Things will turn deadly serious during the new season of the quirky series, on which host Nathan Fielder offers small businesses unconventional methods to boost their profits. In an upcoming episode, he sets out to help a pet store. ”You lose a pet, you go to a pet cemetery, and then you probably need a new one, so I thought that would be the best place to advertise,” Fielder says. ”The only problem was they don’t allow advertising at a pet cemetery, but there’s no rule about what you’re allowed to put on a gravestone. So I decided I would bury a pet and then post an ad for the pet store on that pet’s gravestone.” And just how did the pet-cemetery owner react? ”Once we brought in the gravestone, I think it was a little bit different than he had envisioned. He has kind of the reaction you might expect — but also kind of not.” Here, Fielder walks us through the finer points of his prank.
Choosing the right critter took some thought. ”If I bought a dog or something, it would take a long time for it to die,” Fielder explains. ”I thought the easiest thing to do would be to have a pet fly. So I bought a fly, and flies have a very short life span, so I just waited it out until it died. [It took] less than a week. I could have killed it, but I thought that would be inhumane.”
To find a casket for Buzz (that was his name), Fielder & Co. turned to the Internet. ”There was this place online that sells caskets for wedding rings if you get divorced. So we just bought one of those and kind of redid the insides.” And yes, they really buried the 6-by-2-inch coffin.
The Lone Mourner
There was only one funeral attendee — ”A fly isn’t going to have lots of friends,” reasons Fielder — and that person was Salomon, who works in the Nathan production office (and whom Fielder set up on a blind date at Quiznos in season 1). ”He seemed to have a connection with the fly, or, you know, he talked to it through the jar a couple times,” says Fielder, ”so I thought he would be good to invite.”
”Those are Ray-Ban sunglasses, if you want to do a product tie-in.”
Fielder recounts of the L.A.-area rabbi: ”He asked what kind of pet it was, and I said, ‘It’s a fly,’ and then he laughed. I interrupted him by saying with a very straight face, ‘Don’t you think that’s a little insensitive?’ And he looked at his feet for about 10 seconds and said in a very rabbi-ly way, ‘What is important is your connection to the fly.’ It was this beautiful moment of kindness in a very silly situation.” Why a rabbi? ”I guess the logic in the show is just: I’m Jewish, so I guess that means my pet’s Jewish. I’ve never seen a Jew with a Christian pet.”