No one likes a bad review, but few people are so bothered by them that they recruit one of the biggest names in late night to “correct” one. That’s exactly what Nathan Fielder did Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” while promoting his latest series, “The Curse.”
Kimmel started the interview as most late night hosts do by praising Fielder and his co-star Emma Stone’s work. The ABC host even want as far as to say that the show has been described as “unsettling and brilliant.” But Fielder, clad in an uncharacteristically over-the-top outfit, had no interest in that praise. After Kimmel complimented his show, Fielder noted that “some other words” had also been used to describe the Showtime series.
When pressed to explain what he meant, Fielder pointed to New York Times chief TV critic James Poniewozik’s review of the series, which called Fielder “a more limited, stiff actor.”
“I don’t think they really get what acting is,” Fielder said after pressuring Kimmel to read the review on the air. “I mean, this is the paper of record. There’s a factual error in this.”
Fielder then took his displeasure a step further, asking Kimmel to call the New York Times to complain. When Kimmel protested that he didn’t know what to say, Fielder pulled out a script for him filled with typos and discussions about afternoon bananas.
The comedian didn’t limit his very public displeasure with the Times to Kimmel, dragging his co-star into the fray. Fielder repeatedly hounded Stone to “Show [Kimmel] the texts. Show him the text you sent me” about his acting. When Stone managed to find them, she read, “It’s so unbelievably good. You’re such a good actor.”
“Show him the date,” Fielder said before Stone confirmed the texts in question were sent on June 25. “It’s a real text then on that date.” The interview devolved into even more chaos from there.
Fielder’s history with late night has been as funny, bizarre and unpredictable as his comedy. During an episode of “Nathan for You,” Fielder meticulously crafted a series of events that would lead to the perfect story for a late night guest to share on television. That elaborate scheme involved a suit mixup, a wedding invitation gone awry and a run-in with the police.
After Fielder told this perfectly crafted story on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” he tried to tell the same story again, this time on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” But rather than attempting to tell the same story a third time on “Conan,” Fielder decided to be himself while bringing Susan Sarandon as a “backup” guest. If at any point Conan O’Brien became bored of interviewing Fielder, he had the option of ignoring Fielder and talking to the Oscar-winning actor, putting the late night host in a socially impossible situation.
Fielder and Stone are the stars and executive producers of “The Curse,” which is currently airing on Showtime. The A24 series follows a newly married couple as they try for a baby while also getting their HGTV house flipping show off the ground.
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