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.
Podcast & Radio
Produced in partnership with PRX and Radiotopia, The Mortified Podcast offers an all-access pass to hearing Mortified performances worldwide plus interviews that take listeners beyond the stage. In 2016, we also produced an hourlong radio special for PRX, Mortified’s Totally Juvenile Election Special, which aired nationwide.
Games, Books, Journals
Our debut game I Can’t Believe I Did That is a hilarious and fun way to learn more about your friends. We’ve also released a guided journal and 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 us 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:
Neil Katcher (artistic director)
David Nadelberg (founder)
Mortified Austin: Katie Moore, Jessica Stookey Leath, Michelle Dahlenburg, Mike Graupmann, Erica Lies. Houseband: The Mortified After School Delight.
Mortified Boston: Sara Faith Alterman, Carmen Nobel
Mortified DC & Baltimore: Adam Ruben, Alex Hewett, Judy Perez, Caryn Sykes
Mortified Chicago: Katie Johnston-Smith, Eric Garneau
Mortified Denver: David Blatt
Mortified LA: Pooja Bhatt, Leonard Hyman, Pierce Purselley, David Nadelberg, Neil Katcher, Robert Woo
Mortified NYC: Stephen Chupaska, John Dorcic, Siobahn O’Malley, Elaihsa Stokes
Mortified Portland: Egan Danehy, Frank Matthews, Megan Zabel Holmes, Susan Danehy
Mortified SF, Oakland & North Bay: Scott Lifton, Kevin Wofsy, Laurent Martini, Dave Roe
(for Mortified stage shows, books, TV, podcast or film)
“A cultural phenomenon!” – Newsweek
“Hilarious” – The Atlantic
“Hysterical, honest and heartwarming… mortifying in the best possible way” – ELLE
“Enlightening!” – Esquire
“Soul-affirming… so wonderful… you will laugh so loud and hard and often.” – Paste Magazine
“Unbearably intimate… completely funny!” – The AV Club
“Thrilling” – Refinery 29
“Captivating!” – Entertainment Weekly
“Excruciatingly funny!” – Marie Claire
“Funny… a cathartic experience.” – TimeOut London
“Awkwardly awesome” – Emmy Magazine
“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
“Laugh-out-loud funny” – Bustle
“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
“Genuine and sincere… a cultural phenomenon.” – The Mary Sue
“An enjoyable and funny look into the things that make us human.” – San Diego Entertainer
Named 1 of “10 podcasts that will change your life in a single commute” – Food & Wine
“[Mortified] has tapped into something real.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Named “1 of the 10 must-listen podcasts of the decade.” -Salon
Named “Best of Podcasts” – ELLE (2019), The Guardian (2016), The Atlantic (2016), iTunes (2015)
Named 1 of “15 Best Documentaries on Netflix” – Buzzfeed