There’s nothing worse than re-reading your old diary. But on the other hand, there is absolutely nothing more hilarious than hearing other people reading their old diary entries. “The Mortified Podcast” is peak cringe, all about the painfully earnest, achingly arrogant, and hilariously innocent things we wrote as teenagers. In this podcast, adults read off their most embarrassing entries written between the pages of their diaries, and as host Dave Nadelberg says, there’s no embellishing, no exaggerating, it’s just God-given awkwardness.
With approximately 250 episodes released, we’d say that “The Mortified Podcast” has done pretty well for itself. Much like “The Moth,” “The Mortified Podcast” is a recorded live show where anyone can come on stage and bravely read their old diary entries to a crowd of total strangers. Episodes don’t need to be listened to in any particular order (although the oldest episodes are certified cringe classics) and range from 10 to 30 minutes long.
This podcast is all about laughing about our pimply pasts no matter how horrifying high school was. Every single episode of this podcast will have you biting your knuckles and hissing in sympathetic pain as you hear Tom read the love letter he wrote to his friend in 1994. Luckily that letter nor the 24k gold necklace he bought for her were delivered that day, as he was able to declare his love for Anna face to face that Valentine’s Day.
Boy band fanatics are a favorite of “The Mortified Podcast” crowd. The unbridled passion, the adolescent intensity, the age differences that wouldn’t be too weird if we were to marry one of them. There’s Rachel, a 7th-grade Hanson super-fan who reads off a letter she wrote to Taylor. It starts off real strong with “Dear Taylor, you’re the hottest guy that ever lived.”
There’s also Ashley, the Jonas Brothers superfan, who met the JoBros in her local mall and wrote: “It’s really weird because my personality is just like theirs. Well, that’s what Kelly says. I guess because I’m really crazy like Joe, emotional and sensitive like Nick, and Kevin is from Kevin.” (Look we don’t know what that Kevin part means either). Let’s not pretend we all weren’t saying stuff like this to our fellow adolescent boy band zealots. Ashley also wrote an incredible poem about the Jonas Brothers that must be heard to be believed.
While “The Mortified Podcast” does make us want to scream in sympathetic agony for these people and hide our face in our hands, it’s more than just that. At the end of every episode is a post-mortem with the brave individuals who bore their teenage souls to us, where they share what their teenage selves and their adult selves learned from these experiences. They learned to refine their unchecked romanticism, to never wait too long to meet a guy in person, and that searching for a man like Joe, Nick, or Kevin may yield some wonderful results.
At the end of every episode we are regaled with the mantra, “We are freaks, we are fragile, and we all survived.” “The Mortified Podcast” is “The Moth” meets Big Mouth (toned down a good bit, though); it’s hilarious, painfully relatable, and even mildly therapeutic. Be sure to check out “The Mortified Podcast” and any Mortified live events near you.