Penn Badgley’s Next Project Will Bring You Back to Middle School Awkwardness

Penn Badgley's soothing narration will soon take a sweeter—and more awkward—tone in his new podcast Podcrushed, in which he and his co-hosts relive middle school through listeners' stories.

By Steven Vargas May 16, 2022 11:26 PMTags
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No sleuthing needed to step into your middle school shoes. 

Earlier this month, Penn Badgley announced a new podcast, and now it's almost here. He shared in a tweet on May 16 that Podcrushed will be out May 18, and he'll be the one narrating listener-submitted stories from everyone's most awkward stage in life: middle school.

"Coming-of-age stories from that crushing time we call middle-school in the US (11-14ish)," he wrote in the tweet. "I narrate stories submitted by you & interview guests with my two co-hosts who are chill former teachers."

What does Penn know about middle school? Well, nothing. The You star admitted in a teaser he posted May 16 that he is a "middle school dropout." Instead, he spent his pre-teen life taking on Hollywood. Penn will be accompanied by Nava Kavelin, a former middle school director, and Sophie Ansari, a former fifth grade teacher, for the weekly podcast with SiriusXM's Stitcher.

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The 35-year-old actor will narrate embarrassing, sad and shocking middle school stories.

"The butterflies in my stomach are turning into, I don't know," Penn narrated in the teaser. "But suddenly I feel hot and wet and... No, no, no, no, no. Am I peeing?"

In a joint statement from the three hosts, they wrote, "Podcrushed began as a way to dig into people's most awkward and funny moments in middle school, in order to highlight the universality of getting crushed in some way."

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

"But as stories started rolling in from all over the world, the humanity of it all floored us—there weren't only stories of heartbreak, humiliation and delicious comeuppance, but also stories exploring confusion, identity, and loss," they continued. "What the show makes clear is that these experiences unite us all, and we can't wait for you to hear it."

The podcast also has its own lineup of celebrity guests, including Amy Schumer, Andy Grammer, Ayo Edebiri, Drew Barrymore, Jenna Ortega and more. 

Penn added in the teaser, "They're all mega-listenable because the guests we bring along, they're mostly my friends, let's be real."

Podcrushed will be available to listen May 18 wherever you get your podcasts.

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