TV

MTV’s Catfish Hosts Get Real: Psych Evaluations, Scammers, and the Moments They Can’t Air


Nev and Kamie are back with a brand new run of Catfish on MTV. They tell us how the show gets made behind the scenes.

Nev Schulman
Photo: MTV

It’s getting harder to make a real romantic connection these days, and no one understands that more than Nev Schulman. Back in 2010, the native New Yorker became the subject of a successful documentary directed by his brother Ariel and Henry Joost. Nev had forged a sweet, romantic relationship with a beautiful woman on Facebook – or at least he thought he had. As the documentary crew dug deeper into the woman’s life, they discovered that much of what she had told Nev was a lie, and the term “catfish” was coined. 

Over a decade later, Catfish and its meaning are part of the cultural lexicon, and Schulman is still heavily involved in the investigative concept of the original movie, producing and co-hosting a hugely popular MTV docuseries exposing the online truths, lies, and scams encountered by a seemingly endless stream of lonely and lovelorn people over hundreds of episodes. When Schulman’s original co-host Max Joseph departed the show in 2018, he was replaced by former Miss Teen USA winner Kamie Crawford, a no-nonsense Fordham University grad whose energy completely transformed the dynamic of Catfish.

“I had been watching Catfish since the movie,” Crawford tells Den of Geek, adding that booking this gig was her big break. “I’ve watched every single episode since. I remember when the documentary came out, I was so freaked out and terrified. I mean, we all knew this stuff was happening. I used to be in chat rooms talking about Britney Spears, pretending to be 24 when I was like 13.” 

Schulman mulls the secret ingredients that have seen the show change co-hosts but endure well into a 13th year on air. “It’s like a cake,” he analogizes. “The frosting is mystery – everyone loves a delicious mystery. The piping is the travel and adventure. But when you cut into it, the real success of Catfish is empathy and feelings. The show gives people an opportunity to discover feelings that they maybe didn’t know they had, discuss feelings that they’ve struggled to or not wanted to discuss, and have people listen to those feelings and help them process them. I think that’s something that a lot of people need, whether they’re on the show or watching the show, to help them figure out what they’re feeling in their own lives.”

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