The Make-Out Room
Review by Ashley Harrell
April 25, 2008
This weekend’s Mortified – the live performance of adolescent diary entries, poems, songs, etc. – had the Make-Out Room audience gripping their stomachs, spitting their drinks, and occasionally sighing at certain heartfelt moments not entirely unique to teenage years.
Yeah, it was funny and all, but I was sort of hoping that one or two would bomb and show us the true definition of mortified. After all, the only thing more embarrassing then teenage thoughts is unintentionally bad comedy. But the creators of the show know better than to throw talentless amateurs on stage. They spend hours and hours reading through raw material, crafting people’s stories, and choosing performers. Although they are constantly looking for new talent, they often wind up using the same seasoned performers time and again.
There’s the guy from Pittsburgh who wrote stories of his Beach Boys-inspired dreams to drive around Southern California in a convertible and dance to MC Hammer with a beach babe named Caroline. And the woman who realized at age thirteen that Jesus Christ was not as cool as pot (and composed ridiculous poems comparing her life to a balloon thereafter). Then there’s the former wallflower who yearned to be bad. “I wouldn’t mind going out with him because that would give me the chance to start drugs and get fucked,” she confided in her diary.
It’s funny, seemingly effortless stuff, and it’s drawn a huge following. With shows in nine cities, a published book, and coverage from This American Life, Newsweek, The Today Show and more, Mortified has practically become a cultural phenomenon. Hundreds of adults have handed over their most embarrassing material in hopes that there will be something there, something worth reading aloud to a bunch of people drinking Pabst at a hip bar.
Bottom line: Confession is so hot right now. And as I’m watching some girl admit that she once addressed her diary as “dudical dude,” I can’t help but wonder if she’s really mortified at all.
Best Lines of the night:
“That’s babeosity at its extreme.”
“If it wasn’t addictive, I would smoke all the time.”
“The Easter bunny is one hip dude.”
“I was pumping this chick like the Saudis were pumping their oil fields.”
“If you really loved me, you never would have had me.”
(uttered by a five-year-old, who had become devastated by the idea of his own death, to his parents)
Best song lyric: “I won’t be your chum unless you drink my cum.”