Thank you all so much for your questions and support. Please tune in tonight at 10/9c for an all new episode of Catfish that tackles the merky waters of super fans and celebrities and what happens when things to too far.

Ok, bye.

Hi reddit, I am Nev Schulman, creator and host of Catfish on MTV and subject of the documentary Catfish.

I never thought the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me would be the best thing that ever happened to me, but here I am.

Tonight's Catfish episode airing at 10/9 central is all about a celebrity and a super fan, and how sometimes fans take things too far online. It brings up how fans should be interacting with celebrities, and the crazy expectations and this new world of fan/celebrity engagement. Victoria from reddit is helping me get started.

I'm excited for your questions so let's "chat-fish."

Comments: 655 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

0Ally0175 karma

Hello, old friend. I had the privilege of sharing my elementary and junior high school years with you. I remember your 11th birthday at Cony Island when you puked everywhere. We danced together in Switzerland when we were only twelve years old. Seeing you everywhere now is completely surreal. I’m wondering, what is it like to be famous?

NevSchulman137 karma

Hey! Is this Ally R? If so...HI! either way, being famous is strange. I still can't believe i'm on tv and totally don't understand why people want to take pictures with me. I love the work I do, but don't think I wanna be any more famous than I guess I am now.

0Ally0136 karma

I was Ally R. Now I'm Ally F. :) Ironically my husband and I met through the internet.

I'm so proud of you and your brother!

NevSchulman126 karma

Of course. I remember when you got married. Thanks for the love and say hi to your mom for me!

omfgitskelly169 karma

Why are you so sassy this season??? I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

NevSchulman160 karma

Well Kelly, I guess I just couldn't pretend any more that I was a totally calm and collected guy. I have a dark side too and felt like showing some more emotion would be an honest and real way to let the people on the show know that what they are doing really has a meaningful affect on people. Also, I think it helps get through to the catfish when other traditional tactics don't apply. ILY

scarbnianlgc138 karma

Watching you chuck that clown's iphone into the water was perhaps one the best moments in the 3 series of Catfish. What exactly made you snap (you're almost always a respectful person) and would you do it again if the same situation presented itself?

NevSchulman154 karma

I don't think that I would do something like that again. That kid just really got to me, and particularly the disrespect that he showed all of us by choosing to engage with his phone and rudely ignore what we were saying to him. Smartphone culture and the amount of time in which everybody now looks down at their phones instead of engaging with other human beings is something that I find very upsetting, and I just felt like doing something about it.

doggydude73 karma


NevSchulman82 karma

I was going to say he's actually sitting under my desk, but no, Max is in pre-production to direct a sick movie that he also wrote about an up-and-coming DJ in the world of EDM music.

courtneyt12362 karma

Hello Nev, have you ever considered catfishing Max?

NevSchulman244 karma

I don't need to...he's already in love with me.

ItTakesAnOcean50 karma

Hi Nev. I’ve been a fan since I first saw you promoting the movie on Ellen a while back. A few questions for you:

  1. You’re overall niceness and charisma is definitely a main reason for Catfish’s success. You’re always so amicable and nice to everyone on the show. Has there ever been a time where you actually didn’t like the person you were helping? Anytime you didn’t really care about what was going on?

  2. Besides the recent Antwane & Tony episode, have you ever thought, “This person just really wants to be on TV” or “They can’t really be this clueless…”

  3. It’s pretty clear to fans that everything may not be portrayed completely accurately on the show. The show lying or stretching the truth to viewers sometimes seems like it’s mirroring the catfish lying to the catfishee. Is Catfish catfishing viewers? What is your response to this? Are there any misconceptions people have about this? Is there anything you’d like to respond/clarify/acknowledge?

NevSchulman71 karma

  1. I definitely made it one of my core morals, making the show, to promote a message of compassion and nonjudgmental open-mindedness. However, that being said, there are definitely people on the show who I had a harder time sympathizing with, especially this season we've come across some people who in my mind don't have a valid justification for the negative and harmful ways in which they are treating people. And so while I am interested in helping them, I don't particularly have any real feelings towards them.

  2. Every time I'm making the show and we come across someone who does seem particularly naive or gullible, before I pass any judgement on them, I immediately remind myself that 5 years ago, I was that naive and gullible person. And that helps me approach the situation with more empathy.

  3. The only thing that I think is relevant in the show is the stories of the people, and the choices they are making, and the issues they are dealing with. And as I understand it, compared to the majority of "reality TV programs," ours is far and away the most authentic and more importantly than that, we are dealing with real issues in a meaningful way. And so as far as I'm concerned, even if the whole thing was completely scripted it would be serving the same purpose. I know it's real. And I think the people who have lived these things and gone through these things know it's real. So i don't feel like I need to prove whether it's authentic or not because the issues and the emotions and the stories on the show are real and I'm seeing them.

DucksGoQuackQuack46 karma

Hey Nev, I love the show. I know you sometimes catch some flack for having a "tramp stamp." Do you regret getting it?

NevSchulman87 karma

Every day.

NevSchulman187 karma

I call it a "champ stamp."

SouthernWhore39 karma

Have you ever suspected that any of the people on the show made up their stories just to be on TV? Have you ever caught anyone doing this?

Also, do you think that the amount of "Catfish" are decreasing or increasing because of the shows popularity? How many requests do you guys generally get a day?

NevSchulman64 karma

Yes! We've definitely had people try to get on the show because they just wanted to be on TV. And there's even a chance that one or two of the episodes that HAVE aired may have had instances where the production actually (myself included) did get kind of Catfished, and the situation might have been magnified or exaggerated. Normally we don't pursue the story. And if we don't catch them and end up making the episode and catch the show later, then we kind of appreciate it because it shows that the show is permeable and vulnerable and we're just as susceptible to online deception as anyone.

Deep_Rights7 karma

That right there is a great answer. It's cool that you guys are so open to helping people that you do it even if it might be at your own expense (getting faked out or "catfished" yourself).

Love the show, keep making the world a better place, Nev.

NevSchulman6 karma

Doing my best. Thanks

wexfun33 karma

Hey Nev, I am a huge fan of the show. I have always wondered, though, how much control MTV takes over the show. Do they track down the people before you and make sure they are down to be on television? Do they pick the people for the episodes?

EDIT: Here's the article he referenced. A very good read.

NevSchulman24 karma

There is an interview one of our producers did for that discusses your question in detail. HOLY GHOST.

NevSchulman19 karma

For the safety and consideration of the people that we put on the show, everybody has to agree before we film them to be a part of the show. That always happens, but we don't always get their permission and that doesn't in any way dictate what they will or won't do or how they will participate when we are actually filming. There's no manipulation of the stories. The only thing that MTV makes is a psychological evaluation of the applicants to make sure that they are psychologically fit and capable of handling whatever issues might come up and whatever likely attention or ridicule they might receive as a result of being on the show.

fuckyes132 karma

Hey Nev, love the show. 1) did you have any trust issues in new relationships after your catfish experience? 2) throwing Kidd Cole's iPhone into the river, brilliant, but did you immediately think 'Shit Imma get bollocked by the producer...'?

NevSchulman91 karma

  1. Yes.
  2. I was never worried that I would get in trouble, I just knew that it would make it a lot harder to keep filming the episode because Kidd Cole, it was already pretty remarkable that he agreed to come on camera at all, and I knew it wouldn't make things any easier after I pissed him off. But secretly I was hoping he would punch me in the face so he would get arrested for something.

Oapy30 karma

What's the most annoying and the best thing about working with Max?

NevSchulman121 karma

Best thing: he's smarter than me, and always has very interesting and relevant insights to offer. Worst thing: he's smarter than me and always has really interesting and relevant insights to offer.

pancakebuffalo29 karma

Hey Nev, I once read that sometimes the catfish is the one that contacts the show and requests to come clean. This made me wonder how the catfish victim is approached about the subject, since they always - on the show - seem to be the ones contacting you guys. How is that set up?

NevSchulman45 karma

So basically, if a catfish contacts us because they want to come clean, one of our casting producers simply reaches out to the other person involved and very simply says that the person they are in a relationship with has expressed an interest in meeting them, and if they are interested in pursuing that, would they please send an email to Nev (aka me) describing their relationship and what it would mean to them if they finally got a chance to meet. It's pretty simple.

doggydude27 karma


NevSchulman60 karma

Because people who apply to be on the show generally are avoiding or have been avoiding seeking out the truth because either they are too afraid to find out, or they don't believe they have the means to find out for themselves. Plus if I did that, I'd be out of a job.

ahmreeta27 karma

Hi! I read once that you had every intention of doing this show on your own terms, which I respect. Are you worried that as Catfish continues to grow, MTV will start pressuring you to increase the "shock factor"?

NevSchulman41 karma

It's a concern for sure, but I simply wont engage with the show if I feel it has become inauthentic or over the top.

daniest25 karma

Hi Nev, I'm a huge fan of you and Max. Sometimes in your show the situation can get quite tense. Do you have some back up, in case someone gets too aggressive? Police or a couple of huge strong guys to break things apart?

Thanks for doing this AMA and please continue with the show!

NevSchulman29 karma

We always have a security guard with us whenever the Catfish and the hopeful are in the same place in case things go sour. So far, so good.

xdawnahx23 karma

When did you become so ballsy?

NevSchulman62 karma

I was born this way.

tumblrthrowaways20 karma

Which episode is the one you thought 'holy fucking shit' as you filmed it?

NevSchulman141 karma

I mean, I don't think I'll ever have a bigger WTF moment than I did when Justin slow-clapped his way across the parking lot.

courtneyt12319 karma

Would you be disappointed if you found out that Max was once a catfish?

NevSchulman34 karma

Only insofar that I would be bummed if he hadn't Catfished me.

SurpriseMothaFuckahh16 karma

Nev, love the show and love what you do. Whats the scariest moment you've had on Catfish?

NevSchulman27 karma

I think the scariest moment for me is always right before a new episode airs. I'm always really nervous about how people are going to react to the episode and if the show will meet their expectations. I really hope that the show continues to entertain and positively affect people.

Look_Alive16 karma

Hey Nev, thanks for the AMA! You seem to be a little short of patience this season (such as mimicking one catfish and throwing another catfish's phone into the water); any reason for this? Is it because the stories this season are a little different to the usual love ones in previous seasons?

Also, my friend Jess isn't feeling too good at the moment - any chance of a get well soon message? Thanks again Nev!

NevSchulman97 karma

Hey Jess. Sorry you're not feeling well...maybe watching tonights ep will make you feel better. I may not have as much patience this season, but you can be my patient and i'll nurse you back to health ;)

SophSaysYo14 karma

Hi Nev! Love the show, especially your bromance with Max. One moment that has always stuck with me is when Kristen took her glass eye out and you touched it! Made me cringe. Can you describe what it felt like? How weirded out were you?

NevSchulman20 karma

Obviously you share the same intense curiosity that I always did about what a glass eye feels like. And it was actually surprisingly tacky. It kind of felt almost like a dried ball of hot glue. And it also isn't round. It's sort of like a lima bean, curved, almost.

pinsleric13 karma

Hi, Nev!

Just curious... What is the single best resource to use to find out whether you're not getting catfish-ed? I mean, other than the obvious webcams.

NevSchulman25 karma

A reverse phone search - if you have their phone number, you can put it in and you might have to pay a small fee, but it's worth it, considering that it will usually give you who the phone is registered to and sometimes even an address.

queen_poser12 karma

Hey Nev! Such a huge fan of your show! What do you think has been the craziest episode of the show ever?

NevSchulman58 karma

The one that started with someone pretending to be me on a Reddit AMA and then fell in love with one of the users after they asked me a question about the show...

NevSchulman29 karma

Up until last week's episode with Kidd Cole, I thought the craziest ep was one from last season that was so messed up that we haven't been able to air yet. But then I think that as of the Kidd Cole episode, that's probably our craziest one to-date.

ieatstickers17 karma

Is it ever going to be aired?

NevSchulman45 karma

Chill! We're working on it.

SouthernWhore11 karma

Hey Nev! Love your show! I was wondering, has there been other times where you have lost your cool like with Kidd Cole on the show that we didn't see? Did any legal matters ever come of him for scamming people?

NevSchulman29 karma

I think when we met Alisha from Oakland I said some things to her that got cut out. She really made me mad and I couldn't understand how somebody could be so cruel to Alyah, who is the sweetest most amazing girl ever. Not sure what's going on with Kidd Cole, but I'm happy that now that he's been on blast it will be a lot harder for him to scam anybody else.

eskimogoat11 karma

I was wondering what you thought the differences are (if any) between male and female catfishes? i.e. their methods of 'seduction', reasons for cat-fishing etc.

Thanks for such creating such an amusing, heartbreaking and heartfelt show - a weekly emotional roller coaster!

NevSchulman20 karma

Perhaps women make for a better Catfish because they have more patience, and are able to invest themselves into a slower, longer term exchange and relationship.

song_bird10 karma

What's your number one way to know if you're being catfished?

NevSchulman42 karma

If you get a phone call from me...

But seriously, answers to all of these questions and many more are in my upcoming book IN REAL LIFE. Generally, though, if someone does not want to meet you in person, that's a bad sign. If you've made more than one attempt to meet up and they ALWAYS have an excuse, that's a good sign.

NevSchulman18 karma

If you get a call from me.

AshDancer10 karma

Hi Nev! Are you dating anyone? And is the process of dating much harder now that you are famous? :)

NevSchulman20 karma

I have been dating the same person for the last 3 years. And I don't think celebrity, fame or success has a direct effect on someone's ability to date. It all comes down to confidence and self respect, which is something I am always working on, but I'm fortunate that I have a good deal of. I think it's just really hard to find someone who likes you, period. Finding the right person out of the many, many people with whom you might be attracted to who is actually going to care about you and engage in a meaningful, romantic way is difficult. But I could see how being famous (which I don't really consider myself to be) would certainly add to the number of prospects one would have to sort through to find someone you are actually interested in.

boyscoutslumberparty9 karma

Do lots of people notice you out in the public? Has there been any funny reactions?

NevSchulman61 karma

I think maybe the best sort of getting recognized moment was when I was filling up at a gas station and the station attendant came over to me to tell me that I looked like Adam Levine. Then I went on to explain that coincidentally Adam Levine impersonated me on SNL. I thought that was hilarious.

peepingt0m8 karma

Hey, Nev! Thanks for the AMA. I love the show and I like what this season has looked like so far.

Question for you: You've undoubtedly made friends with a lot of the people being catfished on your show and have seen these friends go through some incredibly tough times, and you know exactly what it's like to be catfished. Given that, do you advocate online dating at all now?

NevSchulman16 karma

I'm for anything that furthers real life experiences. And when used properly, I think that online dating can be extraordinarily effective in making interesting connections, assuming you very quickly turn those digital connections into real-life interactions. Certainly in my case, through getting Catfished, though incredibly awkward, was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. So for better or for worse, putting yourself out there and taking risks can be a good thing.

forgottenyellowbird8 karma

Hi Nev, love what you do on the show. I find myself getting entirely too into it every week. My question is- Have you had any training or teaching about consoling people, or is it just a mix of natural talent and experience? I notice in every episode that you are able to ease the anger and worry of every person in a great way, and I've wondered if there was any preparation done for that.

Also... is Max's hair truly grey? This comes up a lot when my friends and I watch- sparking debates on if it's natural or dyed. Either way he rocks it! Thanks for a great AMA :)

NevSchulman16 karma

So my training for the show was years and years of making mistakes and seeing how my actions affected the people around me, and learning the importance and value of a sincere apology, coupled with a lot of therapy, and a really supportive family. And yes, that is really Max's hair. There is no artificial coloring. In fact, nothing about the show, including Max's hair, is artificial.


Nev, do you conduct any behind the scenes background checks on the catfish to get a better understanding of who these people are? The way the show presents it, it seems almost like you go to the catfishes' houses with a cavalier attitude without really understanding who these people actually are.

NevSchulman16 karma

Yes, before we go meet them everybody undergoes a phycological evaluation to make sure they are of sound mind and wont hurt themselves or others and can handle participating on the show.

courtneyt1237 karma

Where would you most like to visit?

NevSchulman18 karma

I really would love to explore South America, which is not a very specific answer.

ItsRainingKaties7 karma

Hey, Nev. Very excited to see your answers to this AMA. I was wondering if you've ever had any Catfish that refuse to meet you, Max, and/or the person who was Catfished?

NevSchulman16 karma

We did. There is an episode coming up later this season where the catfish didn't agree to meet us. Pretty interesting stuff.

courtneyt1237 karma

Who are your favourite musicians at the moment?

NevSchulman18 karma

Well, for starters, I have to say my girlfriend Shanee Pink is one of my faves. But I've also been into Rhye and Milosh, and actually just found out that there's a Catfish reference in one of the new Die Antwoord songs. Which is really awesome, and makes me really happy.

Also I made a Spotify playlist you can search for!

coastlinewaves7 karma

What are your thoughts on Tinder?

NevSchulman84 karma

I think it's a huge waste of time. Because it's just another place to engage with your phone instead of engaging with real people. And it just promotes a culture of judgement and insecurity.

courtneyt1236 karma

What's your favourite cereal?

NevSchulman27 karma

Cinnamon Life.

lovebug206 karma

Related to tonights episode, what's the craziest thing a fan has said or done to you?

NevSchulman25 karma

I had a student in a college that I spoke at put me on the phone with his girlfriend, whom he had never met in person, but only talked to on the phone, and I left a message for her, after which he went on to explicitly tell me about how their conversations often centered around the size and girth of his member and he then just sort of continued to follow me through the parking lot. That was the most uncomfortable I've ever been with a fan. Very strange.

Queen0fDorks6 karma

Hi Nev. :) I love the show (and so does my mom!) and I was wondering, is traveling a constant drain for you, or do you enjoy it because you help people? Thanks!

NevSchulman8 karma

Please to make your acquaintance my lady. Give my regards to your mother and let her know that I love being on the road and traveling. It lets me leave all my "things and stuff" behind and just exist in the world and engage with real life.

leafskeleton5 karma

Nev, why do you keep replying to my friend but not me? (Seriously you've replied to her four times!)

NevSchulman18 karma


Theawkwardhapa5 karma

Since you are a major public figure now, have you had any issues with people catfishing as you?

P.S totally love you by the way haha

NevSchulman11 karma

I've not heard of a specific story where someone was pretending to be me, although I was alerted to a Plenty of Fish account where someone was using my photos.

Grabbers5 karma

Batman or Spiderman?

NevSchulman19 karma


Hellolena5 karma

Is there one place you really want to visit for a catfish expedition but haven't?

NevSchulman12 karma

Well, I'm always hoping when I read the emails at the beginning of the episode that we are going to have to go to Hawaii for an episode. But sadly that has never been the case.

Tittygroper5 karma

Hey nev I think you're awesome! My question is: how did you and max meet? Also, do you still keep contact with Angela?

NevSchulman10 karma

Max became good friends with my brother when they were in high school. I think we actually met for the first time at my bar mitzvah. I'm not in touch with Angela lately, but hope to be soon. Thanks

sezrawr4 karma

Hi Nev! My fiancé and I are huge fans!

We were just wondering how long your investigations actually take? It always seems really quick on the show!

Also, have there been any times where you've been unsuccessful and not found anything for ages?

NevSchulman11 karma

The investigations usually take 6-8 hours. And yes, we've had episodes where we weren't able to find anything in our investigations, at which point we had to cold-call the Catfish and see if they were willing to meet up with us.

Chasing_Noses4 karma

First of all I want to say that I love the show. I'm a photography student at an artschool and I'm specializing in documentary photography. The realness of the show really triggers my mind and inspires me, so thank you for that!

Do you have the idea that since the first season aired, the catfish became smarter? Are there more than before season 1 aired? Or didn't anything change?

Thanks and good luck with everything!

NevSchulman9 karma

Well, considering how it's become more and more difficult to find people for our show, I think if anything Catfish being on the air has given people the tools and confidence they need to find out the truth on their own. So the Catfish that remain are more sophisticated and a little bit more elusive.

beauyouknow4 karma

Hi Nev! Could you briefly describe how much/what either parties are told or know about the show before agreeing to appear? I've always been curious as to why some people would agree to appear in a show that could possibly paint them in an unfavorable light.

NevSchulman7 karma

We don't inform or influence the people on the show at all. The only thing they know is that Nev and Max are going to be getting in touch to find out more about their online relationships. Believe me, I'm often baffled that some of the people on the show choose to portray themselves in the way that they do knowing that they are going to be on TV.

catsupchou4 karma

Hey Nev! Huge fan here - I've actually been catfished before (although I'm sure you get that a lot).

Who do you still stay in touch with from the show? Have you stayed in touch with any of those who were catfishing?

NevSchulman9 karma

Hey. I am happy to stay in touch with anybody from the show who wants to be in touch with me. I'm probably closest with Matt Lowe from season 1 and Chelsea Browning but believe it or not have actually been texting with crazy Justin lately...

VirulentViper4 karma

Hey Nev! As someone who's had my own sort of "catfish" experiences before the show started, it's been really cool to see you guys help out these people and help them meet the ones they're.. well, "dating". As I'm typing this, I'm reading it in my head but.. in your voice. The way you described tonight's ep is really interesting, actually. Speaking of celebrities, an actress I'm following on Twitter (Scout-Taylor Compton) tweeted a little while ago that Catfish contacted her and then later tweeted that someone was pretending to be her online. So I was just wondering if she would actually be featured in an upcoming episode?

Oh, if I'm allowed to ask one more thing: In past seasons, if the person someone was dating ended up being fake, you guys would introduce the person who asked for your help to the person they thought they were dating. Why did you guys stop doing that?

NevSchulman6 karma

No, we did not hear about or do an episode about Scout-Taylor. And we haven't stopped introducing people to the person they think they are in love with, it just often does not fall inside the scope of the type of stories we are investigating - we are interested in any sort of digital deception taking place where someone needs our help.

mariecurious4 karma

Hi Nev, I've been a big fan of yours since the movie came out, and am so happy that the TV show has been such a big success. You're great.

Do you feel that the culture of internet dating has changed at all now that Catfish has become part of the cultural consciousness?

NevSchulman9 karma

I certainly hope so. I'd like to think that our show has brought an awareness to and given people permission to discuss and consider the relationships that they have on social media so that we can avoid people having unfortunate experiences with online dating.

Taydawn964 karma

Hey! How do you feel about online relationships now? After your own story, and everyone else's, would you ever do it again? Or maybe just be more upfront about things? Love the show! Thanks

NevSchulman7 karma

I have a lot of feelings about online relationships and the digital pursuit of romance, all of which I painstakingly outlined in my upcoming book. But if I had to encourage someone to choose between pursuing an online relationship or an IRL relationship, I will always lean towards physical, real-world interactions. Though I am happy to meet people digitally through introductions, if I'm going to invest any of my time and energy into a relationship with someone I need to know early on that they are serious about themselves and available to interact with me in a meaningful authentic way.

choochamo3 karma

Hey there Nev!

Quick questions - What exactly is your process in picking what "catfish," emails to choose to shoot the show?

  • Since you travel so much I am sure you've tried a ton of different foods. So, what's your favorite?

Thanks! -CB

NevSchulman6 karma

We're always looking for stories that involve people with a real, genuine connection with the object of their affection, as well as a unique and compelling personal story and background.

My favorite food - I really like sushi.

potsandpanz3 karma

What's the point of Max filming in the show when you have extra cameramen filming Max as well? Just to keep it like the documentary I guess?

Love youuuuu! Big fan. You're so adorable xx

NevSchulman8 karma

Max is always getting the best shot and the one we use the most on the show. It also makes it more personal and authentic since he is a filmmaker.

Maury-2 karma

Hi Nev, I don't really have a question I just want to say that I think you're doing an amazing job. Your documentary was great, apart from the reason you made it of course, you know what I mean! I'm such an awkward person I don't really know what to say lol. Just keep on going!

Love from the Netherlands

NevSchulman3 karma