The curtain has been lifted, but the mystery remains—and the coffee is no longer free.
After the Internet pulled a collective WTF this weekend over L.A.’s brand-new “Dumb Starbucks” outlet, comedian Nathan Fielder officially claimed responsibility for the stunt yesterday just in time for the Los Angeles health department to go all “Dealbreaker” on a pop-up more viral than the West 4th Street McDonald’s.
Seems Fielder created the fake outlet for a skit set to appear on the second season of his Comedy Central show Nathan for You, which apparently features the Canadian helping “struggling small businesses to make it in a competitive market” by giving them the worst possible advice.
He claims it’s all real in the straight-laced video after the jump.
The company’s official response, via The Hollywood Reporter, to Fielder’s announcement:
“We are aware of the store — it is not affiliated with Starbucks. We are evaluating next steps and, while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark.”
The “shop” already addressed this question in its in-store FAQ doc:
“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.”
Is that true? Does it matter? While we will avoid the planned “Dumb Starbucks” in Brooklyn like the plague because we really don’t like waiting in lines, the stunt worked in stoking our curiosity: how will Fielder make this funny?
Most importantly: Tim Heidecker may be involved, which would explain everything.