A parody Starbucks coffee shop in Los Feliz, Calif., called Dumb Starbucks, was all the buzz this past week since its opening last Friday as people all over speculated for four consecutive days about just exactly what the operation was, but Dumb Starbucks has now officially been shut down by the Health Department. Recently, Comedy Central comedian, Nathan Fielder, revealed that he was behind Dumb Starbucks, which was a prank.
According to reports, many fans of Fielder’s Comedy Central show, Nathan For You, had felt that Fielder might have been behind the prank of what they believed might have been an illegal coffee shop when news of the Dumb Starbucks spread across the country over the weekend. It seemed that no one knew for sure, though, and the Dumb Starbucks was extremely popular, receiving lots of curious visitors. The store itself was set up exactly like a regular Starbucks – but with the word “dumb,” attached to everything, prefacing the word “Starbucks,” which was meant to make fun of the real Starbucks company. Products such as “Dumb lattes,” and “Dumb tall frappes,” were simply given away – not even sold – at the store. Patrons were grabbing everything they could when entering visiting, because Dumb Starbucks merchandise is going for a lot of money now on online shops such as eBay.com and Amazon.com. The Dumb Starbucks FAQ joked what they did was legal “under parody law,” but despite this, the real Starbucks is still deciding if they should take any action now that Dumb Starbucks has been shut down by the Health Department, since their name is trademarked by law and can not legally be used by anyone else.
As it turned out, the prank was actually for Fielder’s show, Nathan For You, which is known by fans for its pranks, specifically targeting small businesses, and targeting a huge business like Starbucks was slightly ambitious and out of the ordinary. In an interview with journalists late Monday – before admitting he had used opening the parody store as a way to get footage for his new reality show – Fielder also admitted that Comedy Central was totally unaware of what he was doing with his Dumb Starbucks prank; that they were unaware that he was letting the media cover and speculate about what the operation was, for so long, or even that he was opening it in the first place.
In the Monday press interview, Fielder beat around the bush for a while, trying to carry on the prank as long as possible, and briefly pretended to be a small business owner trying to keep his shop open. He also claimed to journalists, before he admitted the idea was a farce, that he was going to open another location in Brooklyn, and wanted to keep the California shop “open forever.”
The health department arrived as Fielder was speaking with the press and did not find the comedian’s idea too funny, however. They informed him that his shop would have to stop serving customers immediately. For operating without a permit, the Dumb Starbucks was subsequently shut down by the Health Department.
By Laura Clark