Nathan For You (2013) s04e04 Episode Script

The Anecdote

1 - Please welcome Nathan Fielder.
[cheers and applause] - If you watch late-night TV, you might have seen my recent guest spot on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" As you can see, I'm very relaxed, and getting big laughs from the audience.
[applause] Firstly-- But what you could never guess is that this seemingly effortless appearance was one of the most calculated events in human history.
Every year, when the new season of "Nathan For You" is about to premiere, Comedy Central will schedule promotional appearances for me on late-night talk shows.
- Please welcome Nathan Fielder! - Nathan Fielder! - Nathan Fielder.
- Nathan Fielder, everybody.
[jazz fanfare] - But as someone who's not naturally charismatic, these appearances have often gone awkwardly for me, as I've struggled to find interesting things to say about myself.
- What part of Canada are you from? - Vancouver.
- Oh.
- Have you been? - Yes.
Yes, I like it there.
- It's, uh, really nice.
You see, celebrities normally use talk shows to give fans a window into their exciting lives.
- Me and the president are like this.
We're best friends.
- But unlike Kevin Hart, I haven't met the president.
My life just isn't that interesting.
When I'm not at work, I mostly just spend time with my cats.
You guys trying to take a shower? Or try to perfect a cooking skill, like boiling eggs.
So when I was recently emailed a date to appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to promote the new season, I was filled with dread.
Any potential story I tried to tell just felt boring.
When you take them out of the boiling water, you need to put them into ice water immediately, or else the yolks don't, you know-- they'll--they'll keep cooking, you know? And they'll get too hard.
- Mm-hmm.
- With the pressure on me to gain viewers for the new season, I just couldn't afford to bomb on a talk show again.
- You want to come back on another night, and we'll try this again? - Sorry.
[audience laughs] So I began researching talk show appearances and discovered that these seemingly random stories all followed a very similar formula.
They were all based around a crazy experience that the celebrity had, and the best ones involved either a funny picture, a twist ending - And my friend walks by, and I grabbed her, and I was like, "This is Elizabeth Taylor!" And she was like, "No, it's not.
" - Or what seemed to be the gold standard of talk show stories: getting pulled over by a cop at the worst possible time.
- The police pulled me over.
- And this, uh, policeman comes up, pulls me over-- - And I see the sirens behind me, and I get pulled over, - And I got pulled over.
- I get pulled over.
- The cops pulled us over.
- And I got pulled over.
- And it was really embarrassing.
The cop pulled me over.
- I got pulled over.
- The cops pulled me over.
- And we got pulled over.
- The lights are flashing, and I'm like, "Oh, who are they pulling over?' And I realize it's me.
- And I said, "I'm so sorry, police--Mr.
Policeman.
" - I do know that I was pulled over twice in one week.
- How do you get pulled over 4 times and not get a ticket? - This was really funny, actually.
They were so--I was-- I got pulled over, - So after watching nearly six hours of celebrity interviews and taking extensive notes, I had compiled enough ideas to construct what could very well be the ultimate talk show anecdote.
If I was flying to an out-of-town wedding and I accidentally grabbed the wrong suitcase at the airport, I could tell a funny tale about being forced to wear the oversized suit of a stranger, and then, if I discovered a small baggie containing a chalky substance in the pocket, moments before a cop pulled me over for speeding, it would add a heavy dose of suspense, and finally, if the owner of the suit told me that the substance in the baggie was actually his mother's ashes, it would be a twist ending so unexpected that the audience on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" would shower me with laughter and applause unlike anything I'd experienced before.
- So I put on the suit, and I look like a-- you know, a Dick Tracy villain or something.
- [chuckles] Dick Tracy.
- You know? Yeah.
When I told the story to my employee Salomon, it killed, but there was still one problem: it was entirely made-up, and to lie on a talk show would be a massive risk.
Brian Williams once did it.
- Uh, two of our four helicopters were hit by ground fire, including the one I was in.
- No kidding.
- Uh, RPG and AK-47.
- And it destroyed his career.
- I want to apologize.
I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire.
I made a mistake.
- I didn't want to become the next Brian Williams.
So that meant, to ensure my story wasn't a lie, I'd have to orchestrate an elaborate series of events to make every single plot point happen to me for real.
My story begins with me attending an out-of-town wedding, so the first thing I'd have to do is get invited to one.
To do this, I decided to approach the owner of a popular wedding venue in Agoura Hills, California, pretending to be planning a wedding of my own.
Thanks so much.
- You here by yourself? - Yeah.
My wife couldn't-- - Okay.
My fiancée couldn't be here.
She, uh, she has Klein's, so she has to stay in bed.
- Okay.
Okay, cool.
Well, you want to see the ranch? - Uh, yeah, yeah, I'd love to.
- All right.
Come on, let me show you.
- Looks beautiful.
- Thank you.
- But my real goal was to get the names and contact information of a couple whose nuptials were quickly approaching.
I'd love to talk to one of these couples that's, uh, going to be getting married here, to, you know Find out how they're planning it.
- Um, I could put you in touch with the planners.
You know? - Oh, okay.
You don't trust me? - [laughs] I trust you.
- So why not just give me their number? - Um, 'cause I don't want to just give you a client's phone number.
I'd have to clear that with them first, you know? - But the venue manager was stonewalling me.
So when she left to go to the bathroom, I looked through her computer and got the information I needed.
[phone camera snaps] Now that I had the names and phone numbers of some soon-to-be-married couples, we contacted one of them as a wedding reality show, and they agreed to meet with me, thinking I was a fiancé who needed planning advice.
A lot of the wedding planning I'm doing, because she has to sleep most of the day, as Klein's does to you, but, uh you know, I'm taking it on myself, and I'm really excited to-- to do it.
- It's nice.
It's a good feeling.
- Yeah.
The couple was gracious enough to give me some pointers.
- Pinterest.
- Pinterest? - Yes.
You know, especially if she's resting and she can just mess with the computer, it's so easy.
- But what they didn't know was that my only purpose for being there was to score a real invite to their wedding.
You know, I'd love to see the-- the venue when there's an actual wedding going on.
I don't know if could take a peek, or - Like, the setup and everything of it? - Yeah, before, and maybe a little bit during, or - [laughs] - [laughs] I mean - Of ours? - Uh, yeah.
I mean, just to-- look, I really want to be thorough with my research.
- I don't know.
A lot going on on that day, so we're not sure if we want someone coming around and having to worry about that.
- Oh, you wouldn't have to worry about me.
I'd just take a peek and-- - It's a-- it's just a really-- it's a really busy day.
There's going to be a lot going on, and it starts at, like, 9:00 a.
m.
Or at least I have to be there at, like, 9:00.
Something like that.
- You know, I wouldn't eat-- wouldn't have to eat or drink or--you know, I wouldn't be-- - Just to check out.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, we get that.
Mm-hmm.
- Yeah.
Just, you know, for my fiancée to--who can't be there.
She'll be resting, so - Yeah, maybe.
I mean, it would be a cool-- I mean, it'd be cool for you to see everything.
- Yeah.
All right.
So I'm invited, I guess, or - Um - Just invited to look.
- Yeah.
Yeah.
You're invited to come and see, sure.
- That's great.
Okay.
- Yeah.
- It was now an undeniable fact that I was invited to a real wedding, and with those words, my made-up story for Kimmel was starting to become true.
But making my next plot point happen would take some work.
Arranging a luggage mix-up with a man who packed an oversized suit that has his real mother's ashes stored in the pocket.
So I reached out to the Craigslist community seeing if anyone who had their mother's ashes and a large suit would be willing to help me out, and within days, I had a few responses.
- I actually have two different bags.
One are my father's ashes, and one are my mother's ashes.
- Okay.
But unfortunately, when it came time to try on their suits, none of them were big enough to provide the comedic effect I needed for my story.
Yeah, this is basically my size.
There was one guy named Sal whose suit was really big and good.
This is good.
But unfortunately, he misunderstood the ad, and believed the ashes weren't supposed to be real.
The post said, you know, I wanted your real mother's ashes.
- Yeah.
I thought it was going to be provided for me.
Like a prop or something.
- Oh, okay.
- I didn't think they'd need an actual mother's ashes.
- I--is your mom dead? - No.
- Okay.
It was unfortunate that Sal's mom was still alive, because the suit was perfect, but after he left, I realized there might still be a way of getting those ashes I needed.
So I asked him to meet me at his mom's house the next day to tell him my creative work-around.
Technically, ashes can be any part of her, as long as it's burned.
So I figure, if there's stuff from her body that she doesn't use, like, you know, nails, or an old tooth, or some hair, maybe, if we use that, we should be fine.
Uh, what do you think? - How much hair? - It just has to be enough to fill a tiny baggie.
Just a--just a little bit.
- Like a trim from the bottom, or - Yeah.
Just a little bit.
- Okay, I'll talk to her.
See what she-- The nails and the hairs, I'm pretty sure.
- Okay.
- I'll see what she says.
- And with that, we headed in to meet Mommy.
Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, too.
- So, um, an opportunity came up for me, and, pretty much, uh, he's going to be in a talk show, and he wants to tell a story.
So in order for it to be real, we need a little bit of your hair and some nail clippings, and then we're going to burn them up, and turn them into ashes.
- Hair from--my hair? - Your hair, yeah.
- There was a miscommunication.
I thought you were dead, so I thought he had your ashes.
Um - We just need a little bit.
- My hair is okay.
My hair - You're not gonna go bald.
[laughter] - I don't know-- Yes, it's a good opportunity for you, it's okay.
- With Sal's mom on board, we started collecting some parts of her body that we'd then convert into ashes.
Along with the hair trimmings, she also gave us her fingernails, some dead skin from her feet, and contributed some ear wax that we added to the bag.
We also got permission to snake her drain for any body parts that might have fallen in during a shower.
Once I felt I had enough of Sal's mom, we rushed her parts to a local crematory, where the remains were put in a big oven and incinerated at temperatures exceeding 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
So with Sal's real mother's ashes now in hand, and the wedding just days away, I could now prepare for the luggage mix-up that would be the catalyst of my story.
So I transferred the ashes to a small Ziploc baggie and had Sal put them in the inside breast pocket of his suit jacket, which he was instructed to pack in one of two identical suitcases I'd purchased earlier that week.
Thanks, Sal.
- You're welcome.
It turned out the wedding venue in Agoura Hills was only a 45-minute drive from my home in Los Angeles, but for a real luggage mix-up to happen, I would need to fly, so I booked a round-trip ticket to San Francisco that would immediately return to Los Angeles that same morning.
And when the big day finally came, it was time to bring my story to life.
- The day of the wedding had arrived.
So I headed to LAX, where I had pre-arranged for Sal to be booked on the same flight as me.
From this moment forward, everything would need to happen like clockwork, so when Sal and I landed in San Francisco, we both got our bags and then immediately checked them back in for our return flight to LA.
Sal and I didn't exchange a single word throughout the entire round trip, which is typical for two strangers.
When the flight landed in Los Angeles, we both went to the luggage carousel where Sal was told to take my bag.
So when his luggage came around, it would be a true fact that I grabbed someone else's suitcase at the airport.
And after getting my rental car and making the hour-long drive to my hotel in Agoura Hills, it was time for the moment in my story where I would open my luggage to discover none of my clothes were inside.
[mock-dramatic music] As instructed, Sal had filled out his contact info on the luggage tag, allowing me to call the suitcase owner and explain that I had nothing to wear to the wedding.
- Oh, yeah, that would-- that would be great.
With just 30 minutes until the wedding, I was now in the oversized suit that would serve as the funny visual for my story.
And right on cue, I discovered the suspicious baggie in the pocket, setting the scene for the essential moment of every great talk show anecdote: getting pulled over by a cop at the worst possible time.
I didn't want to break the law, so I had my production team close down a small stretch of road en route to the wedding, where a real police officer I had hired was waiting and ready to pull me over the second I surpassed the speed limit.
Ready? - Ready.
[upbeat orchestral music] [police siren] - Once I crossed 35, I heard the sirens and pulled over to the side of the road, making it truthful that a cop pulled me over on the way to the wedding.
So all that was left to do was engage with the officer in a dialogue I had prepared in advance.
Hey, um can you just read these lines? Yours are highlighted.
Thanks.
- License and registration, please.
- Here you go, officer.
My hope was that this strategically crafted interaction would maximize the suspense of my story while allowing me to showcase my quick wit.
Thank God you're not the, uh, fashion police, or I'd be in big trouble.
[orchestral music] - What's that? - What? - That bag on the seat.
- Oh, I don't know.
It's not mine.
- Hand it to me.
- The officer was hitting all his lines perfectly.
- So you're telling me you got the wrong luggage and this was inside the suit jacket and it's not even your suit? - I can call the guy.
I have--I have his number.
And it was soon time for the climax of my story.
- All right, so I'm going to start off with-- Are you the owner of this suit-- Are you the owner of this suit? Of the suit that this gentleman's wearing? Okay.
What's in the baggie? Okay, thank you.
- And once the officer handed back the phone, all that was left was the big twist ending.
What did he say was in the baggie? - It's his mother's ashes.
- Oh, my.
- That's it.
That's me-- - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Okay.
Thank you.
That was great.
You did great.
Thanks.
I did it, and with my run-in with the law complete, I made it to the wedding just in time for the ceremony.
I tried to keep a low profile, because even though I was technically invited, I doubted they'd be thrilled to see me.
The ceremony was beautiful, and I especially liked the part where they kissed each other, because it was so romantic.
With everything I needed for my story complete, I could've left right then.
But I ended up staying for hours, deep into the night, and as my feet glided across the dance floor that had once only existed in my mind, I realized the exciting life I had envied in others had actually become my own.
[dance music] - It was the night of my appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" And as I waited for my turn on the couch, I was feeling confident.
I'd invested over $350,000 of my show's budget into the anecdote I'd be telling tonight, and that meant this had to work.
But shortly after the show began, something happened that I never saw coming.
- Please say hello to Kirsten Dunst.
- The first guest of the night was Hollywood starlet Kirsten Dunst, and as she began telling her story, I couldn't believe my ears.
It started with talk of an upcoming wedding.
- You got engaged since the last time I saw you.
- I did, last December.
Yeah.
- And then quickly transitioned into a story about a luggage mix-up at an airport.
- She worked for Lufthansa.
If someone was rude to her in the morning-- She did it twice, I think.
- What'd she do? - She would send their bag to a different country.
[laughter] - I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and just when I thought it couldn't get worse - You know, you have movie pot, which is basically fake.
You know, it's like, whatever they roll.
Tobacco - Oregano or whatever.
- Oregano, yeah.
- She ended with a twist about confusing a baggie of fake drugs for real drugs.
- He came back, he's like, "Oh, you smoked a full blunt on one of the takes.
" I've never been that stoned in my entire life.
- I considered just leaving right then.
How could I possibly follow a story that was so similar to mine? But before I knew it, the sound guy intercepted me, and all of a sudden, I was being ushered to the stage.
I had no clue what would happen once I was out there, but at this point there was no turning back.
- Season four of "Nathan For You" premieres September 28th on Comedy Central.
Please welcome Nathan Fielder! [cheers and applause] [electronic rock music] [laughs] You got a lot of energy, Nathan.
You remind me of a young George Lopez.
Do you get that regularly? - I love rock and roll.
[laughter] Couldn't help but jam a little bit with you guys.
I was still in a state of shock as I stumbled through the initial banter and began my story.
So, okay, I was going to a wedding like, a out-of-town wedding.
- Okay.
- You've been to weddings before.
- I was at one once, yeah.
- Yeah.
And I could sense right away, the audience wasn't in the mood for another wedding tale.
But I knew I did have one thing that Kirsten Dunst didn't: a funny visual.
And I put on the suit, but the only thing is, it's, uh it's, like, way too big for me.
- Okay.
- Actually, I sent your producers the photo.
- Oh, you have a photo? Oh, how 'bout that? - That's me in the hotel room.
I took that.
- Uh-huh.
Oh, yeah, that is [laughter] That is too big.
That is just way too big.
- I look like a Dick Tracy villain or something.
- Yeah.
- The explosion of laughter I got gave me new confidence, and as I began describing my drug mix-up, I was reminded that maybe the similarities in our stories didn't matter.
In the suit, there's like, a small Ziploc baggie with, like, a powdery substance in it.
- Mm-hmm.
- Every great talk show anecdote follows the same formula.
It didn't matter how many times the audience had heard it.
They wanted to hear it again.
And I see the sirens, and, uh, a cop pulls me over.
"Thank God, you're not the fashion police, or I'd be in big trouble right now.
" I had left the baggie on the seat - Oh.
- Beside me.
Plot point after plot point, I was killing.
"Oh, I don't know, it's not mine.
" [laughter] But as my story crossed the nine-minute mark, I could tell they were expecting a big payoff, and if I could stick the landing, this could go down as the best talk show anecdote of all time.
And I give the phone to the cop.
And the cop takes it and hesitates and puts it to his ear, and he's like, "What's in the baggie?" And then there's this long silence while the cop is just listening, and then he looks at the baggie again and then hands back the baggie to me with my phone and says, "Okay.
You're good.
" [laughter] And so I say to him, I'm like, "What did he say" [laughter] "Was in the baggie?" And he said, "It's his mother's ashes.
" [audience exclaims] - So, you must've been - I mean [triumphant music] [applause] - Firstly, I've never been so relieved to find out I was holding human remains.
- [laughs] - That night, I was incredible, and I could rest easy, knowing that it all really happened.
- Nathan Fielder, everybody! We'll be right back.
- Ab-so-lutely.
[swift exhalation]