Famous ‘Catfish’ host Nev Schulman in Utah. And start on the road to fatherhood in Park City.


“Catfish: The TV Show” host Nev Schulman has a bit of a history about Wyoming. The 2010 film that opened it all, “Catfish” – about Nev being scammed online – premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

That led to “Catfish: The TV Show” in 2012, and there have been several episodes starring the Utahns. Schulman, co-host Kamie Crawford and a crew who were recently in Provo for another episode, will air with the next new series of episodes. And his “Dancing With the Stars” partner, Jenna Johnson, is a Utahn.

“My life has really changed in a big way thanks to Park City twice,” he said. “The first, apparently, was Sundance 2010.”

January 2016 was his first return to Park City, “and that was really the trip I took my current wife, who is pregnant with our daughter,” added Schulman, laughing. “So I’ve got some big milestones in Park City.”

Well, there’s a local corner that I wasn’t expecting. (No pun intended.) Schulman and his wife, Laura Perlongim, are now parents to Cleo, 5, and Beau, soon to be 3.

Schulman spent about a third of his life working in or on “Catfish.” In each of the 185 episodes so far, one person wants to find out the truth behind someone they’ve chatted/fallen in love with online – even though, in most cases, they know very little about the other person.

(New episodes of “Catfish” begin airing Wednesdays on MTV — 6 p.m. on Dish and DirecTV; 9 p.m. on Comcast.)

A lot of those turned out to be catfish – a term coined by the movie/show that is now in the dictionary and means they have faked identities.

“At the heart of each episode is the unpredictable nature of people. When you combine that with the desire to feel the love and the wild things people would do to get there, you’ve got a recipe for ‘Catfish,’ laughs Schulman.

There is no end to twists, turns, and surprises. “I’m thrown almost every episode by some completely unexpected, unforeseen, and often unusual episode,” Schulman said. “You really can’t predict human behavior, right? If there’s one thing that we’ve proven on the show over the last 10 years, I think it’s that. ”

(Courtesy Rogue Pictures) Filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, and Ariel Nev’s brother (from left) chase Nev’s online “girlfriend” in the 2010 documentary “Catfish”

Perhaps the most shocking turns are when the purported catfish turns out to be who they claim to be, which still happens sometimes.

“It is really refreshing when a situation that seems from the beginning to be destined for disaster turns into something beautiful,” says Schulman. Though it’s more common to find out that “just completely insane internet romance scammers are. … And I feel strongly that for every one story you hear, there are probably 10 other stories that you don’t hear, because people are too embarrassed to share them. “

A dozen years ago at Sundance, there was some almost immediate backlash by people questioning whether the events in the movie “Catfish” were real. After 10 years of TV programming, it’s clear that people are going online every day. After nearly 200 episodes, even those who clearly should have known better when they were caught, don’t.

Stay calm in the face of madness

Some catfish are shy. Some are not conventionally appealing. Some are not pretty. And some are just bad people.

Schulman almost always stays calm no matter who the show encounters. Partly, he says, he grew up in New York City, where he had many opportunities to “come in contact with strangers in highly stressful situations. … But I also worked really hard to remember that the show wasn’t about me. I am not there to exaggerate or influence the situation in any way.

“There are a lot of reality TV shows out there for people who want to see shows that are big, over-the-top and – in my opinion – often sham and phony acts. … I’m just there to try and work it out so I can then best serve the situation with some advice or some form of moderation to hopefully find some way forward. ”

(MTV) Max Joseph and Nev Schulman on the first episode of “Catfish: The TV Show.”

Most Hosts

Schulman has been the host/star of “Catfish” since the show started, and the only time it was really about him was on an episode when he got caught catfish a second time. Really. But the brotherly relationship between Nev and his co-host for the first seven seasons, Max Joseph, and the sibling relationship between Nev and new co-host Kamie Crawford since 2000, have been gives the show a long way.

“Me and Max really grew up together,” Schulman said. “We had a friendship and we had a history … and I think a lot of people connected with that and felt as if they were our friends.”

He doesn’t have that history with Kamie, but they have formed a friendship. “And I think as we continue to spend more time together and make more episodes together, that chemistry will stick with viewers.”

Working on “Catfish” remotely

The new series of episodes took a break from the real world after the show was forced to stream-only by the pandemic. At first, Schulman admits, those episodes were pretty “troublesome,” as they tried to figure out the technical kinks.

But he sees “something poetic” in bringing catfish online instead of traveling to their hometown and confronting them.

“There’s something as simple and pure as, ‘Hey, let’s try to get these people to video chat’ – that’s what the victims wanted from the start,” he said. “Obviously, it won’t tell us if they want to be together and if there’s any chance this relationship will work, but it will at least get you one step closer. step”.

And it’s nice to have new episodes of the show at a time when there aren’t many new episodes of anything.

“Because we are all isolated and we are all quarantined and everyone experiences the same feelings of loneliness and loneliness and disconnection from their family and friends, it is that allows people to empathize more with the many people on the show,” Schulman said.

(Image: Eric McCandless/ABC) Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson perform on “Dancing with the Stars.”

A humble guy

Schulman’s reputation – he finished second in the most recent season of “Dancing With the Stars” – has gone nowhere. A few years ago, he came to see me at the Television Critics Association Awards and introduced himself. Somehow, he didn’t think I would know who he was, and he looked dubious when I told him I watch “Catfish” all the time. Until, that is, my son came across and confirmed I do.

I don’t blame Nev. I am not part of MTV’s target audience of 18 to 34 years old. But Schulman has said he is often approached by people of “all ages and backgrounds” who watch the show.

“I don’t think there is a single demo that is more or less foolproof,” he said. “In fact, I think statistically, people in middle age and perhaps even later are even more susceptible to online scams and romances.”

And no one wants to admit that they have been fooled by a catfish. The show is “a great conversation starter,” he says, “and hopefully a way for people to not only inform themselves, but allow themselves to admit that they have made mistakes.” the same, similar. And that they are in a situation that could lead them down a dark and twisty path. “

https://www.sltrib.com/artsliving/2022/01/01/catfish-host-nev-schulman/ Famous ‘Catfish’ host Nev Schulman in Utah. And start on the road to fatherhood in Park City.

Mike Sullivan

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