It was only in existence for a few days, but Comedy Central’s Nathan Fielder managed to pull off an impressive stunt when he opened what appeared to be an exact replica of an authentic Starbucks coffee shop … and then he added the word “Dumb” to everything. The shop became “Dumb Starbucks,” the coffee being offered (it was given away for free and never sold) was called “Dumb” Espresso, “Dumb” Frappuccino, etc.
Located in Los Feliz, California, the pop-up coffee shop became wildly popular instantly. Lines started forming around the block and the Twitter account grew to 13,000 followers.
For a while there were two great mysteries: How was this legal and who created it? According to a local ABC news report, the store was handing out flyers that informed the crowd that the store was a parody and they were allowed to be open because of parody law. Deadline reports that the AP was able to figure out who created the store by looking into filming permits around the area of the shop. A production company connected to the Nathan Fielder comedy show Nathan For You was said to be behind everything.
Yesterday afternoon Nathan Fielder held a press conference and officially announced he was the president of Dumb Starbucks. So who is Nathan Fielder? He’s pretty much a genius! The Hollywood Reporter says on Nathan’s show he “plays a version of himself helping struggling business owners by employing funny and unorthodox strategies. He also is famous for encouraging his 104,000 Twitter followers to pull pranks on their friends and family.”
In other words — everyone just got punked.
Starbucks was not amused. They issued a statement on Monday saying, “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.”
However the final word didn’t come from Starbucks but from the Los Angeles County Health Department. The department shut down the shop because it did not have the proper permits to operate.
A sign in the store said, “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. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!”
The short-lived Dumb Starbucks:
Image Credits: My good friend Jessica Judd, seen there on the left, who stood in line for a few minutes on Monday.
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