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David Nadelberg is one of the bravest men in comedy.

As the creator of Mortified, a hysterical smorgasbord of teenage angst wherein real people share their real childhood artifacts (such as diaries, letters, poems, songs, etc), Nadelberg has hit the nail on the painfully nostalgic head. Audiences go nuts for the stage show, and the press has, too; the show has received countless accolades, including Day-Glo raves from Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, and “This American Life” on NPR.

Can you imagine hopping up on a stage and reading, aloud, to a group of strangers, your most intimate and, yes, embarrassing, teenage thoughts?

We told you it was brave.

To boot, Nadelberg was just named in Heeb magazine’s “Heeb 100” as one of the country’s scorching-hot up-and-comers on the comedy scene. Can you blame them? Check out this “Shoebox Show” episode, snagged from the Mortified website – a “dramatic reenactment” of a Mortified reader’s diary:

Nadelberg clearly knows his funny, which is why we’re so tickled to have him as this week’s Guest Editor. He’s collected, for you, his favorite clips that celebrating our most mortifying adolescent memories.


1) Homemade Haircuts – Lindsay Webb
I luckily survived my childhood without having to experience a home made haircut. But I did have to sit through a lot of commercials for the Flobee home haircutting appliance. And that was terrifying enough.

2) Running Cross-Country in High School – Brad Binkley
There are lots of clubs you can join in high school that will ensure other students will make fun of you. Marching band is one. The other is cross country. Perhaps it would be more efficient if today’s schools just combined the two groups. Imagine watching tons of scrawny teenage boys in track shorts running miles through the woods while wearing giant fuzzy hats and twirling batons. Maybe then, ESPN would finally give cross country runners some love. Or at least National Geographic Channel.

3) School Headshots Suck – Jeff Kachelmeyer
I always wished my parents would have sprung for me to have my yearbook photo taken with a laser beam or outer space backdrop. Instead, I always got stuck with baby blue. I simply thought laser backdrops looked classier. One day, I hope we elect a president who will demand to have his official portrait taken in front of a backdrop reminiscent of Tron. Then we’ll see real change.

4) Oregon Trail – Greg Brainos
Oregon Trail was the most depressing video game ever made. It’s storyline revolved around such time-honored childhood loves as illness and famine. And yet, for any kid growing up in the 1980s, it was also the greatest game. The reason? It was the ONLY game teachers let us play in school. Beggars can’t be choosers. Especially when said begging occurs in a pixelated frontier wagon.

5) I Used to Skateboard – David Angelo
I owned a Nash skateboard in the late 80s. Nash was the most reviled board company out there. As I quickly learned, only poseurs rode Nash boards. Mine came from Kmart and featured Bill the Cat on the top. Maybe this is why I never did quite pull off that olly I pined for.

6) Hazardous to Kids – Butch Bradley
I miss the days of metal playgrounds. Today’s jungle gyms are made of plastic and foam. Where’s the thrill in that? If you can’t potentially get injured on a playground, how fun can it be? Ask anyone who has ever died on the monkey bars– at least they had fun while doing it.


Comment from Mark
Time: October 19, 2009, 11:36 am

Ha! you rode a Nash?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!