A Chicago native, Nathan earned his undergraduate degree in television production from the University of Illinois. He then went on to enrol at the prestigious Graduate Film School at New York University, where he earned a masters degree in fine arts. While there, he met Barry Fanaro, and the two began writing scripts together. One of their earliest jobs was writing scripts for the hit ABC-TV sitcom Benson. They moved on to join the writing team for Archie Bunker's Place, a spin-off of All in the Family.
They became co-executive producers of The Golden Girls, in 1985, and the following year Fanaro and Nathan shared an Emmy award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for the episode A Little Romance. They then created the sitcom The Fanelli Boys, followed by Pacific Station, starring Robert Guillaume of Benson, but each series only lasted one season.
In 1995, Nathan and Fanaro created the UPN sitcom Platypus Man, about a cooking show host. They also wrote many of the scripts and were executive producers, but the show was short-lived. Their first movie script, Kingpin (1996), directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly, starred Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray and Randy Quaid. Made on a $25 million budget, the film just managed to break even at the box office.
Nathan and Fanara returned to television in 1998, creating the UPN series The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer, a raunchy half hour comedy set in the White House during the Civil War. Several years later, Nathan decided to branch out on his own for the first time when he made his directorial debut with the motion picture Boat Trip (2003), co-writing the screenplay with William Bigelow. About two straight men who mistakenly book an all gay cruise, the comedy stars Cuba Gooding Jr.
Unfortunately, his work earned him a Razzie nomination as Worst Director, but he went on to direct the National Lampoon sequel Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006).
National Lampoon's Bag Boy (2008)
Under New Management (2008)
Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)
Boat Trip (2003)