Loved that hero pig story last year? I’ve got bad news. Nathan Fielder, the star of a new show for Comedy Central called Nathan For You, has come forward to admit that he created last September’s viral video that allegedly showed a heroic pig rescuing a goat from drowning.
“I don’t think I have any responsibility to fess up or anything,” he told Erin Strecker at Entertainment Weekly.
According to the clip Comedy Central has posted to You Tube, marketing guru Fielder created the video to publicize the Oak Glen Petting Zoo. It also not-too-coincidentally promotes his new reality-based TV program, which of course is all about helping small businesses grow by using “extreme marketing.”
I’ll give him credit. Not too many people would immediately think new program = needs publicity = pig swimming in to save a goat.
The new clip revealed that the original pig was a “coward” and not much interested in swimming, so Fielder had to hire a stand-in. The crew of the staged video set ultimately swelled to around 20 people, all of whom were sworn to secrecy. With tongue in cheek, Fielder noted that everyone had to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that anyone who blabbed too soon was subject to the death penalty.
Dave Itzkoff for The New York Times said Tuesday: “That a faked video had been so rapidly disseminated by unskeptical news outlets was both surprising and dispiritingly familiar to professional experts on the news media.”
No doubt, but I would have been more impressed if he’d said it last September. The hoax gained steam as the viral video was shared all across America, gaining even more credibility when it was played on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Nightly News. “If we were trying to pull an elaborate hoax on the news, I think we could have pushed further,” Fielder said to Itzkoff.
Here is the new clip, “Petting Zoo Hero” where he explains step-by-step how he pulled off the hoax:
Oh, and if you haven’t seen the original You Tube footage of the hoax, where have you been? It’s closing in on 7.5 million views. You can be 7.5 million and one.
In case you haven’t already guessed, Nathan For You premieres tonight. However, don’t expect the goat story. That won’t be aired until the second episode.