Don't Tell My Mother!

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Don't Tell My Mother!
Genre Comedy, Storytelling
Date of premiere October, 2011
Location Los Angeles
Official website

Don’t Tell My Mother! is a live storytelling event where writers and performers from film and television share true stories they’d never want their moms to know. Created and hosted by Twentieth Century Fox feature film producer Nikki Levy and Executive Produced by Lizzie Czerner, the show began in October 2011 in Los Angeles, California, and features well-known and up-and-coming talent. Past performers include Traci Lords (Pop Icon), Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live), Justin Halpern (Shit My Dad Says), and Mary Lynn Rajskub (24).

About the Show[edit]

Don’t Tell My Mother! was created in October 2011 by Nikki Levy, a Los Angeles-based feature film producer known for Epic and Frost/Nixon. Nikki met Bang Comedy Theatre Artistic Director Lizzie Czerner (The Booby Prize), and together they launched the first show in the lobby of Bang Comedy Theatre featuring unknown performers. The show quickly gained recognition from Huffington Post[1][2] and The LA Times.[3]

Nikki works with comics, actors and award-winning screenwriters to share honest, hilarious and poignant true stories they wouldn’t want their mothers to know. This process, dubbed “creative therapy” by Hollywood producer Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle), allows each performer to craft their story into a 10-12 minute piece to be read on stage.

Playing monthly at Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles to a crowd of 200+, the show is hosted by Nikki Levy and features a new cast of performers each month reading their own material. Each show has a happy hour and foodtruck, live stories and a house band fronted by musician Abby Posner.

Don’t Tell My Mother! has a podcast featuring past performers and is produced by Joe Slepski.

The show has performed in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago (December 2013).

Nikki’s New York-based mother, Judi Levy, makes frequent appearance in person or via Skype.


Creator and Host: Nikki Levy

A graduate of Northwestern University, Nikki serves as Vice President of Wedge Works, a feature film company with a deal at Fox. She’s worked on such films as Fox Animation’s 2013 release EPIC starring Beyonce Knowles, Academy Award-nominated Frost/Nixon, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Prior to joining Fox, she was the Director of Developmentat Imagine Entertainment. A native New Yorker, she credits her dysfunctional relationship with her amazing mother as the genesis for the show. She lives in Los Angeles with her pit bull.

Co-Creator & ExecutiveProducer: Lizzie Czerner

Lizzie studied theatre at Sarah Lawrence College and has an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. She worked as Artistic Director of Bang Comedy Theatre, where she helped create and continues to produce the hit storytelling show, Don’t Tell My Mother! Lizzie is an actor, director, voiceover artist and coach. Her solo show, The Booby Prize, won Best Comedy runner up in the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival and was an official jury selection of the 2011 NYC International Fringe Festival. She is also co-founder of The Rant Theatre Company.

Associate Producers:

Marisa Sarnoff

Joe Slepski

Hamish Tildesley

Kitty Walsh

Jake Webb - Jake "of all trades" Webb works in PR, entertainment marketing, writes for WeHo News and creates shameless self-promotion at Webb serves as Associate Producer and talent-facing liaison for Don't Tell My Mother!.

Coordinating Producer: Amanda Harrington

House Band: Abby Posner

Publicity Manager: Edith Yang

Production Team:

David Bornstein

Valarie Phillips

Mary Colleran

Bryce Fishman

Bart Gold

Lauren Gural

Emily Kirk

Julie Neumark

Jared Noble

Alexandra Zelle Rettman

Patrick Skelly

Andy Wagner

Photographers: Megan & Lowell Hiles of Lasting MPressions Photography

Talent and Past Performers[edit]

There is a new cast for each show. Many of these performers have a podcast available through iTunes.


  • October 13:
Wendy Hammers The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Late Late Show
Evan Susser What's Going On? with Mike Mitchell
Stirling Gardner You're Thinking of Someone Else
Cornell Womack Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D, The Newsroom, Criminal Minds
Claire Titelman Veronica Mars
Nikki Levy Because I Said So
  • November 10:
Lauren Weedman The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, True Blood, Five Year Engagement
Aaron Mendelsohn Air Bud, Secret Diary of an American Cheerleader
Josh Weiner Code Monkeys, Spike TV's MANswers
Susan McMartin Two and a Half Men
Debbie Jhoon The Inbetweeners
Adam Shapiro Now You See Me, Mistresses, Scandal, Grey's Anatomy
Nikki Levy Frost/Nixon


  • January 12:
Erin Foley Comedy Central, Chelsea Lately, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Almost Famous
Claire Titelman Parks and Recreation
C. Brian Smith The Cleveland Show, Accidentally on Purpose
Suzanne Whang House Hunters, Nip/Tuck, General Hospital
Greg Levine Arrested Development
Leah Hanes New York Times: Modern Love
Nikki Levy Because I Said So
  • February 9:
Jill Benjamin Community, My Name is Earl
Melinda Hill Reno 911, Sarah Silverman Program
Jen Kober Curb Your Enthusiasm, Anger Management
Carlos Kotkin Please God Let it be Herpes
Nelson Ascencio MADTV, The Hunger Games
Mark Miller The Huffington Post
Nikki Levy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • March 15:
Drew Droege How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, Key and Peele, House of Lies
Jessica Golden The Adam Carolla Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Reign Over Me
John Grady The Moth Winner, Sex and the City, I Am Legend
Patrick Hamilton The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
Margot Leitman Moth Grandslam Champion, Stevie TV, Gynoblast on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Debbie Jhoon The Inbetweeners
Nikki Levy Leafmen
  • May 10 (Mother's Day Show):
Mary Birdsong The Descendants, Reno 911
Justin Halpern Sh*t My Dad Says
Shelagh Ratner Prank My Mom
Kay Sedia The Tupperware Drag Queen of So Cal, Chico's Angels
Mara Shapshay Huffington Post, Junk American Princess
Jen Kober Curb Your Enthusiasm
Nikki Levy Because I Said So
  • June 7 (Performed at Comedy Central Stage):
Cornell Womack Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, State of Play, Rescue Me
Claire Titelman New Girl, Parks and Recreation
Jen Kober American Reunion
Nikki Levy Frost/Nixon
  • June 28 (Father's Day Show):
Ryan Knighton C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark, Cockeyed
Amanda Marks The Hangover, WALL-E, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine
Tom Lenk Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Argo, Girls Will Be Girls, How I Met Your Mother, Psych
Ari Shaffir Passive Aggressive
Nikki Levy Leafmen
  • July 19:
Gary & Larry Lane Jack & Jill (2011), Hollywood to Dollywood, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, Zoolander
Jack Plotnick Meet the Fockers, Down with Love, The Mentalist, Joan of Arcadia, Supernatural, Wizards of Waverly Place
Frangela I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, He's Just Not That Into You, Girls Behaving Badly, Drake and Josh
David Dean Bottrell Mad Men, Save Me, NCIS, True Blood, Days of Our Lives, iCarly
Jen Kober The Mindy Project
Nikki Levy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • September 13:
Laraine Newman Despicable Me 2, Wreck-It Ralph, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, The Fairly OddParents, Metalocalypse, Up, The Lorax, 7th Heaven
Tracee Ellis Ross The Dish, Hanging Up, Race Against Fear: A Moment of Truth, Hanging Up, Girlfriends, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Reed Between the Lines
Dave Ross Terrified, MOTH GrandSlam winner, Tosh.0, KCRW
Jackie Kashian Conan O'Brien, Last Comic Standing
Margot Leitman Moth GrandSlam Champion, Stevie TV, Gynoblast on Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Tom O’Connor Doctors
Nikki Levy Leafmen
  • October 11:
Jason Stuart Secret Life of the American Teenager, Entourage, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Closer
Cindy Chupack Modern Family, Love Bites, Sex and the City
Betty Goldstein The Moth
Jen Kober Happy Endings
Nikki Levy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • November 29:
Lizz Winstead The Daily Show
Kate McKinnon Saturday Night Live
Chris Gethard Iron Man 3, The Office, The Dictator, The Chris Gethard Show
Jen Kober Treme
Nikki Levy Frost/Nixon


  • January 24:
Diane Neal Law and Order: SVU
Baron Vaughn Fairly Legal, Arrested Development
Annabelle Gurwitch You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up, Fired!
Hasan Minhaj Failosophy, Arrested Development
Claire Titelman Parks and Recreation
Nikki Levy Frost/Nixon
  • February 28:
Mary Lynn Rajskub 24, Arrested Development, New Girl, How to Be a Gentleman, Safety Not Guaranteed
Barry Rothbart The Wolf of Wall Street
Alison Becker Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, The League
Teddy Margas Margaret Cho's Blind Dinner Party
Hasan Minhaj Failosophy
Nikki Levy Epic
  • April 11:
Ron Morehouse The Amazing Spider-Man, She's Living for This
Arden Myrin Orange Is the New Black, Psych, MADtv
Adam Shapiro 1600 Penn
Jackie Kashian Conan
Jen Kirkman Chelsea Lately
Nikki Levy Epic
  • May 9:
Nancy Lee Grahn General Hospital, 7th Heaven, Melrose Place
Davy Rothbart Found Magazine
Tom Lenk Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Argo
Diane Neal Law and Order: SVU
Jen Kober The Mindy Project
Nikki Levy Epic
  • June 20:
Traci Lords Pop Icon, Devil May Call, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Blade
Steve Agee The Sarah Silverman Program, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, New Girl, 2 Broke Girls
Grant Cotter Rated R for RADICAL
Lynda Obst Hot in Cleveland
James Adomian Last Comic Standing, Maron
Nikki Levy Epic


  1. ^ Bartolone, Tony (7 June 2012). "Everybody's Talking About Don't Tell My Mother". Huffington Post. 
  2. ^ Steely, Jon (17 June 2013). "There Are Things Traci Lords Doesn't Want Her Mother to Know". Huffington Post. 
  3. ^ Wetherbe, Jamie (19 July 2012). "'Don't Tell My Mother,' but ...". Los Angeles Times. 


  1. "Featured Entertainer: Nikki Levy." Science and Entertainment Exchange, 1 August 2012.
  2. Bartolone, Tony. "Everybody's Talking About Don't Tell My Mother." The Huffington Post, 7 June 2012.
  3. "Don’t Tell My Mother! Some Funny Sh*t You Won’t Wanna Keep Quiet About.", 28 April 2012.
  4. Lustick, Adam. "Embarrassing Family Stories, Expertly Told, Take Center Stage in L.A. Show." Jewcy, 5 June 2012.
  5. Wetherbe, Jamie. "'Don't Tell My Mother,' but ...". Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2012.
  6. Nelson, Cori Clark. "Don't Tell My Mother!" Los Angeles I'm Yours, 16 July 2012.
  7. Ziemba, Christine. "Five Questions: Meet Nikki Levy of the Live Storytelling Show 'Don't Tell My Mother.'" LAist, 10 September 2012.
  8. Torok, Ryan. "Q&A with Nikki Levy." Jewish Journal, 27 September 2012.
  9. Webb, Jake. "Don’t Tell My Mama: Reviewed." WeHo News, 18 October 2012.
  10. "Comedy Listings for Nov. 23-29." New York Times, 22 November 2012.
  11. Sass, Megan. "Tell Everyone About Don’t Tell My Mother!" Heeb Magazine, 11 December 2012.
  12. Ziemba, Christine. "Pencil This In." LAist, 24 January 2013.
  13. Taylor, Leah. "The Flavorpill Guide to the Week’s Top 10 LA Events." Flavorwire, 25 February 2013.
  14. Steely, Jon. "There Are Things Traci Lords Doesn't Want Her Mother to Know." Huffington Post, 17 June 2013.
  15. Goldstein, Gregg. "Art or Commerce? Some Execs Balance Both." Variety, 13 July 2013.