Alex Fetanat’s Latest Post: Dumb Starbucks?

I’ve seen a lot of things satirizing the popular coffee chain Starbucks.  When they first took the world by storm in the late 1990s, tv shows and movies were quick to make fun of them; in the second Austin Powers film, for instance, Starbucks is the legal front for the nefarious criminal enterprises of the film’s main antagonist, Dr. Evil.  South Park, ever one to satirize pop culture,  has taken more than one jab at the coffee chain over the years.  Countless comedians from around the world haven’t shied away from lampooning Starbucks either; comedian Lewis Black, among others, has a well-known joke where he talks about the establishment.

But the most recent parody of Starbucks occurred in my home of Los Angeles.  A couple of weeks ago, some enterprising humorists opened up a mysterious new coffee shop, called “Dumb Dumb StarbucksStarbucks”.  This Dumb Starbucks looks almost the exact same as any regular Starbucks, except that the word “dumb” is prefixed to the title and all of the menu items and products available there.  Staffed by two baristas, the satirical coffee shop offered free coffee in their opening days, and lines extended through the little shopping center where Dumb Starbucks is located.

According to the baristas, it’s perfectly legal for them to use the Starbucks logo for marketing purposes, since what they’re doing is clear parody.  Nonetheless, Starbucks quickly took notice, and the establishment was shut down for operating without a license.  The man behind the whole prank was comedian Nathan Fielder, who hosts Comedy Central show “Nathan For You”.  According to Nathan Fielding, Dumb Starbucks is an “art gallery”, and art galleries don’t need health permits to operate.  Therefore, while Dumb Starbucks did indeed shut down, it had every legal right to stay open.  Starbucks even claimed that they appreciated the humor of the whole situation.

via Alex Fetanat


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