Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Hi, I’m Dax Shepard, and I love talking to people. I am endlessly fascinated by the messiness of being human, and I find people who are vulnerable and honest about their struggles and shortcomings to be incredibly sexy. I invite you to join me as I explore other people’s stories. We will celebrate, above all, the challenges and setbacks that ultimately lead to growth and betterment. What qualifies me for such an endeavor? More than a decade of sobriety, a degree in Anthropology and four years of improv training. I will attempt to discover human “truths” without any laboratory work, clinical trials or data collection. I will be, in the great tradition of 16th-century scientists, an Armchair Expert.

TV & Film
Flightless Bird: New Zealand Summer Vacation
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier returns to Aotearoa, New Zealand, to investigate why so many of New Zealand's native birds are flightless. Literally. David sets out to find three such creatures: the little penguin, the kakapo, and - of course - the useless kiwi bird. What happened to their wings, and why does the world’s heaviest parrot choose to live on the forest floor instead of the majestic trees? David learns why New Zealand birds are so stinky and marvels at the weight of the extinct Moa. Also, why did the world’s biggest FLYING bird live in New Zealand? And why does one particular flightless bird lead to so many ghost scares each year?
67 min
Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson (Love, Pamela, Baywatch, Barb Wire) is an actress and model. Pamela joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she got into acting, why she loves writing more than talking, and how she learned to love being by herself. Pamela and Dax talk about love addiction, the culture of misogyny, and how to have fun being sober. Pamela explains why she is passionate about animal welfare issues, how she ended up doing a Broadway musical, and why she loves waking up early in the morning.
113 min
Armchair Anonymous: Worst Honeymoon
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their worst honeymoon experience.
50 min
Scott Galloway (on the crisis facing boys and men)
Scott Galloway (Adrift: America in 100 Charts, The Prof G Pod) is a professor, author, and podcaster. Scott joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he defines masculinity, the current state of the college admission process, and how humor is the fastest way to communicate intelligence. Scott and Dax talk about their addiction to affirmations from strangers, why young men need guardrails, and how liberating it can be to see the end coming. Scott explains that happiness is a function of the number of deep and meaningful relationships you have, how everything we do is a transfer of wealth from young to old, and why society needs to start investing more in young people.
125 min
Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer (Truth Be Told, The Help, Hidden Figures) is an award-winning actress and producer. Octavia joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being forced to grow up quickly, insecurities around auditioning for roles, and the difference between being nice and being kind. Octavia and Dax talk about being in a comedy troupe together, the time Dax met Samuel L. Jackson, and their fascination with serial killers. Octavia explains why it’s important to know your value as an actor, how winning an Oscar changed her life, and why she would describe herself as a hypochondriac. 
117 min
Armchair Anonymous: Period Hijinx
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their craziest period hijinx.
47 min
José Andrés (chef and humanitarian)
José Andrés (Longer Tables, World Central Kitchen) is an award-winning chef. José joins the Armchair Expert to discuss where his passion for cooking came from, why he started filming cooking segments with his family, and his thoughts on fast food. José and Dax talk about their favorite burgers, what all great chefs have in common, and his experience doing humanitarian work in Ukraine. José explains that food should be a universal human right, what the most dangerous thing he did on television was, and how food can be the solution to problems other than hunger.
121 min
Paul Scheer
Paul Scheer (Unspooled, How Did This Get Made, The League) is an actor, comedian, and podcaster. Paul joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the magic behind a great movie, how he keeps balance in his relationships, and why he has a problem with board games. Paul and Dax talk about what it’s like to have male role models that aren’t their fathers, why they still have a frugal mentality when it comes to money, and what the audition process for Saturday Night Live was like. Paul explains why people love to watch other people, how he learned to manage his anger, and why he loves being a competitor on reality shows.
123 min
Armchair Anonymous: Bad Roommate
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their worst experience with a roommate.
51 min
Sue Johnson (on emotionally focused couples the...
Dr. Sue Johnson (Hold Me Tight) is a clinical psychologist and author. Dr. Sue Johnson joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between practical and theoretical psychology, why acknowledging that people’s emotions are real is important, and how humans have an organic need to be social. Dax and Sue talk about how men are taught to not be vulnerable, why people want to feel like they matter to other people, and why humans should be curious about other humans’ experiences. Sue explains where she learned to observe the world around her, how physical health is connected to emotional health, and why couples often fight with each other.
106 min
Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick (Alice, Darling, Pitch Perfect, Trolls) is an actor. Anna joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her experience being in a toxic relationship, how she feels about the term “gaslighting,” and her strategies in dealing with a traumatic event. Anna and Dax talk about apologizing after having fights with friends, why people sometimes need to vent about their problems, and the dynamic of women being the breadwinners in relationships. Anna explains why she has travel anxiety, how it’s important to accept your own successes, and how some people can truly believe their own lies.
148 min
Phil Stutz (therapist, author, and psychiatrist)
Phil Stutz (Stutz, The Tools) is a psychologist, therapist, and author. Phil joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what his experience was being the subject of a documentary, what it was like being a psychiatrist at Rikers Island prison, and how he can tell if someone is a narcissist. Phil and Dax talk about how abstract psychology can be, why people pursue perfection, and why it can be hard to ask for help from others. Phil explains why having structure in life is so important, how the world is held together by human needs, and what the concept of holistic return is.
168 min
Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union (The Inspection, Strange World, Bad Boys 2) is an actor and producer. Gabrielle joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she always plans for the worst-case scenario, how she believes in the paranormal, and the reasons why she desires control in her life. Gabrielle and Dax talk about stepparents, growing up in the middle class, and being attracted to athletes. Gabrielle explains how she got into acting, how she’s learned to trust other people, and what a soul sacrifice is.
164 min
Holiday Spectacular 2022
Join us for our annual holiday spectacular as we celebrate the season, reflect on the year, and visit the Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest of Light.
72 min
Race to 35: Esther Perel
BONUS episode of Race to 35 with Esther Perel. Months after their retrievals, Monica and Liz return to the attic to discuss their feelings surrounding the egg retrieval process with some distance from the experience. Esther Perel joins the women in the attic to talk about ambiguous loss, jealousy/discomfort, and plans for the future. 
49 min
Flightless Bird: Christmas
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier looks at why Christmas is the OG holiday in America. He brings back Mike McHargue from the very first episode of Flightless Bird to talk about how religion and commerce mix. In 2021 Americans spent $800 billion on Christmas-related purchases and this year it looks to soar to new heights! Mike and David delve into the origins of Santa Claus, before David takes a trip to “Holiday Road,'' a giant Christmas display in Calabasas. Finally, David calls his mum/mom in New Zealand to discuss what it was like giving birth (to him) on Christmas Day.
62 min
Best of 2022
On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from 2022.
166 min
Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is a businessman, entrepreneur, and adventurer. Richard joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he became interested in starting businesses, why he is involved with global social issues, and how he enjoys being considered an underdog. Richard and Dax talk about their experiences with dyslexia, how they learn more from people’s failures, and their respect for artists. Richard explains why he is a thrill seeker, why someone’s reputation is so important, and how he was never obsessed with making money.
97 min
Race to 35: Post Retrieval
Monica and Liz get retrieved in episode 10 (out of 10) of Race to 35. In the final episode, L & M chat mere hours after their retrieval. They discuss their feelings, talk about the trigger shot experience, and discuss how their teams performed.
55 min
Flightless Bird: Soft Drinks
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand the vast array of soft drinks on offer in the United States of America. He ends up stumbling into Waco, Texas - home of Dr. Pepper - where he attempts to solve the riddle of what the heck Dr. Pepper tastes like. Along the way, he discovers Big Red and the chaotic history of bottled soda water. He visits the Dr. Pepper Museum where he meets the Dr. Pepper-obsessed Joy Summer-Smith, associate director of the Dr. Pepper Museum. Before he leaves Waco, David hears some ghost stories and attempts to come to terms with the fact he’s very far away from New Zealand’s unique soft drink, L&P
57 min
Edward Norton Returns
Edward Norton (Glass Onion, Motherless Brooklyn, Fight Club) is an actor and filmmaker. Edward joins the Armchair Expert again to discuss the concept of intellectual humility, the differences between cynicism vs skepticism, and how he feels about not being the first choice for roles. Edward and Dax talk about what type of strength it takes to surf, why people look to improve their appearance, and what their favorite shows are right now. Edward explains why he loves well-written monologues, how much work goes into producing your own projects, and what makes a great murder mystery.
121 min
Armchair Anonymous: Holiday Nightmare
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a nightmare holiday experience.
51 min
Gloria Mark (on attention spans)
Gloria Mark (Attention Span) is a professor, author, and researcher. Gloria joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what attention is, how email can be a main source of stress, and what the study of Informatics is. Gloria and Dax talk about the concept of flow, what social capital on the internet is, and what the fallacy in multi-tasking is. Gloria explains how being an artist prepared her for studying psychology, how well-being should be prioritized over productivity in the workplace, and how self-interruption is a major culprit of distraction.
118 min
Race to 35: Day 9 + Andrew Solomon
Monica and Liz are all synced up in episode 9 (out of 10) of Race to 35. The two are feeling unexpectedly sad as this process comes to an end. They have resigned to the idea that their follicles are players and that they, the coaches, can only do so much. Liz re-visits trauma from her synchronized swimming days and talks about the time she interviewed for Anna Wintour. L & M chat with Andrew Solomon (Pulitzer Prize finalist author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity and The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression) about expanding the notion of the nuclear family, choosing surrogacy, his personal story of picking an egg donor and his experience interviewing polyamorous couples and parents of psychopaths. He, also, shares two new terms with the ladies: "supermarket people" and "the good enough mother".
93 min
Flightless Bird: Leaf Blowers
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand why Americans love leaf blowers so much. Plagued by leaf blowers around his tiny one-bedroom apartment, David attempts to reach President Joe Biden to discuss leaf blower use at the White House. Failing miserably, he has to settle for another politician - also powerful - Pleasantville Village Trustee, Nicole Asquith. Why are various cities and states attempting to phase out gas-guzzling leaf blowers and why are they so dangerous? David speaks to Seattle Met magazine journalist Benjamin Cassidy, who recently wrote about Seattle's leaf blower turf war, before musing on Americans’ obsession with the perfect lawn.
48 min