We have practiced writing this article thousands of times. It has to be perfect. Each sentence has been crafted to make you laugh just the right amount. We tested different versions of this article on people to make sure they would read to the end, and this is the final draft. Hopefully our tests will prove useful.
In honor of The sampleWith the finale of just a few hours to air, will Nathan Fielder survive the touchdown? — we recreated a mock version of our office, created a rehearsal list, and faked a sham release of a synopsis of the HBO show’s most bizarre moments. You’ll witness the real version: our list of gonzo moments from The sample on our real website, not on ThriftyBoy.com.
The sample is one of the most convoluted shows that ever existed. Fielder, known for his goofy business series Nathan for you, allows random people to practice life’s greatest moments in a controlled space. In the first episode, a man rehearses telling his trivia friend about a big lie he’s been harboring for many years. Throughout the season, over the course of a couple of months, a woman raises children – they “grow up” thanks to a flood of child actors.
Babies become men. Grandpas changed their diapers. Nathan Fielder learned how to make an acai bowl. The sample led to a whirlwind six weeks of clever humor—yet there was no shortage of discussion of the Fielder Method.
But we got through it all together. And now we’re going to play God and write our own Bible The samplethat pulls together the best of the best, the weirdest of the weird, and most of the Nathan Fielder moments of everyone into one great textbook sample ambitious.
Episode 1: “Orange Juice, No Pulp”
door city: What a way to start a show. Now, when I see a conglomerate of the same thing—everyone getting a G&T at the bar, I’m drying a handful of dishes on the counter—I have to yell “*BLANK* CITY!” like I was Nathan Fielder himself. The fact that that had also been rehearsed? Genius. – Fletcher Peters
Trivia Questions: For some reason, Nathan needs to figure out a way for Kor to win trivia, so he gets all the answers. But Kor won’t cheat. He hints at the answers by planting random factoids around the city: This building is tall, but it’s not as tall as the tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Another shootout? Thank the Chinese for the gunpowder. -FP
Fake Tricia’s interview with real Tricia: To learn more about Tricia, Kor’s girlfriend whose judgment he fears, Nathan hires an actress to study Tricia’s behavior for the confrontation test. It’s an amazing hidden camera work, with Tricia seemingly speaking non-stop to the actress, who claims to be interviewing her for a blog. Nathan tells us that this woman is a narcissist, or at least one of those annoying friends who never lets you speak, and that we should all fear her. – Allegra Frank
The smash cut showing Nathan rehearsing the reveal for Kor: After Nathan went to so much to make sure Kor didn’t lose little things that kept him from actually confronting Tricia about his missing master’s degree, he felt kind of bad. Maybe he should admit that he made up the part of the episode that was supposed to be totally real. He confesses to an off-screen kor… only for a smash cut to reveal that it wasn’t actually Kor, but an actor playing as Kor. Nathan’s rehearsal convinces him not to follow through with reality. -AF
Episode 2: “Scion”
Numbers, numbers, everywhere: Robbin sees numbers everywhere. After finding God when he crashes his Scion TC at 100 mph, Robbin can’t stop thinking that every number he sees is a sign. A license plate that says 417 MVP? 88? Those are angel numbers folks. Do you have three mattresses in your bedroom? Well, three is a strong number I think…? And Angela is dating, Robbin says, because their numerological connection is strong. Also because he’s horny. -AF
Nathan Fielder holding a baby: This one has made waves on the internet. When Angela leaves Adam to date Robbin, Nathan has no choice but to stay home with the adolescent boy. He strokes the baby. He throws it around. Let’s live in this blissful moment forever. -FP
Robbin’s apartment: Have you ever been in such an apartment? One where you just want to kick everyone out and deep clean for 10 hours? The fact that they’re out of mayo — and feel the need to comment — is so coincidentally hilarious. Thank god Nathan drove her home after Robbin enjoyed a hit from his nasty bong. -FP
Angela dances through the kitchen in front of the camera: As it turns out, Angela doesn’t take on much parenting. What she often does is dance around the kitchen – she has moves! Like legitimate movements. There are several times that we see footage from the camera installed in the kitchen where Angela bangs and locks, grooves and feels to the music that we can’t hear. She even posted some serious freestyles on her Instagram; The woman is legitimate. -AF
Episode 3: “Gold Digger”
Wrong grandpa: Three episodes later, that’s when I realized The sample was smarter than me. Hire a fake grandpa to raise the stakes for a man trying to enforce his own grandfather’s will? make him change his diaper? I had the pleasure of speaking with the actor who played the wrong grandpa in Episode 3 and our conversation was just as delightful as his presence on the show. -FP
Digitally Aging Mirrors: I can already hear my grandmother watching this episode (as if she were going to): “Can you get me these but instead they will reverse my age?” I wonder what Angela thought of these mirrors. -FP
Patrick’s casual anti-Semitism: When Patrick rehearses his conversation with his brother, he suddenly mentions that his girlfriend is a “money Jew”. “You know how the Jews are,” he says. So how can his girlfriend be a gold digger? We immediately see Canadian Jew Nathan, confused, shooting Patrick with daggers and processing what he is saying. When Nathan asks him to maybe cool it down with the Jew Talk, Patrick assures him that he and his brother would talk like that. Well, Nathan can’t argue with that; Truthfulness is part of the process. -AF
Episode 4: “The Fielder Method”
Practice creates masters: This is probably my favorite part of The sample so far. While teaching his Fielder Method students how to be actors, Nathan hosts a talent show celebration for them to showcase their new discoveries to the world. A newly trained mechanic repairs a car from scratch. But the best is someone tailing a security guard. Completely immobile, they stand there guarding the room to prove that they have learned how to behave. -FP
Acai mix-up: In the same Fielder Method training session, Nathan doesn’t understand what an acai bowl is. “Acai,” he asks. “Acai,” replies the man who works at an acai bowl store. “Açai?” Nathan answers. “Acai!” This goes on for a while, and they do it again with Nathan’s second staged Fielder method group. I’m getting an acai bowl now. -FP
“You are a disaster, my man”: All the work with the children of the Fielder Method means it’s been nine years since Nathan last saw Adam, according to the rehearsal’s expedited schedule. The actor who plays Adam is super relaxed about not having seen his father for so long, but that’s not going to work. So Nathan challenges him to actually be…terrible! Be angry! His father is a slayer! Cut to: Nathan and Angela confront Adam about his heavy drug use and crappy teenage behavior. At least Angela was there for her son. But Nathan? “You’re a disaster, my man,” snaps Adam. It’s searing and an amazing verbal bitch slap. -AF
Nathan fully inhabits Thomas’ life to understand him better: Nathan does not like that one student, Thomas, does not fully devote himself to the Fielder Method. To understand why, he becomes… Thomas and takes part in a simulation of his own class. Nathan wears a nice denim jacket and sockless sneakers, and his brown wig looks more like Justin Bieber than an LA actor. It’s amazing to see him squirm into his Thomas cosplay until he moves into a simulated version of the fake apartment he let Thomas move into to better inhabit his brand. Also, Nathan discovers that he really likes it when the HBO cameras see him as Thomas. Vanity! -AF
Episode 5: “Apocalypto”
Angela’s actress: You may not have realized that this actress was actually a trained member of the Fielder Method group. Maybe the Fielder method will work. In fact, it seems to be even better than most of the prestigious acting programs around the world – get that, Juilliard – because Fake Angela is a BEAST. Get this woman an Emmy! -FP
Miriam (and the quick turn against her): Ah, Miriam. We loved you until we didn’t anymore. Fans ate Miriam up until that final controversial statement about Israel and the reactions were priceless. -FP
dr Fart: Nathan and surrogate baby Adam are making an Oscar-winning short about Dr. Fart (Adam) who diagnoses a patient (Nathan) with cancer that can only be cured by eating feces. Nathan slowly and painfully eats a melting candy bar in front of the camera for an excruciatingly long time. Adam loves it! And hey, it turns out that Dr. Fart’s prescription got rid of Nathan’s cancer. But watching Nathan eat fake poop on Handycam footage while Angela watches is just incredibly uncomfortable. -AF
Angela loves apocalypto: Nathan tries to defuse an argument with Angela about religion by asking her what her favorite movie is. Angela loves apocalypto and all the work of Mel Gibson. It’s almost as if she didn’t just talk about disrespecting Judaism and will not allow any of Nathan’s religion into Adam’s life…???? Somehow Angela missed all that “Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite” controversy a long time ago. Probably because Google is controlled by the devil, so she never sought out Mel Gibson. -AF
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