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Wed, Sep 15, 2021 12:00 AM PT


Dumb Starbucks

"Dumb Starbucks" is the fifth episode of the second season of the American television docu-reality comedy series Nathan for You, and the thirteenth overall episode of the series. Written by series co-creators Nathan Fielder and Michael Koman, as well as Dan Mintz, it first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on July 29, 2014. In the series, Fielder plays an off-kilter version of himself, who tries to use his business background and experiences to help struggling companies and people, offering them strategies that no traditional business consultant would dare. In the episode, Fielder attempts to help a struggling coffee shop by renaming it Dumb Starbucks, a parody of the American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. While producing the episode, the actual Dumb Starbucks location provoked real international media coverage. This episode was the second time Nathan for You was the subject of serious coverage from mainstream media outlets, the first being for a video produced for the season one episode "Santa/Petting Zoo". The location attracted dozens of visitors before it was allegedly shut down by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS), an event incorporated into the episode, although the LACDHS has no records of an action against Dumb Starbucks. Spectators and media commentators questioned the stunt's authenticity, viewing it variously as performance art, a statement on consumerism, a viral marketing achievement or the work of street artist Banksy. Starbucks did not pursue legal action, although it did note to the press that it was "evaluating" the possibility while reinforcing that the "Starbucks" name is a protected trademark. Upon the episode's broadcast, it was acclaimed by television critics.


Howard Schultz

Howard D. Schultz (born July 19, 1953) is an American businessman and author. He served as the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Starbucks Coffee Company from 1986 to 2000, and then again from 2008 to 2017. Schultz also owned the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team from 2001 to 2006. Schultz began working at the coffeehouse Starbucks in 1982. He later left and opened Il Giornale, a specialty coffeeshop, that merged with Starbucks during the late-1980s. Under Schultz, the company established a large network of stores which has influenced coffee culture in Seattle, the U.S., and internationally. Following large-scale distribution deals Starbucks became the largest coffee-house chain in the world. Schultz took the company public in 1992 and used a $271 million valuation to double their store count in a series of highly publicized coffee wars. He stepped down as CEO in 2000, succeeded by Orin Smith. During the 2008 financial crisis, Schultz returned as chief executive.