Nathan Fielder is the comedian behind the mysterious “Dumb Starbucks” venue that popped up in Los Angeles. Fielder appeared in person at the store to make the announcement and said that he would open a second outlet in Brooklyn, New York.
The L.A. location was already shut down by health regulators since it did not have the proper permits. The Dumb Starbucks venue was a publicity stunt. My guess that the stunt was put together for his Comedy Central show “Nathan For You.”
“We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark,” said Starbucks in a statement.
There were people that lined up for hours for a free cup of “Dumb” Starbucks. The “Dumb Starbucks” location opened at a shopping center and gave away free drinks. The “Dumb Starbucks” location had the same green awning and mermaid logo that is used for Starbucks coffee shops, but it had the word “Dumb” written in large letters above the word “Starbucks.” The wall menu inside the pop-up store had coffee that ranged at between “horrible” and “bitter.” It also sold a product called “dumb iced coffee.” The drinks were served in a white paper cup with the Starbucks logo and the word “dumb” added to it. Above is a video of Fielder talking about “Dumb Starbucks.” Fielder claims that he is protected by a U.S. parody law.
“By adding the word ‘dumb,’ we are technically ‘making fun’ of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as ‘fair use’,” said Fielder and his team in a statement. “In the eyes of the law, our ‘coffee shop’ is actually an art gallery and the ‘coffee’ you’re buying is considered art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about.”
Fielder knows how to make a gag go viral. In Season 1 of his show, he revealed how he doctored this viral video of a pig rescuing a baby goat: