With the release of The Rehearsal, Fielder’s name has spread like wildfire, broadening his original cult appeal to a massive new audience, who deserve to know his storied past. Here are 13 facts about this generation’s king of thought-provoking cringe, Nathan Fielder.

He Was A Writer On Important Things With Demetri Martin

If you were watching Important Things With Demetri Martin when it was on then you remember what true happiness felt like. The Comedy Central show easily felt like the most original thing on TV at the time and had the likes of John Mulaney, Jon H Benjamin, Demetri Martin, Dan Mintz, and Nathan Fielder in the writer’s room. This is the same place he met Michael Koman, his Nathan For You co-creator.

Nathan’s Rocky Relationship With Instagram

At one point, Nathan kept 'accidentally' including images of naked old men with erections in his Instagram posts, which were taken down. He told Conan the whole story.

Summit Ice’s Surprise Success

Summit Ice

Comedy Central

Fielder told Rolling Stone about how he used to wear Taiga on episodes of Nathan For You, but found out they included a tribute to a known holocaust denier in their newsletter. So instead, Fielder created a jacket brand called Summit Ice, where knowledge about the Holocaust is of the utmost importance. Fielder said the site did half a million in sales in the first three months, even though it was mainly intended to be a funny addition to the episode. Fielder told Rolling Stone, “It was crazy because we didn’t have the infrastructure to run a business, so I think the customer service is awful. It kind of jumps around between different people to manage it. But all the profits go to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center."

He Was Childhood Friends With Seth Rogen

Nathan Fielder and Seth Rogen were on the same high school improv team that ended up going to nationals. Rogen said Fielder was still the same person back then, adding, “It was not even on the table that he would act like he was burning in lava.” Fielder said, “We won this big trophy that was bigger than any of the trophies the sports team had won. Our gym teacher wouldn’t let us put the trophy in the school trophy case because he didn’t consider theater sports to be a sport. I remember that it was this big thing”

Fielder’s Long History With Social Awkwardness

The Rehearsal nathan

HBO

Fielder talked to Vulture about his long track record of awkwardness growing up. Fielder was told by a speech therapist while in elementary school that she thought he knew less than 500 words. He said he doesn’t like to talk about himself because, “I still, to this day, feel like I don’t know a lot of words. Maybe it’s that. I don’t know.”

Nathan For You Took Forever To Produce

When Nathan For You was on the air, the show frequently worried its fans because of the long wait times in between seasons, at one point going 2 years without a new season. The reason behind this is that the show took a long time to produce, often ending up with 90 hours of footage for each 22-minute episode. 

Nathan Has A Sincere Love Of Magic

Nathan Fielder magic trick

Comedy Central

When Fielder was 13, he and his friend joined the Vancouver Magic Circle (they were the only children among a bunch of old guys). Nathan went on to get a job at a magic store and started performing at children’s birthday parties. Jon H Benjamin has said about his colleague and friend, “It was like he’d spent six years alone in his room doing magic and was now wandering around like a foreigner in this world.” 

His Big Moment Leaving The University of British Columbia

Fielder told Rolling Stone, “When I first went into university I was like, ‘Well, I need a real job, so I guess I’ll just become a dentist or something. So I studied sciences. I remember the moment I quit. I was studying plant cell biology and I said out loud, ‘I don’t care about this.’ Shortly thereafter Fielder transferred to Victoria Business School where he got very good grades.

Not Every Nathan For You Idea Made It To Air

Nathan Fielder ghost realtor

Comedy Central

Fielder told Rolling Stone about an entire storyline that filmed for Nathan For You that never made it to air. The concept was a Reiki healer who charged people extra to remove their negative energy, so he proposed she charge the entire city to remove its negative energy. 

Fielder said, “People just went crazy. We needed someone on our side, so we paid a guy twenty bucks to constantly stand up and say, ‘Hey, we gotta hear these guys out! It sounds like a good deal to me!’ It was like watching a small town turn against each other. It was unclear how much the healer believed what she was doing. It just didn’t quite work and we abandoned it.”

Comedy Central Begged For More Nathan For You

Solomon and nathan Fielder

Comedy Central

Comedy Central executive Kent Alterman said in 2017, “Every season he’s expressed to me a worry that he’s not going to be able to come up with ideas for another season to match what he’s already done. Look, if I had my druthers he’d make more than eight episodes a season now, but we’re happy to take what we get.” Fielder later told Vulture that he wanted to move on despite their interest.

His Persona On The Show Is Very Close To Reality

Nathan Fielder the rehearsal

HBO

Nathan’s strange speech patterns and instincts are not that far off from his real personality, he told the A.V Club, “The version of me on the show is much more, obviously, controlled and deliberate than the me in real life because I’m trying to bring things out of people and create situations that will be funny and interesting. But at the same time, I also try to put myself into situations that I don’t know how they’ll go—unpredictable scenarios—so I personally will get thrown off and have to figure out a way out of it. I like doing that with the show as well ... But I think the situations and the uncomfortable moments in the show also, I feel like, are designed to bring out a side of the other person that I find very charming and endearing about them.”

He Shot An Entire Sketch On His Own During A Filming Of Important Things

During the filming of a different civil war-themed sketch for an episode of Important Things With Demetri Martin, Michael Koman said of Fielder, “He broke off with a camera and had them shoot something on the side that was as funny as the thing we were doing. It’s really stupid, but it’s him speaking to his platoon about the reasons they are fighting, but he keeps saying ‘raisins’ instead. It’s just a stupid southern accent joke, but really funny.”

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