Nathan For You S4E4, “The Anecdote”

Apologies for missing last week’s episode; “Andy vs. Uber” was quite something in its own right, so if you want to discuss that in comments feel free.

In this episode, Nathan describes a recent anecdote he told on Jimmy Kimmel Live and how he went through the painstaking process of crafting the series of events therein to make said anecdote authentic. (I watched the interview previously and had no idea anything about it was engineered, which in hindsight seems like I really dropped the ball– it’s Nathan Fielder, after all.)

Again, Nathan For You season 4 seems a little heavier on the lengths Nathan will go for a plan and the audacity and scope thereof, perhaps a conscious decision attempting to raise the stakes for a show that has in the past relied so much on the outside forces that interact with Nathan’s plans. It works here, because the results are similarly outsized– Nathan has already gone on national television and fooled a lot of people– although many of the delights, as with the best Nathan episodes, come from the people he interacts with and their willingness (or reluctance) to go along with his scheme. Sal, the guy who agrees to swap luggage with Nathan, is a real highlight, as is his mother, who readily agrees to one of the, well, strangest requests I think a person could hear from a stranger. And I’m still not sure how they managed to get an actual sheriff for that role.

And of course, the episode has two touches on classic Nathan themes: Nathan’s own sense of awkwardness and social isolation (here highlighted by his attendance at the wedding reception and performance on the dance floor), and the way unpredictable outside forces can take the show in an unexpected direction (here most notably when Kirsten Dunst is the first guest on Kimmel and tells an anecdote remarkably similar to Nathan’s).

As always, Nathan’s social engineering makes this show absolutely like nothing else on TV, and this episode is a highlight for no other reason than that the scale and scope of his plan is large enough to make it all the more impressive when he pulls it off.


  • I don’t have a whole lot this week, although I loved Nathan’s awkward Letterman clip and the freeze-frame of his expression they used.
  • I’m surprised Nathan booking a round trip from LA to San Francisco that didn’t even give him time to leave the airport didn’t raise some red flags.
  • It was awful nice of Sal’s mother to offer dead foot skin in addition to the requested hair and nails.
  • Having recently seen Jimmy Kimmel on Curb Your Enthusiasm, I thought perhaps the twist was going to be that Kirsten Dunst ran long, and Nathan was Foisted! onto another night (or show).