Hailed a “cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek and celebrated by This American Life, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Wired, The Today Show (twice), The AV Club and beyond, Mortified is a comic excavation of the strange and extraordinary things we created as kids.

Witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi.


These readings capture just how wrong-headed we can be
back when we were teenagers.”
– This American Life 


The largest and longest-running project of its kind, there are lots of ways to enjoy Mortified:


STAGE. Mortified Live is the heart of what we do– a grassroots storytelling event where adults share their childhood writings/art/media in front of total strangers.

FILM. Mortified Nation is an independent documentary that captures Mortified events across the country. Available on Netflix, iTunes & beyond.

TV. The Mortified Sessions is an offbeat interview series that ran 2 seasons on Sundance TV, where artists and innovators shared the childhood mementos that shaped who they became.

BOOKS. There are two Mortified anthologies published with Simon & Schuster.

WEB. Getmortified.com is where fans can find out upcoming events, join our mailing list, or watch our  videos.

PODCAST. A weekly podcast produced in partnership with PRX and Radiotopia.

Origin & Mission

Mortified began curating material in 2002 when the discovery of an unsent teenage love letter led to an email asking people if they knew anyone who wanted to share their childhood writings on stage. That email went viral and soon, responses poured in from strangers near and far. Over a decade later, what started with a single letter transformed into a movement that included a range of participants (ad execs, architects, stand-ups, salesmen, writers, receptionists, actors, and attorneys) excited to “share the shame” from LA to DC to Amsterdam. We encourage people everywhere– even those with no interest in appearing on stage– to unearth the strange stuff they created as kids and share them with at least one person. You’d be surprised what you discover in the process.

There are a million stories buried in the pages of people’s lives.
Our mission is to help people find them. 

FUN FACT! Kids who were born when Mortified began are now old enough to be keeping their own adolescent diaries. Even weirder, some of those kids are even quoting the decades-old teenage writings they hear in Mortified in their own journals, blogs, tweets and letters.


“Unbearably intimate… completely funny!” – The AV Club

Mortified Team


Student Body Government:

David Nadelberg (founder), Neil Katcher (artistic director)



Mortified Austin: Katie Moore, Jessica Stookey Leath, Michelle Dahlenburg, Mike Graupmann, Erica Lies, Pierce Purselley. Houseband: The Mortified After School Delight.

Mortified Boston: Sara Faith Alterman, Karen Corday, Carmen Nobel

Mortified DC: Caryn Sykes, Adam Ruben, Jennifer Clark

Mortified Chicago: Shay DeGrandis, Annette Ferrara, Victoria Rodriguez

Mortified LA: Leonard Hyman, Ria Sardana, Anne Jensen. Houseband: The Mortified After School Orchestra led by Gordon Bash and Alex Burke

Mortified NYC: Christina Galante, Stephen Chupaska, John Dorcic

Mortified Portland: Egan Danehy, Frank Matthews, Megan Zabel, Susan Danehy

Mortified SF, Oakland & North Bay: Scott Lifton, Dave Roe, Amanda Janik, Heather Van Atta. Houseband: The Freeze.


Places Where People Have Delightful Accents

Mortified Amsterdam (Lief Dagboek): Jessica Villerius

Mortified Dublin: TBA (coming soon)

Mortified London: TBA (coming soon)

Mortified Mexico: TBA (coming soon)

Mortified Paris: TBA (coming soon)

Mortified Sweden (Skambryan): Linda Backlund, Lotta Lewandowska

Press & Praise

(for Mortified stage shows, books, TV, podcast or film)

“A Cultural Phenomenon!”– Newsweek

“Enlightening!” – Esquire

“Captivating!” – Entertainment Weekly

“Excruciatingly funny!” – Marie Claire

“Funny… a cathartic experience.” – TimeOut London

“Some of the juiciest real life tragedies!” – TimeOut NY

“Comic genius!” – LAist.com

“Funny and horrifying” – USA Today’s Pop Candy

“Embarrassing, hilarious and just plain wrong” – Bust Magazine

“Riveting!” – Jane Magazine

“Wildly entertaining!” – Instinct Magazine

“A litany of mortifying moments” – LA Times Magazine

“Spreading the new gospel of awkward all over the land.” – Daily Candy

“Self-deprecation taken to a whole new level” – New York Press

“Go laugh at how marginally better your life is than theirs.” – Gawker

“Heartbreakingly hilarious tales of personal woe & social catastrophe!” – Flavorpill NY

“Never laughed so hard!” – Los Angeles Confidential

“Genuinely entertaining, but also subversively profound and surprisingly moving.”  – Washington Post

“Comedy gold… funny, touching, and intensely relatable… (a) celebration of the maelstrom of emotions, careful posturing, and naked vulnerability that make up adolescence.” – Wired

“Funny… inspiring”  – LA Weekly

“Everyone who had a childhood needs to see Mortified Nation.”  – Huffington Post

“Why would anyone ever volunteer to do something so humiliating? As it turns out, there are lots of answers.” – TIME

“I love this” – USA Today’s Pop Candy

“Spills your deepest darkest teenage secrets” – The Guardian

“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wince!” – GOOD Magazine

“Remarkable” – Los Angeles Magazine

“Hilarious… like giving your teen self a big old hug.” – Rookie Magazine

Copyright 2015 | Mortified Media

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