I’m five years behind the times, but I’ve now seen every episode of Nathan for You, the Comedy Central gem from Canadian funnyman Nathan Fielder. Fielder is the star and the brainchild behind this summer’s HBO hit, The Rehearsal, which got me interested in exploring more of his output.
I’m glad I did, and though every episode of Nathan isn’t exactly Citizen Kane, it’s not meant to be. The final episode though? Damn if that isn’t Citizen Kane. Seriously, the series finale of Nathan for You is the most riveting 84 minutes of television I’ve ever seen. Very unlike the 31 that precede it, the 32nd and final episode is no gag reel. It’s drama on like a 19th-century Russian novel scale, punctuated with bits of humor as Fielder would demonstrate five years later on The Rehearsal. One can trace the evolution from one show to the other through the beauty of this quadruple-length episode. There is no cliche or hyperbole too inappropriate to describe its quality.
Why I missed all of this five to eight years ago when the show first aired?
One baby and zero cable subscriptions.
Let’s just say I’m in a better position now.