. At this point, it all comes down to whether or not Starbucks wants to draw more attention to the stunt and make themselves look like a big bully with no sense of humor.
The Dumb Starbucks prank will be included in an episode of the next season of Nathan for You, which is scheduled to debut sometime this summer. Below is a video from Fielder explaining his stunt, followed by a clip from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! in which he talked about the very real legal threat he might be facing.