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.

Comedy
TV & Film
Music
101
David Lieberman
David Lieberman (Mindreader, You Can Read Anyone) is an author and psychotherapist. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his research into the psychology of the human ego, the art of reading a bluff, and the importance of respect in any relationship. David and Dax talk about the differences between sociopaths and narcissists, who they most admire, and what it really means when people speak negatively about others. David explains how to tell if someone is genuinely interested in you, how he grew up being fascinated with why people do the things they do, and what it actually means to have confidence.
94 min
102
Flightless Bird: Healthcare
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to make sense of the very confusing American healthcare system. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why some Americans end up paying their own ambulance bill and why over half of the American population is riddled with medical debt. David talks to Luke O’Neil - the journalist and writer behind the popular newsletter "Welcome to Hellworld" - about why it falls on children to raise money for their parent's medical bills and discovers why in the US healthcare system teeth are considered “luxury bones”.
52 min
103
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Gay Pride & Prejudice, Modern Family, Take Me Out) is an actor and producer. Jesse joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how the businesses of theater and television differ, what winning a Tony award meant to him, and some of his bad audition experiences. Jesse and Dax talk about how they handle negative comments on social media, their experiences having children, and how streaming platforms have changed the television landscape. Jesse explains what a “conversational cul-de-sac” is, where he got his on-stage confidence from, and how he feels about hosting reality shows.
94 min
104
Armchair Anonymous: Stealing
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they stole something.
61 min
105
Tracy Dennis-Tiwary (anxiety researcher & author)
Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is an author and researcher. Tracy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how anxiety can be a tool for people to deal with stress, how it shouldn’t always be treated with medication, and that anxiety is a feature of being human and not a malfunction. Tracy and Dax talk about what it’s like to travel internationally now, why caring for pets stresses people out, and why mental health and gun issues are often linked. Tracy explains how she started practicing Hinduism, that she is trained as a classical musician, and how we need to reframe what we think about anxiety.
88 min
106
Armchaired & Dangerous: Multi-Level Marketing
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Multi-Level Marketing
57 min
107
Flightless Bird: Diners
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand what makes the American diner experience so special, by traveling to Reno, Nevada. There he meets the staff of Peg's Glorified Ham N Eggs and meets the regulars who've made the diner their home away from home - including Rainbow Man, a man obsessed with painting human bodies at Burning Man. What makes a diner a diner? How have they changed over the years? David and Monica discuss their various diner experiences, from fights to excessive milkshake consumption.
35 min
108
Shaun White
Shaun White is an Olympic gold medalist snowboarder. Shaun joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he dealt with the pressures of people expecting him to win all the time, how he applied his skateboarding skills to snowboarding, and what drives him to be the best in his sport. Shaun and Dax talk about how there is an element of creativity in snowboarding that’s not in other sports and how a big crash late in his career changed his perspective on his future. Shaun explains how he bought his family a new house at a young age, how he incorporated high fashion into his snowboarding clothing style, and what he is up to in his retirement from competition.
154 min
109
Armchair Anonymous: 911
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they had to call 911.
40 min
110
Malcolm Gladwell Returns
Malcolm Gladwell (Revisionist History) is an author, journalist, and podcaster. Malcolm returns to the Armchair Expert again to discuss what social experiments he does on the new season of his podcast, what his dream car would be, and what the results of his recent ancestry test were. Malcolm and Dax talk about how they appreciate people who can build things, how they are obsessed with people’s voices, and who their favorite comedians are. Malcolm explains why old sitcoms were so popular, what podcasts he loves right now, and what the consequences of social media could be on future generations.
100 min
111
Flightless Bird: Circumcision
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover why America loves circumcision so much, to the point where 115 million American men now find themselves without a foreskin. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why this medical procedure became so popular here, leading to some medical diagrams not bothering to include a foreskin anymore. David talks to a man in his 30s who’s furious he got circumcised when he was a baby, and another who’s annoyed he wasn’t circumcised, as he considers getting an adult circumcision. David talks to a doctor who’s carried out hundreds of circumcisions to find out what all the fuss is about, and spends time with Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America - who wants circumcision to be thrown out the window.
51 min
112
John Early
John Early (The Afterparty, Search Party, 30 Rock) is an actor and comedian. John joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like growing up with ministers as parents, using humor as a weapon against bullies, and how he is doing after surgery for a herniated disk. John and Dax talk about how hypochondria and Munchausen's syndrome are different, what some of their sexual fantasies are, and how they often dwell on awkward social interactions. John explains what celebrity he thinks he resembles, what he thinks being masculine really means, and why he loves to make satires of sitcoms.
101 min
113
Armchair Anonymous: Zoom Blunder
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their biggest zoom blunder.
38 min
114
R.L. Stine (Goosebumps novelist)
R.L. Stine (Goosebumps, Fear Street) is an author and television producer. Bob joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he got started writing the Goosebumps series, how fast he can write a book, and why he thinks the horror genre is funny. Bob and Dax talk about how he comes up with all the kids' names in his books, how they were both class clowns growing up, and how he tries to keep up with the younger generation’s trends for his stories. Bob explains how he only read comic books as a kid, why he loves to publish in the paperback format, and what happened when he met one of his literary heroes, Ray Bradbury.
95 min
115
Flightless Bird: Football
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand a game that simply doesn’t exist in New Zealand: American Football. He tries to figure out America’s most popular sport and asks why over 100 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. After watching the Super Bowl for the first time, David travels to Seattle to get schooled by NFL Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones, who was drafted by the Seahawks in 1997. He discovers what a locker room smells like and why some football players love to chew gum so much. Walter also opens up about his theories on the existence of extraterrestrial life.
44 min
116
Rick Glassman
Rick Glassman (As We See It, Undateable, Take Your Shoes Off) is a comedian, podcaster, actor, and creative volcano. Rick joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the fight he had with Dax while playing Mafia, how his stand-up persona is really him, and The Glassman Bop. Rick explains how he found out he had autism, how scared he was of being a spokesperson for something he was still learning about, and how he has learned to set people’s expectations of him appropriately. Rick & Dax discuss how his obsessive compulsion has become a superpower, what it was like to work with Jason Katims on his new show, and the two sing some songs together.
113 min
117
Armchair Anonymous: Betrayal
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they betrayed someone they love.
42 min
118
Seirian Sumner (behavioral ecologist on wasps)
Dr. Seirian Sumner (Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps) is an entomologist and behavioral ecologist. Dr. Sumner joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why wasps need to be re-branded in popular culture, how they are used to control crop pests, and how understudied they are in relation to other insects. Dr. Sumner and Dax talk about the amazing things some wasps can do to their prey, how the queen of a colony is chosen, and what different roles the wasps perform within their society. Dr. Sumner explains what happens during a worker wasp rebellion, how mating works in the insect world, and why monocultures of species are dangerous.
91 min
119
Flightless Bird: Bottled Water
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand America’s obsession with bottled water. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why tap water just won’t cut it in many US States, leading Americans to spend billions on bottled water every year. David talks to author and scientist Peter Gleick about tap water myths, and how some bottled water companies have accidentally added things like arsenic and cricket parts to their bottled creations. We discover why a new sports stadium purposefully didn’t install enough public water fountains and get to the bottom of whether carcinogenic chemicals leech from plastic bottles creating a deathtrap.
47 min
120
David Sedaris Returns Again
David Sedaris (Happy-Go-Lucky) is a comedian and author. David joins the Armchair Expert again to discuss what his experience was when his father died, what he says when people ask him for advice, and what terminology he really does not like. David and Dax talk about what historical figures they would want to have sex with, what they think Jesus actually looked like, and the walk they took together. David explains how he was almost attacked on stage over a joke, why he didn’t have an ID card for the longest time, and how flying in a plane isn’t what it used to be.
118 min
121
Armchair Anonymous: Sexcapades
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a place they thought was going to be romantic to have sex but ended up being a disaster.
48 min
122
Kathleen Belew (white supremacy historian)
Kathleen Belew (Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America) is a historian, author, and expert on white nationalism. Kathleen joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she defines what white power in America is, what roles some women have within it, and why militias are socially accepted in the US. Kathleen and Dax talk about how to address the lingering issues of our history, the differences between lone wolf and political violence, and why racial inequality is a difficult conversation for many Americans. Kathleen explains how many American institutions are built on favoring white people, what people’s trauma reveals about the safety of the world, and how to move forward in a less polarized society.
110 min
123
Flightless Bird: Disney II
This week on Flightless Bird, David embarks on his first-ever trip to Disneyland with Dax, Monica, and Wobby Wob to see if the magic of the place rubs off on him. In amongst discovering the joys of Star Wars: Galaxies Edge and the Cars ride, David investigates Disney Social Clubs, also known as "Disney Gangs." He learns about the alleged beef between two groups, the Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club and the White Rabbits, and talks to a member of the Sons of Anakin. David discovers the one Disney property that isn't copyrighted and lays eyes on an elusive Disney feral cat.
36 min
124
Connie Britton
Connie Britton (Mamas, Friday Night Lights, Nashville) is an actress. Connie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being an aerobics instructor in New York, how much her parents appreciated the arts, and being resentful of Dax because he was too funny on a panel. Connie explains what led her to the decision to adopt, how hard it is to be a single mom, and how she felt like an orphan after losing both her parents. Connie and Dax talk about the values they learned from working with Jason Katims, how dreamy it was to work on White Lotus, and her new show that explores the depths of what it means to be a mama across the whole animal kingdom.
105 min
125
Brett Scott (author on cashless societies)
Brett Scott (Cloudmoney, The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance) is an author, journalist, and financial broker. Brett joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how important economic anthropology is, how secondary monetary systems actually work, and why society is being pushed to become a cashless system. Brett and Dax talk about why early cypherpunk movements started, what cryptocurrency really represents, and how currency might work in the meta-verse. Brett explains how cash economies can have a political impact, how payment systems can be a form of digital tracking, and how technology often alters society to necessitate its own existence.
93 min
126
Flightless Bird: Flags
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand why Americans love their flag so much, buying nearly 150 million of them every year. Joined by Dax and Monica, David quizzes them about what it’s like to go to school and pledge allegiance to the flag, before Dax recalls his colorful interactions with an American flag and a flag pole. David talks to flag expert, TedTalker and podcaster Roman Mars about what makes a good flag design, before chatting with vexillologist Tory Laitila - curator of Textiles and Historic Arts of Hawai'i at the Honolulu Museum of Art - about the dos and don’ts of flag etiquette. Thanks to first amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, we discover how the burning of a flag led to one of America’s most divisive court cases.
51 min
127
Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle, Jerry and Marge Go Large) is an actor. Bryan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work ethic as an actor, where he learned improv from, and how playing Walter White changed television. Bryan and Dax talk about their love for motorcycles, their experiences involving alcoholism, and how much they both love history. Bryan explains how he once made Jerry Seinfeld laugh, that he never writes award acceptance speeches, and how he learned to appreciate the good fortune in his life.
96 min
128
Armchair Anonymous: Scams
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries answer the question: have you ever been scammed?
42 min
129
Steve Brusatte (paleontologist and evolutionary...
Steve Brusatte (The Rise and Reign of the Mammals) is a paleontologist and author. Steve joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the process of finding dinosaur bones, how mammals survived during the time of the dinosaurs, and how likely it is to bring back the woolly mammoth. Steve and Dax talk about what some of the largest mammals would have looked like, how Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with natural history, and how evolution has shaped what today’s mammals are. Steve explains how the dinosaurs most likely died off, that dinosaurs most definitely had feathers, and that blue whales have belly buttons.
145 min
130
Flightless Bird: Burgers
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover why Americans love burgers so much, eating 50 million of them a year. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why in America it’s always beef for dinner and how that fact has drastically altered the biology of the humble cow. David talks to Ben Wurgaft, author of “Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food” about the triumphs and problems of creating artificial meat. David also talks to Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest, about the realities of feeding 8 billion people on earth each year using meat grown in giant vats - and asks whether it’s all just hype. We also discover what Dax Shepard and Kim Kardashian have in common - and yes, it’s related to meat.
54 min
131
Laura Linney
Laura Linney (Ozark, The Big C, The Truman Show) is an actress. Laura joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the rewards and sacrifices of doing theater productions, what her experience at Juilliard was like, and how she has a romantic fantasy about train travel. Laura and Dax talk about their experiences surrounding addiction, how they handled assimilating into mainstream culture, and how good comedy often reveals universal truths about people. Laura explains why she was drawn to her character on Ozark, how a career in television was not her original ambition, and what she loved about working in Georgia.
83 min
132
Father's Day
11 min
133
Armchair Anonymous: Swingers
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries answer the question: have you ever accidentally found yourself in a swingers situation?
34 min
134
Reggie Fils-Aimé (former Nintendo president)
Reggie Fils-Aimé (Disrupting the Game) is a businessman and former President and COO of Nintendo. Reggie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he marketed a Japanese video game company to American teenagers, how growing up in the Bronx shaped the rest of his life, and where he learned the concept of brand management from. Reggie and Dax talk about how massive the video game industry is compared to other forms of media, how the average video gamer has changed over the years, and how social media has changed our ideas about branding. Reggie explains what disruptive innovation means, why the relationship between product development and marketing matters, and what lessons he has learned by not always succeeding in his ventures.
109 min
135
Flightless Bird: Dog Shows
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand his favorite American mockumentary "Best in Show" by attempting to immerse himself in the world of competitive dog shows. Joined by Monica, David shares his unusual history in the animal-showing world, before meeting happy animal owners who love nothing more than selectively breeding an animal that is superior to all others. We discover the story of a dog assassination attempt and look at how ethics and boundless enthusiasm collide in the world of competitive animal showing. Warning: This episode also contains a lot of cats.
46 min
136
Daniel Ricciardo Returns
Daniel Ricciardo is a Formula 1 driver. Daniel returns to the Armchair Expert to discuss why he jokes so much about his looks, where he got his manners from, and how he handles the pressures of being a famous race car driver. Daniel and Dax talk about how much they enjoy riding dirt bikes together, how much they both love Austin, and what Daniel thinks he might do once he is done racing. Daniel explains why he decided to start his own clothing line, how he enjoys traveling for his job, and what his favorite French word is.
112 min
137
Armchair Anonymous: Airplanes
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the craziest thing that ever happened to them on an airplane.
48 min
138
Ed Yong (on animal senses)
Ed Yong (An Immerse World, I Contain Multitudes) is a science journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner. Ed joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he became a science writer, how his coverage of the pandemic was different than other reporting, and how biomimicry has advanced our technology. Ed and Dax talk about how some animals can sense magnetic fields, how evolution is about diversity not superiority, and how senses can often work together instead of being compartmentalized. Ed explains how we need imagination to understand how animals experience the world, what “party tricks” some animals can do, and how there is a whole other dimension of color in the natural world that humans can’t see.
98 min
139
Flightless Bird: Suing
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover why Americans love suing each other so much - filing over 40 million lawsuits a year. Joined by Dax and Monica, David attempts to figure out how to avoid being sued and talks about the time a New York man sued him... twice. Dax weighs in with his own legal battles and David talks to New York media lawyer Cameron Stracher about what it was like defending the National Enquirer during the Michael Cohen Trump Fiasco. We discover how lawsuits aren’t as frivolous as you might expect - including the famous McDonald's hot coffee incident which saw superheated hot coffee explode on a woman’s lap.
59 min
140
Zazie Beetz
Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Deadpool 2, Joker) is an actor. Zazie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her name and how everyone pronounces it incorrectly, growing up in a pro-nudity culture in East Germany, and her communist grandparents. Zazie explains what it was like going from Germany to Washington Heights, how connected she feels to anyone of mixed heritage, and why she feels intentions are so important. Zazie opens up about her fear of losing people, the physical response she has to anxiety, and how she feels the need to take care of her character in Atlanta.
97 min
141
Armchair Anonymous: Forbidden Love
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about being in love with someone they aren't supposed to be in love with.
39 min
142
Susan Cain (on the power of introverts and bitt...
Susan Cain (Quiet, Bittersweet) is an author and lecturer. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the power of introverts, the different ways people collaborate, and how melancholy can lead to creativity. Susan and Dax talk about what the differences between introversion and shyness are, how humans react to other humans in distress, and what happens at a longevity convention. Susan explains what her new personality test tells you, how the modern world incentivizes extroversion, and how introverts are often incorrectly passed over for leadership positions.
131 min
143
Armchaired & Dangerous: NXIVM
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: NXIVM
61 min
144
Flightless Bird: Disney Adults
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover how Disney’s parks and experiences division made 17 billion dollars last year - seeing 77 million people through its rollercoasters, rides, and massive queues. Joined by Monica, David tries to figure out what Disney Adults are all about, and why they love those Mickey Mouse ears so much. David talks to a hardcore Disneyland fan to learn about Disney’s biggest secrets, including SEA - the hidden backstory worked into every Disney Park on the planet. We discover the rules behind the elite Club 33 and ask if Disneyland employees love Disney as much as everyone else.
49 min
145
LIVE: Ike Barinholtz
Armchair Expert Live from Los Angeles at the Wiltern. May 2nd, 2022. Ike Barinholtz (The Afterparty, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) is an actor, comedian, and producer. Ike joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how much he knows about the JFK conspiracy, what his experience shooting a movie with Nick Cage was like, and the results of his recent colonoscopy. Ike and Dax talk about what they love to order from Dairy Queen, what words really bother them, and how they both have an Abercrombie connection. Ike explains what baseball commissioners actually do and what phone technology was like before the internet. Special Musical Guest: Local Natives.
124 min
146
Ray Dalio (investor and hedge fund manager)
Ray Dalio (Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order) is a global macro-investor and author. Ray joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how the world’s economy is driven by debt, how investors can study history to try to predict financial outcomes, and how new world orders can shape the rules for the rest of humanity. Ray and Dax talk about what equal opportunity actually looks like, how education is affecting the future of the economy, and how compromise is the key to creating a system that works for everyone. Ray explains the different types of wars, how ideologies now rule in the public space, and how meditation has helped him with painful experiences in his life.
97 min
147
Flightless Bird: Toilets
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover why the water level on American toilets is terrifyingly high, almost filling up the entire toilet bowl. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why it’s so hard to find a public restroom and why the gaps in the doors are so big. David talks to urban sociologist and toilet expert Harvey Molotch, who explains why public restrooms unchanging - segregated into male and female sections - seem to be locked in time. We discover why so many horror films feature scary scenes in toilets and talk to a plumber about his biggest toilet disaster.
56 min
148
Jerrod Carmichael
Jerrod Carmichael (On the Count of Three, Rothaniel) is a comedian, actor, and filmmaker. Jerrod joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his new stand-up special, what growing up in a hyper-masculine community was like, and what his style of comedy is. Jerrod and Dax talk about how growing up poor gave them a unique perspective, what certain southern sayings mean, and how they both are terrified of being a victim. Jerrod explains how shoes were a status symbol in his neighborhood, why he prefers Michael Jackson over Prince, and what he would do if he bought a T-Rex skull.
117 min
149
Lord & Miller (filmmaking duo)
Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, The Last Man on Earth, The Afterparty) are writers, producers, and directors. Lord and Miller join the Armchair Expert to discuss how they started working together after attending the same college, what their experience was producing feature films versus television shows, and how they learned to take real-time feedback from each other. Phil, Chris, and Dax talk about who their comedy influences are, how difficult it is to produce an animated film, and what it takes to keep actors confident in the direction of the project. Lord and Miller explain how they started studying really positive people, how they think they shoot the worst sex scenes, and that they prefer to see people in harmony instead of conflict.
105 min
150
Flightless Bird: Religion
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand religion in America. Joined by Dax and Monica, he tries to figure out why over 200 million Americans are Christians, and how uniquely Americanized this religion has become - with franchises, brands, and celebrity endorsements. David talks to Mike McHargue - a Baptist who became an atheist who then became a Christian again. We discover how someone can love both Christianity and science - and you may be very surprised to learn your brain may well believe in God… even if you’re a stone-cold atheist!
58 min
151
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) is a rapper, musician, and actor. Colson joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being vulnerable in a hyper-masculine society, how he moved around a lot growing up, and how he deals with some of the negative public feedback. Colson and Dax talk about how they built up their self-confidence over their careers, how they often would gossip about people they idolize, and what it’s like to direct a film you are starring in. Colson explains how he got hit by a double-decker bus in the UK, how he got Dennis Rodman to be in his film, and how he once picked up his aunt from her job in his tour bus.
111 min
152
Introducing... Flightless Bird with David Farrier
Armchair Umbrella and David Farrier introduce you to Flightless Bird, a show that follows kiwi journalist David Farrier as he embarks on a quest to understand American culture, after getting accidentally marooned here. From football to flags, religion to burgers, David wants to learn about the things that make America tick. “Why do adults love Disneyland so much?” and “why are American toilets filled to the brim with water?” are just a few of the important questions he’ll pose. Each episode sees Farrier documenting a different part of American culture, meeting people who’ll make you see America in an entirely new light with new episodes arriving every Tuesday.
5 min
153
Cathy O'Neil (data scientist on shame)
Cathy O’Neil (The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation) is a mathematician, data scientist, and author. Cathy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how shaming is used as a tool of oppression, how companies profit from shaming people publicly, and how social media conditions us to shame. Cathy and Dax discuss Race to 270, what punching-up shaming is, and how most people are in denial of their own shame. Cathy explains what the four stages of shame are, when shame can be used appropriately, and the ways in which we can challenge our own shaming.
88 min
154
Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon (Superstar, The White Lotus, I Love That For You) is an actress and comedian. Molly joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she really loves being a mother to teenagers, how she dealt with the passing of her mother and sister when she was a child, and how being Catholic affected her perspective on sexuality. Molly and Dax talk about how weird stuff always seems to happen at hotels, how similar their experiences with loved ones getting sober are, and how they try to set boundaries with the public as celebrities. Molly explains how she developed her famous character Mary Katherine Gallagher, what she gets embarrassed about, and why she decided to move on from Saturday Night Live.
94 min
155
Joseph Henrich (professor of human evolutionary...
Joseph Henrich (The WEIRDest People in the World) is an author and professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. Joseph joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how cultural relativity affects people’s views on morality, how humans are obsessed with time, and what the marshmallow test says about people’s need to stockpile resources. Joseph and Dax talk about where the idea of the hourly worker came from, how most social experiments are done on American undergraduates, and how inconsistent human thinking can be. Joseph discusses the current pushback on human rights, how the internet can be used to preserve knowledge for future generations, and how the brain can update itself like firmware through life experiences.
95 min
156
Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum (Shameless, Phantom of the Opera, Angelyne) is an actress, producer, and singer. Emmy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like being a classically trained singer at an early age, how her upbringing drew her to her character on Shameless, and how her close relationship with her mother changed her perspective on having kids. Emmy and Dax talk about what their dating experiences have been like, how she doesn’t view success as your net worth, and how they both define safety in their lives. Emmy explains why she wanted to play a character like Angelyne, how she doesn’t feel as accomplished as some of her other friends, and what it was like to audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber.
94 min
157
A.J. Jacobs (on puzzles and living biblically)
A.J. Jacobs (The Puzzler, The Year of Living Biblically) is a journalist and author. A.J. joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he loves puzzles so much, why he decided to follow every rule in the Bible literally to study religion, and what happened after he read the entire collection of Encyclopedia Britannica. A.J. and Dax talk about what their favorite riddles are, what it’s like to be a clue in the New York Times crossword, and how it’s human nature to want to gossip about each other. A.J. explains that he wants to get healthy by walking to space on his treadmill, what crazy things he sees outside his New York apartment, and how he ended up representing the U.S. in the world jigsaw puzzle championship.
101 min
158
Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin (Outer Range, No Country for Old Men, Goonies) is an actor. Josh joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what he thinks it means to be masculine, why he decided to get sober, and how he learned to have humility. Josh and Dax talk about what it was like to be in the LA punk scene, why murder documentaries are so intriguing, and how they have made many friends having deep political conversations. Josh explains how he got his iconic role in No Country for Old Men, what having status means to him, and what it was like for him when his mother passed away at a young age.
115 min
159
Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE: Charles Manson
Armchaired & Dangerous Live from Los Angeles at the Wiltern. February 17th, 2022. Today’s episode: Charles Manson
79 min
160
Floyd Abrams (Supreme Court lawyer specializing...
Floyd Abrams is a Supreme Court lawyer with a focus on First Amendment Rights. Floyd joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what the First Amendment actually says, how public members of the legal system should be, and how much people can give medical advice legally. Floyd and Dax discuss how the idea of what privacy means has changed, who can technically be sued for libel, and how the media should be protected regardless of opinion. Floyd explains what you can’t say if you settle a case, how social media has altered the idea of free speech, and how he used to tell his children about court cases as bedtime stories.
76 min
161
Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine, Knocked Up) is an actor, musician, and comedian. Craig joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he really wanted to be a musician instead of a comedian, how he left a full-time teaching job to pursue an acting career, and learning to trust his improv skills. Craig and Dax talk about why doing stand-up comedy is so appealing, how they have both turned down good money for bad roles, and why Craig has no personal section on Wikipedia. Craig explains wanting to have kids eventually, who his all-time favorite musicians are, and how he once made a cameo in one of Monica’s favorite sitcoms.
63 min
162
Bonus: Armchair Stories
Monica and Dax talk to Armcherries! In todays episode, they cover the topic: abnormal massage stories.
39 min
163
Paul Feig (filmmaker)
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks, Minx) is a director, writer, and producer. Paul joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his tendency for making female-led movies, why he loves gin so much, and why he wears suits every day. Paul and Dax talk about how they attended the same dinner party once, how writing for film and television differ, and why making movies that challenge genres is so important. Paul explains how he got admitted to USC film school, how he was once a Ronald McDonald, and why he really does not like being in nature.
80 min
164
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders, Batman Begins, Red Eye) is an actor and producer. Cillian joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how Irish culture can be both rebellious and obedient, how he wanted to play music before becoming an actor, and what being a father to two boys is like. Cillian and Dax talk about how his character on Peaky Blinders has evolved, how his relationship with Christopher Nolan has progressed over the years, and why he doesn’t like to talk about acting when he’s not at work. Cillian explains why he moved his family back home to Dublin, who his favorite musicians were growing up, and how excited he is about his new role in the upcoming film Oppenheimer.
84 min
165
Anna Lembke (psychiatrist on addiction)
Anna Lembke (Dopamine Nation) is a psychiatrist and professor at Stanford University. Anna joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why the opioid crisis has been so dangerous, how language is shifting when talking about people with addictions, and how being addicted to romance novels affected her personal life. Anna and Dax talk about how addiction drives people into isolation, how social media and drugs stimulate the same parts of the brain, and how nature, nurture, or neighborhood can affect peoples’ likelihood of forming an addiction. Anna explains how people rationalize their addictions in their own minds, what specific chemicals affect our moods, and how we need to explore reframing our concept of pain.
88 min
166
Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore (In Real Life, This Is Us, A Walk to Remember) is a singer, songwriter, and actress. Mandy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she was discovered singing the national anthem at a basketball game, what the circumstances surrounding her parents’ divorce were, and what going on tour with famous boy bands as a kid was like. Mandy and Dax talk about what they remember about the time she was on Punk’d, what they love about working on a TV show consistently, and how she met her husband on Instagram. Mandy explains how she is feeling about going out on tour again, what growing up in suburban Orlando was like, and that no one has ever said she looks like someone else.
93 min
167
Armchaired & Dangerous: MK-ULTRA
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: MK-ULTRA
59 min
168
Brian Cox (physicist)
Brian Cox (Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey) is a physicist and former musician. Brian joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how we know the Big Bang actually happened, what actually happens when information is sent into a black hole, and how time moves differently in spacetime. Brian and Dax talk about where the end of time exists, how science is taught to kids in different parts of the world, and how social science differs from the science of physics. Brian explains how we have learned so much about the universe since the release of the movie Interstellar, how astronauts are actually falling when they are orbiting the Earth, and having dinner with Succession actor Brian Cox.
88 min
169
Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show, Nana Loves You More) is a comedian, actor, author, and television host. Jimmy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he ended up hosting The Tonight Show, where his style of comedy comes from, and how he shifted his identity to being a parent. Jimmy and Dax talk about the culture of drinking, how they feel about their movie careers, and how Jimmy gives off Bradley Cooper vibes. Jimmy explains what it was like being raised Catholic, how he didn't have a serious girlfriend through high school, and how he comes up with new songs for his talk show.
81 min
170
Daniel Pink (The Power of Regret)
Daniel Pink (The Power of Regret) is a New York Times best-selling author. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how people having no regrets in their life is the wrong mentality to have, how people can underachieve if they are over-pressured to perform, and his findings on free will. Daniel and Dax talk about how to confront moral regrets, how self-compassion is more constructive than self-criticism, and how to approach the regrets of action versus inaction. Daniel explains what happens when people are incentivized to work, how growing up in the Midwest shaped his personality, and what usually happens when you reach out to reconnect with people in your life.
98 min
171
Tony Hawk & Sam Jones
Tony Hawk is a professional skateboarder and entrepreneur. Sam Jones is a photographer and director. Tony and Sam join the Armchair Expert to discuss collaborating to make a documentary about Tony’s life, how they have always seen skateboarding as an art form, and their thoughts on the inherent dangers of being a skater. Tony talks about how his style was always different than his peers, his relationship with his dad throughout his career, and how he didn’t get into skating for the fame. Sam explains how he met Tony skating at the same park, how skate videos changed the perception of the sport, and how it’s weird to hear the sound of your own voice. 
95 min
172
Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE: Havana Syndrome
Armchaired & Dangerous Live from Portland at the Keller Auditorium. February 2nd, 2022. ​Today’s episode: Havana Syndrome
62 min
173
Monica Aldama (cheerleading coach)
Monica Aldama (Cheer, Full Out) is a cheerleading coach and author. Monica joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how her life changed because of the Netflix documentary, what she feels makes a great leader, and how she is often motivated by people doubting that she can succeed. Monica and Dax talk about supporting victims of abuse, how they both won’t read the comment sections, and why head protection isn’t required for cheerleading like in other sports. Monica explains how difficult being on Dancing with the Stars was, the double standard for female coaches, and how much she hates to fail at anything.
114 min
174
Seth Meyers Returns
Seth Meyers (SNL, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Documentary Now) is a comedian, writer, and television host. Seth returns to discuss what his process was writing a children’s book, how the pandemic sparked his creativity, and why he has embraced doing stand-up comedy again. Seth and Dax talk about code-switching when they are talking to their kids, where people in their hometowns went to fight, and how they will never give up coffee. Seth explains what foods are horrible to serve in a drive-thru, how hard it is to write a screenplay, and why he has no desire to write an autobiography.
89 min
175
Roy Choi (chef)
Roy Choi (Broken Bread, The Chef Show, Kogi) is a chef, author, and television personality. Roy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he went from having a gambling addiction to being an award-winning chef, what Asian immigrants had to do to navigate the American system, and how important food is to Korean culture. Roy and Dax talk about what happened to restaurants during the pandemic, how most people in America are a product of fast food advertising, and what reforms he would like to see in the food industry. Roy explains what his experience was like teaching English in Korea, that he has never been a collector of material things, and that he believes there isn’t enough Asian representation in American media.
112 min
176
Bob Odenkirk
Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Nobody, Better Call Saul) is an actor, writer, and producer. Bob joins the Armchair Expert to discuss beginning his career flying back and forth from Chicago to New York, being open and curious about people without judgment, and where his distaste for authority came from. Bob and Dax talk about their time on set shooting a movie together, not being able to connect with their fathers growing up, and creating successes out of their failures. Bob talks about getting held at gunpoint after a late-night improv show, why the title of his new book has the word “comedy” in it 3 times, and why having diversity in the writing room is so important.
72 min
177
Armchaired & Dangerous: Birds Aren't Real
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Birds Aren't Real
53 min
178
Jacqueline Novogratz (founder and CEO of Acumen)
Jacqueline Novogratz (Manifesto for a Moral Revolution) is an entrepreneur, author and founder of Acumen, a nonprofit global venture capital fund whose goal is to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty. Jacqueline joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like growing up in a large family who moved around a lot, how she defines success beyond wealth, and why she left her job to start her own philanthropic nonprofit venture. Jacqueline and Dax talk about the difference between being a cynic and being a skeptic, how she feels we can solve the unhoused crisis, and how young people want to have a purpose in the jobs they choose. Jacqueline explains how investing in people empowers them to change their communities and what it truly means to perform a selfless act.
71 min
179
Alia Shawkat
Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Search Party, Being the Ricardos) is an actor. Alia joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like to grow up in Palm Springs and how she doesn’t like to attach her identity to being an actor. Alia and Dax talk about their love for collecting Jordan sneakers, how streaming platforms have changed television, and where she got the confidence in her comedic timing. Alia explains that her dad owned a strip club but also was the soccer coach, how she never talks to an actor before a kissing scene with them, and how much she loves painting.
82 min
180
Chuck Palahniuk (novelist)
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, People Places Things) is an author and journalist. Chuck joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he uses suspense and tension in his novels, how he loves to hear other people’s stories, and what absurd existentialism means to him. Chuck and Dax discuss how writers are always looking for the tragedy in stories, how communities can feel pride in their culture, and why so many people suffer from misophonia. Chuck explains what the snowflake analogy in Fight Club really means, that he didn’t learn to read until he was 14, and how he once lied to get a job as a diesel mechanic.
94 min
181
Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, Elf, 500 Days of Summer) is an actor and musician. Zooey joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how doing auditions always made her nervous, how she had to adjust from filming movies to shooting tv shows, and where her sense of fashion came from. Zooey and Dax talk about the double date they once went on together, how success sometimes comes from being obsessed with something, and their favorite cookies. Zooey explains how much fun she is having recording her new podcast, how she used to have dance parties on set, and the results of her food sensitivity test.
78 min
182
Metta World Peace (former NBA player)
Metta World Peace (NBA Champion, All-Star, and Defensive Player of the Year) is a former basketball player. Metta joins the Armchair Expert to discuss staying up until 3 am shooting hoops in his neighborhood, what his experience was like being a part of the Malice at the Palace, and how he has approached dealing with mental health issues over the course of his life. Metta and Dax discover their mutual love for Spades, how one of their favorite pastimes is stargazing, and how they will never stop eating fast food. Metta explains who was the hardest player for him to guard in the NBA, how he would choose to defend himself against a mountain lion, and what the motivation was for him to change his name.
84 min
183
Nicholas Hoult
Nicholas Hoult (The Great, About a Boy, Mad Max: Fury Road) is an actor. Nicholas joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he got into motorcycle racing, that he often has social anxiety in hindsight, and how he dealt with being a child actor. Nicholas and Dax talk about where they think “dad bods” come from, how embarrassing the choreography for Mad Max was to shoot, and how being raised by women shaped his character. Nicholas explains that he sometimes will lie about having seen a movie, his approach to shooting an awkward sex scene, and what advice Michael Shannon gave him on playing a real person on screen.
72 min
184
Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE: Bill Gates
Armchaired & Dangerous Live from Seattle at the Paramount Theater. February 1st, 2022. ​Today’s episode: Bill Gates
56 min
185
Brené Brown Returns
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart) is a research professor and author. Brené joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how important language is to express our emotions, how people often incorrectly use the terms envy and jealousy, and the difference between the halo effect and the bandwagon effect. Brené and Dax talk about what the physical symptoms of shame are, how some people are more hardwired for struggle, and if it’s possible to have compassion for people who inflict trauma on others. Brené explains how she often races other people when swimming laps, how Schadenfreude can be a predictor of a fragile ego, and why she doesn’t want to be seen as a motivational speaker.
100 min
186
Kristen Bell Returns Again
Kristen Bell (The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window) is an actor and producer. Kristen returns to discuss her new satirical thriller on Netflix, her recent colonoscopy, and how great she is at doing impressions. Kristen and Dax talk about investigating a weird smell in their bedroom, why you shouldn’t wash your feet in the shower, and how you can make your favorite scent into a lotion. Kristen explains why she thinks Monica’s ears got infected from new earrings, that she dislikes the toilet paper they have in their motorhome, and the custom gift Dax got from a popcorn company.
78 min
187
Michael Schur Returns
Michael Schur (The Good Place, The Office, Parks and Recreation) is a television producer and writer. Michael returns to discuss his new book on ethics and what he thinks it means to be a better person. Michael and Dax talk about the difference between guilt and shame, how the world rewards unique people but leaves others behind, and how it’s a luxury for people to care about moral issues. Michael explains how he created a Katrina fundraiser from a fender bender accident, how he would go about setting up a new society, and his perspective on abstract versus realistic philosophical arguments.
106 min
188
David Arquette
David Arquette (Scream, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ready to Rumble) is an actor. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he almost died in a professional wrestling match, what growing up fast in Hollywood was like, and how much he loves Bozo the Clown. David and Dax talk about how they had to learn to not be so hard on themselves, how the new Scream movie is different from the others, and how time moves faster when you get older. David explains how he thinks we live in a society of punishment, that he is a certified Bob Ross instructor, and how he never wants his daughter to do a Google search on him.
73 min
189
Brian Klaas (political scientist)
Brian Klaas is a political scientist and professor. Brian joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the topics of power and corruption, how he got connected to talk to dictators for his research, and the differences between functional and dysfunctional psychopaths. Brian and Dax talk about power-seeking versus power-obtaining behavior, how faces can influence the results of elections, and the story of the Madagascar Yogurt Kingpin. Brian explains how systems of power can be reformed using shadow boards, how police recruiting strategies differ, and how the psychological distance between humans can have an effect on policymaking.
109 min
190
Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart (Spencer, Twilight, Charlie’s Angels) is a Golden Globe-nominated actor and filmmaker. Kristen joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her experience starring in movies at a very young age, how she secretly is really into cars, and the personal similarities she felt when playing Princess Diana. Kristen and Dax talk about how they feel their best movies never make any money, how they listen to the same song over and over if they love it, and how Kristen jumped on Dax’s Halloween hayride without him knowing it. Kristen explains that she never remembers the stuff she says during press events, how she thinks horoscopes can be weirdly accurate, and how she learned to stop dreading uncomfortable situations.
98 min
191
Michael Moore (documentary filmmaker)
Michael Moore (Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Where to Invade Next) is a documentary filmmaker and author. Michael joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it means to be liberal in America today, how he got interested in politics from winning a position on the school board when he was 18, and how he thinks we can fix social security inequalities. Michael and Dax talk about what happened to the auto industry in Detroit, how the people of Michigan reacted to Roger & Me, and why it is so hard for Americans to agree on the subject of abortion. Michael explains why he doesn’t drive an electric car, what being bottle-fed as an infant did to him, and how he feels Americans are closer to each other on political issues than we are led to believe.
97 min
192
Max Greenfield
Max Greenfield (New Girl, The Neighborhood) is an actor. Max joins the Armchair Expert to discuss writing a book for beginner readers, how being dyslexic doesn’t mean that you can’t learn, and how he struggled for a long time before becoming a successful actor. Max and Dax talk about their experiences with sobriety, how Max committed to adopting a dog right before going into treatment, and how much they love the schedule of filming a TV show. Max explains how he is pretty sure he had a concussion playing football in high school, what it’s like to be married to a casting director, and how he didn’t know what pants to wear after coming out of lockdown.
82 min
193
Stacey Abrams (Former Georgia State Representat...
Stacey Abrams (Stacey’s Extraordinary Words) is a political leader, voting rights activist, and best-selling author. Stacey joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her work to expand voting rights for disadvantaged communities, the corruption she has seen within the American political system, and how the sources of information have been fractured by social media. Stacey talks about embracing her heritage at a young age, how her parents encouraged her to be educated despite their social standing, and her experience running for Governor of Georgia. Stacey explains why she wanted to write a children’s book about her struggles in school, her views on forgiveness and repentance for public figures, and how her dad was a fantastic storyteller despite being dyslexic.
84 min
194
Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner (Mayor of Kingstown, Hawkeye, The Hurt Locker) is an actor. Jeremy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss where the confidence in his own masculinity comes from, how his first investments were in real estate, and how he was a makeup artist while auditioning for roles early in his career. Jeremy talks about how he bought a fleet of firetrucks to support volunteer crews in his community, what the experience of shooting The Hurt Locker was like, and how his relationship with the original six Marvel stars has evolved over the years. Jeremy explains why he took the Mayor of Kingstown role without reading a single line of the script, how never used to buy things for fun, and how he was always more comfortable on the stage than on film.
71 min
195
Eric Schmidt (former Google CEO)
Eric Schmidt (The Age of AI: And Our Human Future) is a technologist, businessman, and former CEO of Google. Eric joins the Armchair Expert to discuss writing a book with Henry Kissinger about the growing industry of Artificial Intelligence, how AI will shape the minds of younger generations, and how it can discover new truths that humans can’t see. Eric and Dax talk about the possible solutions for homelessness, how other countries are addressing the housing crisis, and how we should stop criminalizing addictive behavior. Eric explains the concept of large language models as it relates to AI, how the internet isn’t optional but fundamental for people in today’s world, and that in the near future the only resource left for humans compete over will be fame.
105 min
196
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is a former professional basketball player, film producer, and author. Dwyane joins the Armchair Expert to discuss navigating different forms of addiction throughout his life, how he never had too big of an ego to ask for mentorship, and who he thinks is the greatest basketball player of all time. Dwyane and Dax talk about picking up golf in retirement, how the system of athletic scholarships needs to be reformed, and the experience of being celebrated for just being a good father. Dwyane explains what Shaquille O’Neal did for his basketball career, why he wanted to do a photographic book highlighting the big moments of his life, and how his own family didn’t congratulate him on being named one of the top 75 best basketball players ever.
97 min
197
Holiday Spectacular 2021
Join us for our annual holiday party where Dax, Monica and Wobby Wob reflect on the holidays and we welcome music and holiday cheer from Norah Jones & Kristen Bell. 
80 min
198
Best of 2021
On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from 2021.
98 min
199
Anderson Cooper (CNN Political Commentator)
Anderson Cooper (Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty) is a broadcast journalist and political commentator. Anderson joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the relationship with his mother after the passing of his father, the reasons why he sought adventure in his life, and the motivation for writing a book about his ancestors. Anderson and Dax talk about why the Vanderbilts constructed such elaborate American palaces, how that time period was the beginning of celebrity in America, and how the inheritance of the family mansions affected future generations. Anderson explains that there was a pathological desire for money within the family, that the concept of a trust fund was explained to him at a very early age, and how he approaches the subject of money with his own son.
102 min
200
Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields (A Castle for Christmas) is an actor and model. Brooke joins the Armchair Expert to discuss raising two teenage girls, how her mother always aspired to be a model, and the misogyny that exists within the advertisement industry. Brooke and Dax talk about wanting to make their real-life experiences into movie scenes, how celebrities are often sexualized at a very young age, and why she decided to go to an Ivy League school. Brooke explains how she is working to help women over 40 find their identity, that it was like a dream to shoot a movie in Scotland, and how she is an advocate for the mental health of mothers everywhere.
115 min