Natalie Palamides is an incredible performer. I spoke to her for my podcast in 2019. You have to see her live to truly appreciate that. But Netflix tried to demonstrate her abilities in this filmed show of “Nate” anyhow. Could’ve done without the intro from Amy Poehler, even if it was Poehler’s imprimatur that sold her to Netflix.
What Palamides has done here, and does throughout her work, helps revolutionize and reintroduce clowning to a new generation of viewers. And her characterization of Nate, at once a symbol of toxic masculinity, and yet also a man who always asks for consent from the audience before pushing the proverbial envelope with each unsuspecting volunteer in the crowd, puts the entire #MeToo movement into a new perspective. Particularly when, in a climactic moment, Palamides plays both characters as victims and perpetrators alike.