Hi! We're Nev and Max the hosts of MTV's Catfish: The TV Show. Ask us anything!
Catfish: The TV Show is a docu-series airing on MTV about the complex world of online dating. The show is based on the 2010 film Catfish, and it is hosted by Nev Schulman and Max Joseph.
Season 2 of Catfish: The TV Show is now casting! Interested parties should click the link to apply to the show!
EDIT: Thanks for all your great questions! It's been a blast. Don't forget to apply to the show at the link above.
Nev hair: well, I will be honest that I have reined in the toplessness a little this season...don't want to distract from the story too much. Of course I want to give the fans what they want, so you'll be sure to see some sweater vest action here and there.
So when you guys check into a hotel room together with a bunch of cameras have you ever gotten funny looks?
Nev here: HA! I never really considered how strange it must look to see a bunch of dudes with lots of camera equipment checking into a hotel...Now that we are shooting the second season most people know who we are and are excited we are staying at their hotels, so it's never really been an issue.
When you made the movie CATFISH why did the preview make it seem like some sort of horror movie?
If we had told you it was an emotional documentary about a lonely 40 year old woman and her strange romance with a skinny jewish guy...would you have watched it?
Thank you guys for what you do! I was a victim of a Catfish in my early teens. It broke my heart. You guys are doing an awesome thing! I have two questions...
- What is the worst case you guys have ever had to deal with?
- Have you guys ever felt like you guys were in danger when meeting someone?
Nev here: Hey, thanks for your questions and sorry you got "catfished". I think the answer to both questions is probably the Jasmine & Mhissy episode from last season. I mean we really had no idea about Jasmine's past with Mhissy and never considered that she would have done all this to get revenge on her. I felt so bad that I unknowingly set Jasmine up for such an embarrassing and upsetting situation. I also didn't feel totally safe in that community considering that earlier that day police cars and a helicopter had come through chasing a criminal...yikes!
I love you Nev!
I LOVE YOU TOO BITCH!
do you ever feel that theres an underlying mental health issue with those who are the "catfish" or is it done more out of spite or lonliness?
It totally varies. Some Catfish definitely have mental health issues and should be talking to a trained therapist. Other Catfish do it out of loneliness or because they are insecure about who they are irl or sometimes just because they started a fake profile and then got caught up in a lie that just snowballed into something much bigger. Every person is different and you can't generalize about all Catfish. That's what makes each story so special and complex.
Hey, Nev and Max! I love your show and documentary!
What is the saddest you guys have been about a relationship that didn't work out on your show? And on the flip side, what was the most heart-warming time that it worked out on the show?
Also, do you sometimes remain in contact with the participants of your show?
Thanks for doing this AMA, you guys are the best! :)
This is Max. The saddest we've been about a relationship not working out was probably Jarrod and Melissa. Even though Melissa had been lying about being Abby, she and Jarrod seemed really perfect for one another. We really loved both of them and always thought it should work out. The most heartwarming time was definitely Kya and Dani. It was our first happy ending on the show and it was an amazing thing to be a part of and to witness.
And yes we often remain in contact with the participants whether through email, facebook, instagram, text massage or phone calls. We check in with them from time to time. Once anyone has been on the show they are part of the catfish family. We have such an intense experience together it's hard not to stay in touch after that.
Nev here: We had one episode that we shot last season that hasn't aired. Everything you see on the show is real life and sometimes feelings are hurt and issues come up that we can't predict. It's important to us that the outcome of being on the show is positive for everybody, and if we feel there is a chance it could go badly, we try to make the right decision and avoid any risk.
I've been very close with someone for about five years now, but I've always suspected that he wasn't who he said he was. We text, tweet, IM, e-mail and he's sent me things in the mail... but no phone calls. Do you suppose that after this long it's just time to forget about him and move on? I guess I'm just tired of feeling like I'm being played.
Well it sounds like you've got an interesting Catfish story. You should go to www.mtvcatfishcasting.com and submit it so we can help you get to the bottom of it.
i've been a fan of the documentary and the show. when i realized that certain people were miked up when they appear and it's like an unveiling of their identity i was upset because it makes the show seem fake. can you please explain this? i'd be so upset if catfish is not real!
I promise you it's definitely real. Nev and I are never sure who's going to be coming out of the door. However our sound guy has to mic up the Catfish at some point during the scene. Otherwise their audio would be really bad. We never surprise the Catfish either. Unlike the movie, the catfish always knows we're coming so they are ok to have a mic put on them.
I had a question regarding Catfish the film. That was a ballsy move to drive from New York City all the way to the U.P. of Michigan for someone you hadn't even met in person or knew really existed. What was different about this "person" or what drew you in that made you take such a risk in meeting her?
Nev here: I think what I have learned about myself and continue to see in many of the individuals we help on the show is that mystery is the greatest aphrodisiac. There is something about knowing very little about someone and the fun of working to find out more that ends up attracting a lot of people to online relationships.
Seen the movie and quite a few episodes. Love the investigative process. How many success stories have you had for the show. In other words how many times was the 'other' person truly who they said they were?
Max here. If you've seen season one you'll know that there were a few stories in which the Catfish were telling the truth, or at least most of it. Matt was telling the truth although he was not showing Kim the most recent images of himself bc he didn't want her to know how big he'd gotten. Jamari was showing his actual picture to Rico although he was lying about his job and his lifestyle. In season two there are some stories where the Catfish also ends up being who they say they are but I don't want to give anything away. But even when the Catfish has been telling the truth it doesn't mean that things will necessarily work out between them and the hopeful. But that's just the nature of meeting someone irl who you've only been talking to online.
You guys are awesome, planning on bringing this show to other countries (UK) for people in relationships overseas?
Nev here: WE ARE DYING TO SHOOT A SEASON IN THE UK. Email/Tweet at MTV to bring us over there for season 3!
How do you prevent being set up by people who just want to be on TV and aren't really in an online relationship? Do you have requirements like proof of more than a year's worth of emails or something?
How do you pick which people go on the show? What is the vetting process like?
Nev here: The casting process is complicated and difficult, which is partly why I don't have anything to do with it. We have a team of producers who go through emails and submissions looking for compelling stories from people who seem genuine. Once they have provided the necessary info and have been vetted by our team, they send me an email and we star the episode. FYI we are still casting for season 2, so if you or somebody you know needs our help go here: www.mtvcatfishcasting.com
First I wanted to say that this show is like crack to me! I even got my mom hooked! My question is whose story from the first season effected you the most? (either positively or negatively) And why?
This is Max. The story that affected me the most from Season 1 was probably Mhissy and Jasmine. It caught us so off-guard and we were horrified when Mhissy walked out and confronted Jasmine like she did. It was straight out of a bad soap opera or something. It was hard to believe someone would Catfish someone else out of revenge or malice. Jasmine was really broken up about it and we were too. Then when we were alone with Mhissy she seemed so smart and together. She has so much more potential to be a better person.
Do you have a background in investigation? How did you acquire the skill set that helps you solve these mysteries?
Haha. Max here. We have no formal background in investigation. We've just been learning as we go. You start to pickup new tricks the more you do it. It's really just basic logic and common sense. Anyone could do what we do. We actually make it a point to NOT use any special databases or services that you have to pay for. We're not the FBI or CIA. We're just two idiots with Google ;)
Who do you usually feel worse for in the event of a catfishing? The person who was lied to, or the one doing the lying?
Nev here: This is a really good question and one that I am always thinking about. As a guy who has both been the 'victim' of deceit and the perpetrator of lies, I can understand and sympathize with both parties. Honestly, I think that if you spend enough time with someone and listen to what they have to say you will generally end up liking them. (for the most part)
How much is actually scripted or re-shot? Well I mean this because the editing makes it seem like you guys find the identities of people really quick, how long does it usually take?
Nev here: Nothing is scripted or re-shot. It takes a week to shoot an episode and involves lots of long days and tedious hours of research. Of course we don't have time to show all that in the 43 minutes of the episode, but if you wanna watch the raw footage i'm sure we could arrange something...
Love the show. What was the craziest episode you have had so far?
I won't speak to season 2, but the craziest episode in season one was probably Rod and Ebony. There were so many twists and turns. When we got to Ebony's house and discovered that she was not transgender and, in fact, a woman we were thrilled and thought we had a happy ending on our hands. Then Rod dropped the bomb on us that he wasn't that into Ebony and had been keeping up the relationship in part because Ebony was giving him money. We were really surprised and weren't sure what to make of Rod's change of heart. We never really got to the bottom of it.
That blonde guy with glasses with the ATV in upstate NY who thought he was dating a playboy model. Were you just pretending to be fooled on that one? Be honest.
Nev here: we were very skeptical at first, but Rose had everybody fooled, including the real Kari Ann's manager. Joe also spoke to a guy claiming to be Kari Ann's ex-husband who threatened him. She was probably the most sophisticated and creepy catfish so far.
You should break the news by going on www.mtvcatfishcasting.com and submitting your story so you can be on the show this season. We definitely haven't seen a horse-sized duck before on the show.
Hello, Nev and Max. Have you guys ever gotten an email referring to a relationship through gaming? I see a lot of relationships build through video games or pc games. Would be interesting to see those.
Nev here: Yeah, we have seen submissions coming from the gaming community. In fact we just shot an episode that originated on Habo Hotel. BTW we are still looking for submissions for season 2, so if any of you gamers out there are in an online relationship or know somebody who is, send them here: www.mtvcatfishcasting.com
Do you keep in touch with any of the people you've met while filming? Can you give us any heart warming updates on where some of the couples are now?
Yes we definitely keep in touch with people. Heartwarming stories: Matt has lost almost 200 pounds and has moved to Los Angeles to follow his dream of making movies. Jamari has gotten engaged to one of his longtime friends and will be getting married very soon.
What is the secret to a successful bromance such as yours? In fact, would you classify your friendship as a bromance?
Nev here: Oh, it's a bromance alright...in fact, Max might be my only friend now that I spend so much time on the road. The secret? We make each other laugh a lot, talk about our girlfriends, and I make him fresh juice every morning.
Thanks for all your questions! Remember, we are still casting for season 2, so if you need our help or know somebody that does go here: www.mtvcatfishcasting.com
Hey you guys! Massive fan of both the movie and the TV Series!
I was just wanted to ask, what runs through your mind when people come out with the assumption that the TV show's staged?
Nev here: Hey Lanky. I can totally understand why people have doubts about the authenticity of Reality TV shows...most of them are staged and manipulated. Ours is not. The situations are real, the people are real, and the choices they make are totally genuine.
When does season 2 start ?
Just like to say that the show is great and my girlfriend and I love to watch it. Can't wait for season two.
Thanks! Season 2 is going to blow season 1 out of the water. Just you wait.
Why are there only 3 letters in each of your names?
Nev's full name is actually Yaniv and my full name is actually H Maxwell. Nev and Max are just our nicknames. It's a good question though.
i am Ana from Argentina,i dont speak english very well,but i want to say thank you to Nev and Max,your tips help me a lot,i met a guy in facebook and ask him to take a photo holding a paper with my name on it,thats was the beginin of the end.His name is David Mark,i realy want to know the real one if you can help me.Thanks again,i love your show,never missed.Goodbye
Hey Ana! I'm glad the show helped you get to the bottom of your online relationship. If you want to be on the show please go to www.mtvcatfishcasting.com and submit your story. Maybe we can help.
Hey Nev and Max! Thanks for doing this AMA. I'm a huge fan of the show and I was just wondering how much of the footage does not make it to air? Also, was there any couples whose story you covered but did not make it on the show?
p.s-Nev,I think your absolutely adorable. :)
Hey thatGirl, it's max. A LOT of footage does not make it to air. We film non-stop for a week and all of that footage has to be condensed to 40 minutes. There are lots of amazing stories, conversations, moments, and scenes that never make it to air. It's a shame but that's the nature of the beast. Each one of these stories could be it's own movie.
Serious question: I'm a huge fan of the show, but the original film seemed semi-staged. Did you honestly just happen to have your friend film your entire 'quest for love' only to catch the woman in a lie at the end, or did you have a hunch that she was fake and want to make a film about catching her?
Nev here: Totally accident. We only thought it would turn out to be a cute short film about me and my strange relationship with a family in Michigan...never thought it would take the turn it did.
What differences have you found between real people and digital personalities? maybe, at this point, It's the same...
Digital personalities are curated and edited and can seem perfect while people in real life are far from perfect. People IRL are contradictory, complex, have ups and downs, and oftentimes don't make sense. Real people and digital people are definitely not the same.
How is it working with MTV? do you guys like it? Is TV harder to produce than movies?
This is Max. Working with MTV has been great. We have always been on the same page creatively with them and they have given us a lot of creative freedom to make the show the way we wanted to which is way more like a documentary than a reality show. Anything you produce is difficult in different ways. TV and film have their own respective challenges and complexities. But the documentary process in either one is all about asking questions and being open to discovery. Each episode could really be its own feature film. There is much more story and complexity than what makes it into a finished episode. We have to cut a lot out to get it down to a one hour show.
Is this show 100% real or is some of it scripted?
If you could change one thing about this whole catfish show/fame experience what would it be?
Nev here: Outlaw cell phones.
Heyy, do you guys ever intervene on behalf of a third party? For example, if I wanted my mum to get help from a group like you guys to make sure she wasn't being catfished because i know she would never do it for herself, could you work with her?
You would have to convince your mom to actually go through with it. We can't force anyone but you could submit her story to www.mtvcatfishcasting.com and our casting department will review it and maybe we can help!
What is the incentive for these catfish to do your show?
The incentive is that they will have an opportunity to come clean in a safe, non-judgmental environment where they can tell their story to the person they've been Catfishing without the possibility of that person simply disappearing from their lives. Anyone who is a Catfish and is thinking about coming clean should go here and submit their story. www.mtvcatfishcasting.com.
Max - what are the details on those Badass headphones you're wearing?!
Haha. I've got two pairs I like to switch between. Last season I used Sennheiser px-100s and this season I've been rocking the Monster DNA headphones.
What is the biggest challenge you have in the filming of your show?
Nev here: Remembering to be objective and to not judge people no matter what the situation may be. There are 2 sides to every story and being open minded and curious is the only way to learn.
First of all, welcome to both of you and thank you for doing this, my girlfriend and I absolutely love the show!!
Hope I can get away with a question for each of you.
Nev, had the film and tv series never taken off the way they did, what was your dream alternative to pursue in life? I know you are into photography (as am I, would love to share some things with you!) but where did you realistically see your life/career heading?
Max, given that you seem to be a passionate filmmaker, where does Catfish fall into your original intentions/themes/interests of particularly what to film?
Thanks again guys, can't wait for the new season :)
Glad you and your girl love the show! This is max so I will answer your question to me. Catfish in a lot of ways is the most fun side-project I could ever have. As soon as we're not shooting I am making films and commercials. But I have to say one of the best parts about doing Catfish is getting out of my comfort zone in LA and meeting so many interesting people and traveling across America. I have learned so much about people and about US culture from doing this show and I know that it will forever influence anything I make. You can't be a good filmmaker if you're not constantly learning new things about people and about the world you live in and Catfish really gives me the opportunity to do that.
How much chest hair can we expect in this season?
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