The Mortified Podcast
“The Mortified Podcast is a storytelling series where adults share the embarrassing things they created as kids—diaries, letters, lyrics & beyond—in front of total strangers. PS: It totally likes you.”
I’m just going to come right out and say it: I love this show. I’m also definitely in their target audience, so that makes sense. Perhaps the next generation of kids will be different, but growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, who doesn’t have a collection of embarrassing, angsty diary entries referencing Dashboard Confessional lyrics? And who wouldn’t be absolutely mortified to share them on stage? Well, that’s pretty much the concept of The Mortified Podcast, a recorded-live show from Radiotopia. A variety of guests go up on stage (mostly regular people, but occasionally a celebrity of some sort), journals in hand, and read word-for-word actual entries from their adolescence.
Mortified, as you might expect, thrives on the notion of cringe, so if you don’t enjoy that sort of thing, look elsewhere. That said, while cringing with (not at--there’s a big difference) the performer reading through their childhood writings is at the center of Mortified, what makes it so powerful is its ability to evoke other emotions. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but mostly, you’ll identify. And that’s really what Mortified is all about. It’s about reliving your own awkward adolescence through the lens of the performer, where even if your experiences are completely different, you’ve likely felt the same things. In any given episode, these things probably include: angst, embarrassment, shame, feeling like an outcast, a throbbing libido, rejection, and, most poignantly, self-centeredness and self-importance. Remember how much all of that stuff seemed to matter back then? How no one understood you? How dramatic it all felt? Yet now, here you are, able to laugh about it all, even if that takes the form of laughing at someone else’s experiences. Seeing yourself in the performances of those on stage is what makes Mortified so endearing. Well, that, and a healthy indulgence in nostalgia.
In a sea of storytelling podcasts, The Mortified Podcast stands out because of an emphasis on its fundamental premise. It doesn’t try to be the next This American Life. Instead, it has one theme, but the depth and breadth of that theme is nearly endless. By sticking to its guns, Mortified executes almost perfectly every single episode, and is a must-subscribe.
It’s a live show, but it’s recorded well
The best part about Mortified is that every single episode is good. You really can’t go wrong.
Not a major part of the show.
You’ll have trouble hitting pause with all the tears running down your face from laughing at some of the diary entries the performers read.
This is a great one to listen to with other people, as nostalgia and cringe are both dishes best shared.
Overall Score: 8.9/10
All of them. Really.
If you like this podcast, you’ll probably like:
- This American Life
- The Moth
- Snap Judgment
- 2 Dope Queens