Who Is 'Dumb Starbucks' Boss Nathan Fielder, And Why Isn't He Being Sued? [Video]
'Dumb Starbucks' has been closed by the health agency after "boss" Nathan Fielder reveals himself.
Nathan Fielder, the Comedy Central personality and owner of parody coffee shop Dumb Starbucks, has appeared publically to announce he was behind the pop-up Los Feliz store. The Nathan For You star appeared on Monday afternoon outside the Californian coffee shop wearing the store's distinctive green apron.
Comedian Nathan Fielder [Pictured With Friend] Is Revealed To Be Behind Dumb Starbucks.
Fielder spoke about the shop's coffee, which was being handed out for free at the time. "We changed up the beans. Usually whatever Ralphs has on sale," the comedian explained, before announcing that New York was next on the hit list. "We'll see how it goes in Brooklyn," he said. "This has been overwhelming."
During his announcement, Fielder did reveal that the first Dumb Starbucks would be open until Friday but upon his announcement, the Los Angeles health officials swooped in to shut down the parody establishment. According to Deadline, "employees" on site said they had no idea what would happen or, of course, if the original coffee chain would deploy its heavy legal artillery.
Enjoy our full menu of coffees and cold drinks pic.twitter.com/wPacrEEH9k— Dumb Starbucks (@dumbstarbucks) February 8, 2014
A spokesperson for the original Starbucks has said that the company was aware of the store but denied any affiliation. "We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humour, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark," they said to THR.
In an FAQ poster displayed in the store, Dumb Starbucks noted that the more serious matters of copyright lawsuits and the like aren't so much of a problem for them and that the law could be on their side: "Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art. So, in the eyes of the law, our 'coffee shop' is actually an art gallery and the 'coffee' you're buying is actually the art. But that's for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!"
Fielder Was Blasé About The Potential Copyright-Related Legal Action That Could Be Taken.
By giving away free drinks and food, including "Dumb Iced Coffee" and "Dumb White Chocolate Mocha," Dumb Starbucks naturally attracted a lot of media attention not to mention queues outside the door. A related Twitter account has accrued over 8,000 followers and a spotlight has been placed on the Comedy Central comedian.
Fielder is best known for the docu-series Nathan For You, in which he plays a version of himself helping struggling business owners, as well as for encouraging his own 100K strong Twitter following to pull mean pranks on their family and friends. It is not yet known whether footage from the Dumb Starbucks opening will be used in a new comedy show but film crews were spotted filming Fielder's announcement yesterday and the elaborate copycat interior design and branding of the shop is estimated to have cost $30,000.
Watch Nathan Fielder Explain The 'Dumb Starbucks' Concept:
Film permit records reportedly show that Abso Lutely Productions, the comedy production company which produces Fielder's Nathan For You, was at the scene and is speculated to be behind the stunt.
"They're smart in not pursuing a case they know they can't win," Fielder said of Starbucks, shrugging off the potential fall-out before joking. "If they keep the pressure up, they do risk losing me as a customer."
Season two of Nathan For You will air sometime this year.