‘Watch What Crappens’: What Was the Craziest ‘Golden Crappies’ Moment?

Watch What Crappens hosts Ben Mandelker and Ronnie Karam are gearing up for the eighth annual Golden Crappies awards. The podcasters have held an annual Bravo award show since the inception of their wildly popular podcast and have watched it explode in popularity.

Watch What Crappens
‘Watch What Crappens’ | Photo credit Alys Kenny

Mandelker discussed the award show’s evolution with Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “We started the Crappies in the first year of the podcast — 2012 — and have been doing them every year since then.”

But, “Back then, the awards were just a standalone episode or two where we could basically reflect on the year of Bravo and geek out over our favorite moments, as well as our least favorites. We would come up with a list and pick winners on the spot, tearing scraps of paper to make it sound like we were opening up envelopes,” he added.

How did the show evolve?

Mandelker said he likes the direction the show has taken since the early days. “Starting in 2018, we began doing the Crappies as a live show with an audience, first at the Hollywood Improv, and now this year we’ve taken over the Regent Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles,” he shared. “It’s a 450 seater, and we’ve sold it out; so this is going to be the biggest Crappies ever!”

The duo also changed how winners are selected. “Also, in 2019 we made the Crappies more of a fan experience than ever before by turning the voting over to the listeners,” Mandelker continued. “As opposed to the past when the two of us would declare the winners, we now let everyone vote in each category. I’m kind of kicking myself that we never did this earlier.  It’s so fun to hear all the great feedback about the nominees. Plus, it’s much more fun not having any idea who will win once we open up the polls. In 2019, we kept the ballot open for a month and took in about 11,000 votes.  So far this year, the polls have only been open for 10 hours, and we’re already at over half that amount of votes.  It’s kind of insane.”

The Golden Crappies
The Golden Crappies | Photo credit Alys Kenny

The show was started as a fun way to allow the fans to get involved and throw a little shade. “One of the reasons why we started the Crappies was to poke fun at award shows but also to assert our fan voice.”

“We really wanted to do something snarky, irreverent, and comedic to reflect the mindset of our podcast and the Bravo audience. But we also wanted to be shady in a way that Bravo can’t be towards its talent.  For instance, this year we have categories like ‘Worst Storyline’ and ‘Best Bad Style Moment.'”

Mandelker had this ‘fangirl’ experience

Anyone who has listened to a Watch What Crappens live show knows that anything can happen. Mandelker says a number of Bravolebs typically show up to the Golden Crappies too. “In the past, we’ve had Stassi Schroeder, Kate Chastain, Ariana Maddix, Tom Sandoval, Captain Sandy, Lea Black, Danny Pellegrino, Ira Madison III, Katie Cazorla, Julie Goldman, and Brandy Howard show up.”

“The craziest thing to happen was Captain Sandy surprising us last year at the show. Our friend Nadine [Rajabi] is both a comedian and a producer on Below Deck Med; so she surprised us by bringing Sandy to the show,” he recalls. But he’s a little embarrassed about this instance in 2018. “Tiffany Haddish was hanging out in the lobby of the Improv after the show,” Mandelker remembers. “I drunkenly fangirled out to her when I saw her. I was in a full tuxedo and probably scared her to death.  I’m still embarrassed.”

The Golden Crappies will be held at the Regent Theater, DTLA on January 17. “Tickets are sold out, but you may be able to buy one off someone who has to cancel by joining our Facebook group, ‘Watch What Crappens Live and Lovin’ It,'” Mandelker adds.