Hailed a “cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek and celebrated by This American Life, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Wired, The AV Club, The Today Show (twice), and beyond, Mortified celebrates stories revealed through 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.”
– Ira Glass on This American Life
The largest & longest-running project of its kind, there are lots of ways to enjoy Mortified:
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.
TV & Film
From docu-series (The Mortified Guide, coming in 2017) to concert films (Mortified Nation) to offbeat interview series (The Mortified Sessions), we love bringing personal stories to the screen.
Are the same weirdo you were as a kid? Find out in our latest, My Mortified Life. There are also two Mortified anthologies.
Getmortified.com is where fans can find out upcoming events, join our mailing list, or watch our videos.
Origin & Mission
Since 2002, Mortified has been curating teen angst artifacts from people like you. The project began when founder David Nadelberg discovered an unsent love letter he wrote as a teenager. The letter sparked an idea and he sent an email to friends asking if anyone 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.
“It will make you blush with secondhand embarrassment”
– NY Times
Student Body Government:
Mortified Boston: Sara Faith Alterman, Carmen Nobel
Mortified DC & Baltimore: Adam Ruben, Alex Hewett, Caryn Sykes, Jennifer Clark
Mortified Chicago: Shay DeGrandis, Annette Ferrara, Katie Johnston-Smith
Mortified Dallas: Anne Jensen-Smith, Stephanie Mojonnet
Mortified Detroit: Kayla Dewitt, Lesa Ferencz, Rebecca Kavanagh, Jim Pagonas, Nicole Ploshehanski
Mortified Twin Cities: Danielle Eisenbacher, Laura Nelli, Theresa Purcell, Katie Sisneros, Amanda Zweerink
Places Where People Have Delightful Accents
Mortified Amsterdam (Lief Dagboek): Jessica Villerius, Remco Garcia
Mortified Helsinki: Annika Grahn, Kiti Kokonnen, Tommi Kotkamaa, Matleena “Matu” Saarensalmi-Hintikka
Mortified Oslo: Pernille Østli, Ane Marie Anderson, Rikke Grønvold, Emmy Henriette Netka
Mortified Sweden (Skambryan): Linda Backlund, Lotta Lewandowska
Mortified Trondheim: Karete Jacobsen Meland, Katrine Øverlie Svela
(for Mortified stage shows, books, TV, podcast or film)
“A cultural phenomenon!” – Newsweek
“Hilarious” – The Atlantic
“Enlightening!” – Esquire
“Unbearably intimate… completely funny!” – The AV Club
“Captivating!” – Entertainment Weekly
“Excruciatingly funny!” – Marie Claire
“Funny… a cathartic experience.” – TimeOut London
“Some of the juiciest real life tragedies” – TimeOut NY
“Bold” – TimeOut NY
“Excellent” – Wired
“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
“Lovely” – Boston Globe
“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
“Cringeworthy” – Pitchfork
“Fun” – Thrillist
“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
“Wonderfully cringeworthy” – The Guardian
“A welcome reminder that we all spent our gawkish teen years more alike than we were different.” – AV Club
“Inspiring… the perfect escape from the everyday.” – Mother Mag
Named 1 of “10 podcasts that will change your life in a single commute” – Food & Wine
Named “Best of Podcasts” 2015 – iTunes
Named “Best of Podcasts” 2016 – The Guardian & The Atlantic