Comedy Central's Nathan Fielder is no stranger to uncomfortable situations--his show Nathan For You puts entrepreneurs in compromised positions on a weekly basis with his bizarre business strategies--but never before has Fielder proposed a legitimately dangerous idea.
That all changed in episode seven, when Fielder tries to address the declining demand for taxis due to the rise of ride-sharing apps like Uber. After noticing a number of news stories about pregnant women who had given birth in taxis, Fielder devises the perfect strategy to help gain exposure for Orange County, California-based Andy OC Taxi.
"The ride-sharing programs are screwing you," Fielder says to owner Andy Arshidian. "You need to get the attention that they're getting, and the way to do that is to offer free rides to pregnant women."
If Arshidian's business starts attracting pregnant women in droves, Fielder says, it's only a matter of time before the miracle of life takes place in the back of one of his cabs. (To help increase the chances of this, the offer stipulates that only women in their third trimester qualify for the promotion).
"You just do it until you get one, and then you'll get all this free press," Fielder says.
After a couple birth-less rides, he tries to speed things along by finding a pregnant woman who'll agree to give birth in one of Arshidian's taxis that's been converted into a maternity unit on wheels. Fielder hires a licensed obstetrician to assist in the process, and even receives interest from one expecting couple, until they get cold feet at the last second.
Arshidian encourages them to reconsider, but Fielder interjects. For the first time, he realizes that his business plan could put the safety of a human being in jeopardy, so he pulls the plug on the operation, much to the chagrin of Arshidian.
"Sometimes, success in business means knowing when to let go," Fielder says.
In another segment from episode seven, Fielder pitches an idea to world-famous Pink's Hotdogs in Los Angeles, which is known for always having a long line of customers. Fielder proposes a new rule whereby customers can cut the line if they have one of five excuses: a doctor's appointment, a job interview, a funeral, a child that needs to be picked up from school, or being late to work as an air traffic controller. This way, Pink's won't lose business from people who are crunched for time and have to leave the line.
The owners are hesitant at first, but Fielder gives them the hard sell.
"I'm determined to protect your brand at all costs," he says. Reluctantly, they decide to let him test out his idea for one day.
All seems to be running smoothly, until a customer named Jonathan cuts the line by claiming he's late for a doctor's appointment, but then proceeds directly to a movie theater nearby.
Remembering his promise to protect Pink's brand name--even against petty line cutters--Fielder is determined to teach this customer a lesson. He tells Jonathan he's won a free lunch on a yacht, courtesy of Pink's, and then once at sea, confronts him for lying about his doctor's appointment. As punishment, Fielder forces Jonathan to take a fake stick of gum that delivers a small electric shock.
"Whether or not Jonathan learned his lesson, I left that day knowing I had accomplished something important," Fielder says. "I upheld my promise and returned dignity to the name I vowed to protect."
Stay tuned for a recap of the season finale next week.