Move over, bartenders, therapists, and priests. The rest of the world now has a chance to hear people’s deepest, most personal confessions too. Café Confidential, launched in March 2007 on video-sharing site Metacafe, features unscripted video clips of real individuals sharing personal experiences and secrets – things that even family or friends might not hear.
Hollywood television producer Steven Bochco (whose credits include producing NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, and Doogie Howser, M.D.) conceived the site with the premise that, “Online video provides an extraordinary forum for intimate, personal storytelling.” The 18- to 30-year-olds at Café Confidential ostensibly agree. Whether they were pulled from the street, approached at a mall, or motivated enough to submit their own videos, these individuals apparently couldn’t resist the opportunity to get their story out to a worldwide audience.
What kind of “confessions” exactly? A lot of PG-13 fare (with some pushing the envelope). The categories speak for themselves: My Most Embarrassing Moment, My Wildest Drinking Story, My First Time, My Weird Family, My Worst Date, My Craziest Day at Work. Not every 45-150 sec. clip is super compelling, but a good number are truly laugh-out-loud funny or memorably cringe-worthy. Take for instance “My Daughter at WalMart,” in which a father recounts his most embarrassing moment due to an unexpected declaration his young daughter makes at the store. Kids say the darndest things. Or “Girlfriend in the Basement,”a classic tale of getting caught by your mom when you’re in a, um, compromising position.
What truly makes Café Confidential work, though, isn’t necessarily the tantalizing secrets but simply watching various personalities unfold as they tell their story. Witness Cowabungagal, a woman who describes each of her experiences – about a one-night stand in college, a “call of nature” moment in Spain, and a hellish hostess job – with the unintentional humor of a natural comedienne.
In an age of blogs and vlogs, it’s not a wonder that confessional videos are one more avenue for personalizing the Internet. Blatant exhibitionism? Probably. Too much information? Definitely. Entertaining in a satisfyingly nosy way? Absolutely.
Want to do some confessing of your own? Feel free to tell the world about your most intimate moments.
By far the funniest video is “Toilet Date,” from the Will Video for Food and YouTube-famous personality better known as “Nalts.” I probably laughed for a few minutes straight after watching this 91-second clip about a guy’s run-in with his date’s father. Very Meet the Parents!