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
301
Race to 270: Body Bronzer & Big Dan with his Bi...
Charlie & Aaron talk about their dream body types, Charlie discusses when his obsession with vanity started, and Monica tempts Aaron with chips.
37 min
302
Jason Segel
Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother, Freaks And Geeks) is an actor, comedian, screenwriter, author, and producer. Jason joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his relationship with writing, how anxious he gets about making decisions that will affect his life, and how he’s only comfortable between action and cut. Dax and Jason learn that they are identical twins separated by 5 years, they bond over the “piece of shit at the center of the universe” phenomenon and share the same existential crisis.
70 min
303
Celebrating the GOAT GOD
Zeus walks among us, and today we honor him with a commercial-free replay of our celestial chat.
80 min
304
Adam Grant Returns
Adam Grant returns to discuss his new book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. Adam is an organizational psychologist, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and TED speaker. Adam discusses how to open people’s minds, the psychology of maximizing and satisficing, and the advantages of imposter syndrome. Adam weighs in on a disagreement between Dax & Monica, explains the dangers of desirability bias, and the different modes of thinking: preacher, prosecutor, and politician. Adam pitches building a competence and character political party while Dax shares one of his self-fulfilling prophecies.
133 min
305
Race to 270: First Class Salami & Spaghetti wit...
Best friend Aaron Weakley visits, Thanksgiving strategizing, and a love letter to olive oil.
45 min
306
Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman, An Education, The Great Gatsby) is an Academy Award-nominated actress. Carey joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her parents’ fear of her pursuing acting, landing Pride & Prejudice as her first role, and the benefits of having anonymity in the first few years of her career. Carey admits how stressful it is for her to have to be funny or sing on stage, how she met her husband in camp when they were kids, and her new movie, Promising Young Woman. In the fact check, Dax gives a TedTalk on diesel fuel.
83 min
307
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston is a social psychologist at the Harvard Kennedy School, he studies the science underlying implicit bias and racism. Robert joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the science behind racism, how to synthesize and assemble it into something people can digest, and the ways to make profound and sustainable change around it. Robert explains his P.R.E.S.S. model, how empathy is the most important part of it, and the difference between equality and equity.
77 min
308
Jethro Bovingdon & Rob Corddry
Jethro Bovingdon and Rob Corddry join the Armchair Expert to discuss all things Top Gear America. The group explains the prestige of the Top Gear brand, how high the bar was going into the new iteration, and Jethro explains how his job is mostly stopping Dax & Rob from doing weird bits. They discuss the competitiveness between Jethro & Dax, Rob’s personal arc over the last year on the show, and Jethro answers questions from the group about English people.
76 min
309
Race to 270: Chicken Breasts & Triple Cheesebur...
In this episode, we discover a weigh-in discrepancy, learn more about Aaron & Charlie’s eating habits, someone has an accident, and Monica double fists two bottles of wine.
40 min
310
Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake (Palmer, Trolls, The Social Network) is a 10x Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, a 3x Emmy award-winning actor and record producer. Justin joins the Armchair Expert to discuss masculinity, the similarities of growing up in Memphis to Detroit, and the challenges of raising sons. Dax & Justin recount Justin’s experience on Punk’d, how well he has navigated new opportunities, and the role naivety has played in it. Dax compliments Justin on his SNL performance, his willingness to take on challenges and his acting in the movie, Palmer.
78 min
311
Jamil Zaki
Jamil Zaki (The War for Kindness) is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. Jamil joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things empathy: why he was drawn to the topic, the roadblocks of it, the erosion of empathy and how to get it back. He explains the different types of empathy (emotional, cognitive, and empathic concern), the impact it has on motivation in the workplace, and how self-compassion is a bridge to having compassion for others. Jamil expresses how empathy leads to a healthier mental and physical state and the importance of tuning your empathy towards who you want to be.
91 min
312
Race to 270: 306 and 230
In this episode, we meet the contestants: Perfect 10 Charlie (230lbs) and Best Friend Aaron Weakley (306lbs). The colorful history of their physiques, rules of engagement and week 1 results will be revealed!
42 min
313
Introducing... Race to 270
Welcome to Race to 270– Armchair Expert’s first game show! Two competitors, Best friend Aaron Weakley and Perfect 10 Charlie, are on a race to see who can reach 270 pounds first. Aaron starts out the competition at 306 pounds and has 36 pounds to lose. Charlie starts at 230 pounds and has 40 pounds to gain. The winner will receive $5,000! Dax and Monica check-in with the competitors each week to track their progress and chat about life, Chinese food and everything in between. Let the games begin.
2 min
314
Common
Common (Mind Power Mixtape, A Beautiful Revolution Pt 1, Hell on Wheels) is a rapper, actor, and writer. Common joins the Armchair Expert to discuss learning to love process, the value of character, and having gratitude for the moment. Common explains how he found strength in individualism and how grateful he is to finally be able to do the things he loves without the pressures of their monetary performance. Dax and Common bond over their parallel lives: their love of Pulp Fiction and Barack Obama, not having masculine figures in their lives, and disastrous first podcast interviews with a significant other. Best friend Aaron Weakley returns for the fact check and Dax & Aaron recount Dax’s worst smelling fart on the school bus.
80 min
315
Armchaired & Dangerous: Bigfoot
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Bigfoot.
67 min
316
Brad Grossman
Brad Grossman is an author, entrepreneur, and creator of the Zeitguide’s Culture Class. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his role as a culture guide and how he seeks out all the interesting information in the world and synthesizes it for his students.  Brad explains the inspiring ways companies and individuals are pivoting in order to connect to consumers, how covid has been a magnifier to our systemic problems, and the ways it will help us reboot our sense of humanity. Dax and Brad explore what’s going to happen in 2021, the need to dismantle archaic systems and tweak them in a way that’s more sustainable to humanity. Go to Zeitguide.com and use code “ARMCHERRIES” for 50% off Brad’s first culture class of the year.
69 min
317
Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson (Name that Tune, American Idol) is a world-renowned musician, record producer, A&R executive, and founder of Unify Health Labs. Randy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being a child in the deep south in the 60s, how he got started playing music, and his desire to live his life through music. He discusses his journey as a studio musician to an A&R executive, the ingredients that make up a star, and his vision of American Idol as the A&R process completely unfolded. Randy and Dax bond over the sexual power of Van Hunt and Dax pleads a defense to jazz-fusion.
77 min
318
Sanjay Gupta Returns
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the first three-peat Armchair Expert guest and an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, CNN medical correspondent, and author. Sanjay, fresh off receiving his covid-19 vaccination, joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how much we’ve learned this year about human behavior. Sanjay explains the evolution of neurogenesis and why cognitive decline is not inevitable. The two discuss that in order to heal the body you have to heal the mind, the importance of building the resiliency of your brain, and the power exercise has on it. Dax tells Sanjay about Monica’s psilocybin experience and Sanjay tells us that the best thing you can do for your brain is to take a brisk walk with a friend and discuss your problems.
107 min
319
Jackie Tohn
Jackie Tohn (Glow, Best Leftovers Ever, CHiPs) is an actress and musician. Jackie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting into acting in New York at nine-years-old, how she and Kristen became best friends and how being a boundaries-less person has affected her relationships. Jackie opens up about her past boyfriends and how they’ve all become megastars, how much her mom gave up in order to make her dreams come true, and how self-awareness is what separates the assholes from the non-assholes. Jackie explains how she landed a hosting role on Netflix’s Best Leftover’s Ever while Dax explains the cup full of urine in the attic.
92 min
320
Best of 2020
On this special episode, we revisit some of our favorite moments from 2020.
131 min
321
Holiday Spectacular 2020
Join us for our annual holiday party featuring remote guests Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Emmy Raver-Lampman, Bob Mervak and Kristen Bell. 
113 min
322
John O. Brennan
John O. Brennan is a former American intelligence officer who served as the Director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017. John joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the distinctions between the CIA and FBI, his professional route through his career, and serving under six different administrations. John explains what it’s like to be confronted with harsh realities where either course of action has implications, the ebbs and flows of the CIA’s power of persuasion, and the need for ethical intelligence. John opens up about the personal weight of his job, the trickle-down effects of supporting smaller nations, and the ways in which climate change will continue to have serious national security implications. In the fact check, we find out if Miniature Mouse is a good fit for the CIA.
92 min
323
Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes is Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum singer and songwriter. Shawn joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the results of finding success at such an early age, where the main source of his fears and anxieties stem from, and how lockdown has forced him to figure out his own identity. The two explore the ways society is conditioning people to want more and more, how social media has made everything need to be quantified, and the isolation of a musician. Shawn discusses his relationship with Camila and how they both bring humility into one another’s lives, his collaboration with Justin Bieber, and Dax praises him for his manifestation journal. In the fact check, we find out what Hogwarts house Dax belongs to.
103 min
324
Armchaired & Dangerous: Mole Children
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Mole Children.
48 min
325
Dov Fox
Dov Fox is Professor of Law and Herzog Endowed Scholar at the University of San Diego School of Law and the host of the podcast Donor 9623. Dov joins the Armchair Expert from his closet to discuss growing up without a father, the effects overcoming adversity had on him as a parent, and cases of reproduction gone awry. The two debate genetic advantages that people are born with, how hard it is to tell your life story without knowing where it begins, and the ethics behind testing for genetic conditions in the reproductive process. Dov and Dax explore what’s okay to want in a child and when it crosses a line while Dax admits he wants to heal and nurture the child in him. And a surprise guest joins us for the fact check.
88 min
326
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is an Academy Award & Golden Globe-winning actress, director, producer, and activist. Natalie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the effect of being a public figure at a young age, how being sexualized that early affected her and how privileged she feels to be able to connect with so many people that she admires. Dax tries to impress Natalie by wearing a Fauci shirt and admits to having a photo of her in his toolbox. Natalie explains her decision to take a break from acting to go to Harvard, how she comforts herself during career lulls, and the impact Star Wars had on her life. In the fact check, Monica takes a personality test.
94 min
327
Emmanuel Acho
BONUS EPISODE with Emmanuel Acho is a former NFL player and the author of the New York Times Bestselling book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss that their are huge differences between color and culture, how societally we need to do a better job being proactive instead of reactive, and the communication barriers between the black lives matter and blue lives matter movements. He explains the need to acknowledge opportunity inequality and that proximity breeds care while distance breeds fear.
51 min
328
Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly is a retired astronaut that set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space. Scott joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to becoming an astronaut and how seeing earth from space really changes your perspective on humanity. Scott explains his structured approach to dealing with isolation, how he was able to compartmentalize fear, and what it’s like living in microgravity.  Dax asks Scott some questions about living in space, if he saw any extraterrestrial activities while up there, and if anyone has ever made love in space.
97 min
329
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton is a politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th US secretary of state, a US senator, and First Lady. Hillary joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over not being able to properly take a compliment, the feeling of imposter syndrome, and raising daughters. Hillary discusses significant transitions she went through, what its been like getting to know heroes in her life, and the assumptions and projections people put on her as a public figure.  She opens up about losing the 2016 election, feeling the weight of history and expectation, and how difficult of a transition it was to unexpectedly not become president. Hillary discusses how women often compare themselves against impossible standards and that progression is a relay race.
82 min
330
Susan David
Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the work she does on emotional agility, what it takes for us to be healthy humans, and the dangerous narrative that success equals happiness. Susan explains that emotions are transient, how we need to face them with compassion and how vital accuracy is when evaluating them. She demonstrates how you go about defining your values and how to start creating distance between ourselves and our emotions.
98 min
331
Jewel
Jewel is a Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Jewel joins the Armchair Expert and talks about growing up in Alaska with no indoor plumbing, singing in bars at a young age, and admits to being a terrible celebrater. She discusses being propositioned in bars & parking lots and how it skewed her idea of men. Jewel reflects on how much of an impact Bob Dylan’s mentorship made on her career, what it was like to sell a million copies every month for a year, and how she ended up millions of dollars in debt. She opens up about mindfulness, her neurological exercise routine, and how she’s learned to deal with anxiety.
84 min
332
Armchaired & Dangerous: Lizard People
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Lizard People
56 min
333
Tristan Harris
Tristan Harris is a computer scientist, the co-founder & president of the Center for Humane Technology, and co-host of the Your Undivided Attention podcast. Tristan Harris joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the role technology is playing in our lives, how algorithms determine the things we like, and how technology companies need to take on more responsibility. Tristan explains our inability to have trust in a shared information environment, how humans are becoming more unable to choose their own thoughts, and how technology enables us to run away from ourselves. Dax & Tristan discuss how users are more profitable when they’re addicted, anxious, and misinformed and Tristan breaks down the deep dilemma of living in these digital habitats.
123 min
334
Halsey
Halsey is a Grammy Award-nominated, platinum-selling singer songwriter. Halsey joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over vaping, ranch-style homes, and both having car salesman fathers. Halsey opens up about being bipolar, the effects of that while being in a relationship with an addict, and the impact Mac Miller’s death had on her. Halsey reflects on how she used to use her sexuality and how much more empowered her talents make her feel now. She discusses how writing has turned into a tool for exorcising pain, learning about most life experiences through books first, and Halsey reads one of her new poems for us.
97 min
335
Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian Formula One racing driver. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting into racing when he was 9 years old, how he stays fit during the race season and rebounding from a poor qualifying round. Dax explains the science behind downforce and g-force, he compliments Daniel on his girthy neck and pitches a race gas scented cologne. Daniel explains how anti-superstitious he is and how it leads to a lack of accountability, how he finds enjoyment before a race and just how important the first 45 seconds of a race is. By the end of the interview, Monica impresses Daniel with the insightfulness of her racing questions.
102 min
336
Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, The Big Bang Theory, 8 Simple Rules) is an actress and producer. Kaley joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her equestrian husband Karl, how he has an Instagram account dedicated to trolling her, and how strong his legs are. Kaley expresses her gratitude for having John Ritter and Katey Sagal as role models early on in her career and how she navigated the success of the Big Bang Theory. The two bond over Dateline and Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee while Dax describes the trailer to her new show in great detail and suggests that Kaley and Kristen start a support group for dog lovers.
102 min
337
Yuval Harari Returns
Yuval Harari (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) is a historian who lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. Yuval joins the Armchair Expert again to discuss the positive and negative sides of biometric surveillance and the importance of trusting other scientific institutions. Yuval explains the value of understanding how we got where we are today, that revolutions need to be gradual, and how disruptive technologies don’t obey borders. The two discuss how extreme views are much better for grabbing human attention, how algorithms are figuring out how to hack humans, and the problems with believing in free will without considering external manipulation.
84 min
338
Adam Brody
Adam Brody (CHiPs, The OC, Gilmore Girls) is an actor, writer, and producer. Adam joins the Armchair Expert to discuss Jack Parsons and the book Strange Angel, his OCD tendencies involving his rearview mirror, and getting scooped up by the golden age of teen television. Adam amazes us with his encyclopedic knowledge, he explains how much of an influence Vince Vaughn had on his acting, and talks about his on-screen three-way with Kristen. Dax & Adam realize they both auditioned for Blues Clues and Dax publicly states that Adam was the best part of CHiPs.
81 min
339
Joseph Laycock
Spooky episode alert! Joseph Laycock is an associate professor of religious studies at Texas State University. Joseph joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things exorcism; the overall belief of demonic possession in America, the unholy trinity of films that influenced belief, and how it’s typically a political phenomenon. Joseph talks about the Salem Witch Trials, the West Memphis Three trial, the McMartin Preschool trial and explains why people tend to tell awful stories during times of upheavals. Dax reminisces on the satanic panic of the 80s and Joseph exclaims that if you’re doing it right, critical thinking should hurt.
102 min
340
Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, True Detective) is a Golden Globe & Academy Award-Winning actor, author, and producer. Matthew joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the red and yellow lights in his life that he turned into green lights, why he loves delusional optimism so much, and the art of running downhill. Dax and Matthew bond over having to navigate fighting their fathers, how they aren’t who they are without the love of their mothers, and growing up around “by hook or by crook” ethics. Matthew tells the horror story of his year abroad in Australia and Dax confirms that the two do indeed have rhythm.
105 min
341
Erin Geiger Smith
Erin Geiger Smith is a freelance reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and author of Thank You for Voting: The Past, Present, and Future of Voting. Erin joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the history of democracy, the rise of the electoral college, and how voting has evolved over time. Erin explains the ways in which voter suppression is still happening today, the systematic issues we face and how democracy works best if everybody shows up. Dax asks Erin about voter fraud and the voting statistics between different demographics. In the fact check, Dax and Monica have a debate about issues on this year’s ballot.
97 min
342
Chelsea Handler Returns
Chelsea Handler (Evolution, Chelsea Lately, The Chelsea Handler Show) is a comedian, actress, writer, television host, producer and activist. Chelsea sits down the Armchair Expert to discuss how standup comedy is evolving, how she can tell by body type what drug a person can handle, and she admits that being known for insulting people puts them at unease when she first meets them. Chelsea discusses her path to realizing she wasn’t a very empathetic person, how people should look at change with open-mindedness instead of fear, and how she wanted to attack the issue of white privilege from her own perspective. Dax admits he doesn’t have as thick of skin as Chelsea while she explains the desire to keep putting herself out there in vulnerable ways.
87 min
343
Isabel Wilkerson
BONUS EPISODE with Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Isabel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss caste systems in the United States, the patterns of regression in civil rights in this country and giving someone the basic benefit of the doubt. She explains assumptions of competence, how embedded assumptions are and that caste systems aren’t only about race.
68 min
344
Eric Lander
Eric Lander is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician. He was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project and is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Eric joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work with the Human Genome project, the practical applications they’ve found, and how collaborative biology has become. Eric describes how the Broad Institute came to be, how their data is starting to uncover connections between different diseases, and that we have a lot of challenges ahead that are going to take science to solve. Dax takes a few swings and misses with his 25-year-old biology memory and Eric explains why humility has to be a part of every bit of science.
119 min
345
Sara Gilbert
Sara Gilbert (The Conners, The Talk, Roseanne) is an Emmy-Award nominated actress, director, and producer. Sara joins the Armchair Expert and discusses how she handled success at 13 years old, the difficulty of balancing her personal and public life at that age, and her time spent at Yale. Sara admits that conflict seems to always find her, the huge crush she had on Corky Nemac, and what inspired her to create The Talk. Dax asks her what made her not give up on the Conners and Sara explains the connection the show has to real life for its’ viewers. Best friend Aaron Weakly returns and helps double fact check Dax.
74 min
346
Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward is an American investigative journalist that started working for the Washington Post in 1971 and currently holds the title of associate editor. Dax discusses how bipartisan Bob’s reporting has been over the years, his rigorous search of the truth and how Bob has covered 20% of the presidents this country has had. Bob talks about the difference between a good faith f*ck up and a bad faith f*ck up, getting spontaneous calls from the president when he was writing his book, and the relationship that developed out of that process. The two discuss the handling of the virus and the inability to put together a cohesive plan. And most importantly, Dax asks who more accurately captured Bob in film, Robert Redford or Will Ferrell.
69 min
347
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and actor. Jon joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the sustainability of his music career, the two share in the false sense of confidence they once had, and Jon admits how crazy it is that he’s been making records longer than he hasn’t. Jon tells the story of his mob meeting with Howard Stern and how Bruce Springsteen joined him on stage when he was in high school. Dax praises Jon on all of the work the JBJ Soul Foundation (www.jbjsf.org) is doing and we have the most special fact check ever with special guest, best friend Aaron Weakly.
85 min
348
Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman is a two time American Olympic gymnast. Aly talks to the Armchair Expert about being a survivor of abuse, growing up in a sport where perfection is key and opening up about her mental health journey. The two discuss their experiences with trauma, the aftermath of sharing their stories publicly and staying strong despite potential triggers along the way. They talk about the lack of resources and support available to Olympians post-career and the importance of finding a strong sense of self outside of gymnastics. Aly and Monica also bond over the Magnificent Seven.
94 min
349
Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides) is an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-winning screenwriter, director, producer, and actress. Sofia chats with the Armchair Expert about spending her childhood on set, how comfortable she always felt there and how she fought becoming a director because it seemed expected. She explains how she never felt oppressed by her father’s success in film, her time living in Paris and what it was like trying to track down Bill Murray. Sofia discusses how Kirsten Dunst became her muse and Dax asks Sofia for advice on how not to ruin his daughters’ lives.
68 min
350
Day 7
Day 7. Dax gives the Armcherries a personal update. Recorded on September 21, 2020.
47 min
351
David Farrier
David Farrier is a New Zealand investigative journalist known for his documentary Tickled and documentary series Dark Tourist. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things conspiracy theories, from QAnon to Wayfairgate to Flat Earthers. The two discuss how these conspiracies happen, what makes people susceptible to them, and how to have constructive discussions with their believers. Dax confesses how sad he is that he can’t hang out with David every day.
100 min
352
Sara Bareilles
Sara Bareilles is a Grammy Award-winner and Tony and Emmy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actress and author. Sara chats with the Armchair Expert about her awkwardness as a kid and how she found her place in community theater. Dax geeks out about the two attending UCLA at the same time and Sara tells him how she wasted a year of school credits abroad. She discusses her obscure overshares on stage, the bipolar lifestyle of musicians on the road, and how she feels a little like a superhero because she had covid already.
84 min
353
Leah Plunkett
Leah Plunkett is a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is the author of the book, Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. Leah chats with the Armchair Expert about the pitfalls of sharing kids’ data on social media, the ways in which tech companies commodify human data and how she implements restrictions in her own house. Dax wonders how to balance the positive and negative sides of tech and Leah talks about using improv in teaching law. The two talk about possible solutions moving forward and Leah teaches Dax and Monica a new word. 
97 min
354
Keith Urban
Keith Urban is a four-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. Keith chats with the Armchair Expert about adjusting to Nashville from Australia, why he couldn’t get signed to a record deal and his unique meld of sounds. Dax wonders why songs by Australian singers often sound American and Keith talks about wanting approval from his father. They talk about Keith’s time on American Idol, having many years of professional struggle before success and how he found sobriety after marriage.
75 min
355
Susan Burton
BONUS EPISODE with Susan Burton, the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, a non-profit that provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women. Susan chats with the Armchair Expert about her heartbreaking story – battling addiction, losing her son, and her time spent within the prison system. Dax and Susan discuss the control that prisons seek and how often prisoners are survivors of trauma. Susan talks about her road to recovery and how it introduced her to the concept of service. She discusses her journey to becoming a resource for women coming out of prison and all of the amazing work A New Way of Life is currently doing.
52 min
356
Tom Brady
Tom Brady is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. Tom joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his journey to healthy dieting, valuing skills that often get undervalued and starting football in high school. Dax asks what it was like to leave the Patriots after such a long career and Tom talks about having a chip on his shoulder. The two discuss Tom's approach to bettering himself and the identity shift he will inevitably experience post-retirement.
96 min
357
Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) is an American actor, animator, writer, producer, director, comedian, and singer. Seth chats with the armchair expert about how he first found animation, luck vs. effort and how he handles criticism. Dax brings up a lingering insecurity about Family Guy and Seth talks about the first time he drew a nude in college. The two talk about the future of animation, Seth’s involvement in philanthropy and Dax is disappointed they haven’t read any of the same books. 
106 min
358
Lenore Skenazy
Lenore Skenazy is the president of Let Grow, a non-profit promoting childhood independence and resilience, and the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement. Lenore discusses the generational differences in growing up, how unrealistic the current standards are for being a good parent, and the importance of play. Dax asks Lenore to dispel the myth of common childhood dangers and Lenore explains the negative notion of the phrase “stranger danger.” The two discuss frequency distortion, how resilient kids are, and Lenore unveils her husband’s crow box.
119 min
359
Jason Bateman Returns
Jason Bateman (Ozark, Arrested Development, Silver Spoons) is an American actor, director, producer and returning guest of Armchair Expert. Jason discusses his new podcast Smartless, his fears about coming across as overly opinionated and how much he’s willing to divulge on it. Dax owns his own insecurities and asks why they don’t hang out more, while Jason admits that he needs to work on his rest face. In the fact check, Dax and Monica go through and answer the Proust character questionnaire.
106 min
360
Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia Bolz-Weber is an author, Lutheran minister and public theologian. Nadia chats with the Armchair Expert to have a discussion on one of life's most challenging topics: religion. Nadia discusses the evolution of her faith, the beauty of grace and unconventional tradition. Dax wonders how she, as a femininst, can reconcile the lack of females in the church and Nadia talks about the danger of promise rings. The two talk about sobriety, community vs. faith and whether Jesus is the son of God.
103 min
361
Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy, Old School, Catch Me If You Can) is an American actress, director, and producer. Ellen chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up in blue collar Boston, her relationship with women and proving her worth. Dax asks about the impact of losing her mother at age 4 and Ellen talks about a few iconic movies she was cut out of. The two talk about Ellen's public salary negotiations and the pros and cons of being on a show for 17 seasons.
91 min
362
Bill Gates
Bill Gates is an American entrepreneur, software developer, investor, and philanthropist. Bill chats with the Armchair Expert about being fascinated by advancements in history, balancing work/marriage/fatherhood and his eternal optimism. Dax wonders if it's possible to be simultaneously sweet and demanding and Bill talks about his love of the movie, Spy Game. The two talk about the critical role of vaccinations, whether tech entrepreneurs deserve to be questioned by the government and their mutual love of Diet Coke.
90 min
363
Sean Penn
Sean Penn (Milk, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, I Am Sam, Into the Wild) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, author and humanitarian. Sean chats with the Armchair Expert about recognizing limitations, the freedom he finds in writing books and the impact of cancel culture. Dax wonders what drove Sean toward humanitarian work and Sean talks about the human desire for wanderlust. The two talk about the point at which assets become embarrassments, their mutual love of Bukowski and Sean's disapproval of insincerity.
94 min
364
Michael Tubbs
BONUS EPISODE with Michael Tubbs (the 79th and current mayor of Stockton, CA) is the second installment in a monthly series on dissecting the Black experience in America. Michael chats with the Armchair Expert about becoming the youngest mayor in Stockton’s history and the programs he developed to reduce gun violence and homicides in Stockton. He discusses the impact of his father’s imprisonment on his life and his realization that while people have the freedom to make choices, those choices are often contextualized by an environment in which they have no control. Dax then argues with Mayor Tubbs about universal basic income and Michael explains how an income floor can allow for people to take a risk and bet on themselves.
63 min
365
Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dax and Atul discuss the personalities of surgeons and the use of checklists to remedy the complexity of their responsibilities. Dax tells a scary hospice story and the two discuss how you determine your priorities as you reach the later stages of life. In the fact check, Monica & Dax discuss training crows to do complex tasks.
83 min
366
Colin Jost
Colin Jost (SNL) is an American comedian, actor and writer. Colin chats with the Armchair Expert about how he got into comedy, his approach to managing and he talks us through some of his favorite sightseeing castles. Dax wonders if his experience at Harvard was like Hogwarts and Colin shares one of his many poop stories. The two talk about Colin’s contribution to the Dave Chappelle Mark Twain Awards ceremony, he speculates on why he’s so private and he talks about how he views the world as an observer rather than a participant.
94 min
367
Bradley Edwards
Brad Edwards is a nationally recognized Board Certified Civil Trial attorney who specializes in providing civil representation for children, victims of sexual abuse, and victims of violent crimes. He is most notable for representing over 50 girls in the Jeffrey Epstein case. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the details of the Jeffrey Epstein case, the ways in which he manipulated his victims and he recalls the times he spent with Jeffrey one-on-one. Dax asks Brad about his opinion on Epstein’s death and Brad talks about the hurdles of this case. The two talk about the ways income inequality played a role in the power dynamic, Ghislaine Maxwell’s involvement, and his book, Relentless Pursuit: My Fight For The Victims of Jeffrey Epstein. 
85 min
368
Leslie Odom Jr.
Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Smash, Central Park) is an American Broadway, TV, Film actor and singer. Leslie chats with the Armchair Expert about his acting approach in Hamilton, achieving his singular goal of being in RENT on Broadway and struggling with the concept of being the “token”. Dax asks about the unique dynamic of being married to a fellow actress and Leslie confesses about his time as a grocery store employee. The two talk about cancel culture, Leslie talks about his commitment to salary parity and Monica and Dax have a disgusting/interesting debate in the fact check.
77 min
369
Angela Duckworth
Angela Duckworth is an American academic, psychologist, MacArthur Genius grant winner and the co-host of the podcast No Stupid Questions. She is the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies grit and self-control. Angela chats with the Armchair Expert about the components of grit, her inclination to study achievement and the amorphous quality to intelligence. Dax talks about fulfillment vs. success and Angela talks about the imperative of intentional role modeling. The two discuss objectivism in The Fountainhead, the detriment of comparison and Angela evaluates Dax and Monica's grit.
100 min
370
Dave Franco
Dave Franco (Neighbors, The Disaster Artist, Now You See Me) is an American actor and director. Dave chats with the Armchair Expert about being a first time director, growing up to artistic parents and dealing with his perfectionism. Dax asks if Dave hates talking about his brother and Dave tells his version of the Alison Brie/Dave Franco love story. The two talk about home-sharing, Dave debunks some of Dax’s theories and a special guest joins for the end.
74 min
371
Travis Pastrana
Travis Pastrana an American professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won X Games gold medals in supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. Travis chats with the Armchair Expert about how he started riding dirt bikes at age 4, his risk/reward philosophy on life and his goal to make motocross safer and more accessible. Dax asks about addiction in the sport and Travis talks about his harrowing injuries. The two discuss having kids in conjunction with dangerous hobbies and Travis talks about the future of his profession.
90 min
372
Rob Corddry
Rob Corddry (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Children’s Hospital, Hot Tub Time Machine, Ballers) is an American actor and comedian. Rob chats with the Armchair Expert about how he was seduced by Dax many years ago, his experience being bullied in Boston and why he’d “do great in jail”. Dax praises Rob for being a comedian’s comedian and Rob performs a Shakespearean monologue. Rob talks about his commitment to productivity, he shares his inspiration for Children’s Hospital and the two talk about their new show, Top Gear America.
103 min
373
David Sinclair
David Sinclair is an Australian biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard known for his research on aging and longevity mechanisms. David chats with the Armchair Expert on his field of advancing the age of an organism, the stigma around aging research and his existing accomplishment of reversing the age of eyes in mice. Dax asks why humans have evolved to die and David explains the epigenome and it’s part in longevity. The two talk about the ethical questions surrounding this issue and David explains the potential for erasing diseases eventually leading to 300 and 400 year long life spans.
89 min
374
John Legend
John Legend is an American singer, songwriter, producer, actor, and philanthropist. John chats with the armchair expert about skipping multiple grades as a kid and how music saved him. He talks about his claim to fame working on Lauryn Hill’s record in college and he explains why his hair still looks so groomed in quarantine. Dax wonders if having kids has changed John’s career and John talks about why he participated in the R Kelly documentary. Dax and John talk about their histories of cheating and John talks about his creative process.
84 min
375
Jud Brewer
Jud Brewer is an American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author. He studies the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using fMRI technology and has used his findings to treat addictions. Jud chats with the Armchair Expert about contentment vs. excitement, how meditation dissolves the sense of self and the biological reasons humans have cravings. Dax talks about how food scientists flavor foods to lose their taste and Jud gives Dax and Monica a test on openness. The two talk about the neurological reasons we behave the way we do and Monica reveals a big update in the fact check. 
121 min
376
Emily Mortimer
Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl, Shutter Island, The Newsroom) is an English actress and screenwriter. Emily chats with the Armchair Expert about her newfound realization of her social anxiety, her mother’s patronization and overcoming a lazy eye in her first big movie. Dax wonders what it’s like working for Aaron Sorkin and Emily Is forced to define many British words. The two talk about the power of delivering a message via horror movie and Emily talks about her early nepotistic start in show business.
72 min
377
Jennifer Eberhardt
BONUS EPISODE with Jennifer Eberhardt (social psychologist who is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University) is the first in a monthly series on dissecting the Black experience in America. Jennifer chats with the Armchair Expert about her work in police reform, her personal experiences with racism and the biological impact of cultural biases. Dax asks if there are any model police departments and Jennifer shares a story of when she got arrested. She talks about having “the talk” with her sons and she shares the details of many psychological experiments she did on race and discrimination.
81 min
378
Nina Vasan
Nina Vasan is a professor at Stanford University and the Founder and Executive Director of Brainstorm: The Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation. She is the Chief Medical Officer of Real, a new women's mental health company and a psychiatrist at Silicon Valley Executive Psychiatry, a boutique concierge clinical for executives, entrepreneurs, and elite performers. Nina chats with the Armchair Expert about her personal experience with anxiety/depression, the continued prevalence of stigma and the loop of actions, thoughts and emotions. Dax asks about the concern of treating addiction with psychiatric drugs and Nina discusses how technology can aid in this problem. They talk about mental health as a three-pronged bio, psycho and social endeavor and they discuss the tenets of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
102 min
379
Juliette Lewis
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, Old School, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) is an American actress. Juliette chats with the Armchair Expert about wanting to be seen as her current self rather than her past self, she talks about her early struggle with fame and how acting course corrected her wayward path. Dax asks what’s it’s like to be a part of an evergreen holiday movie and Juliette talks about the distraction of beauty in acting. The two discuss the phenomena of Natural Born Killers, her pull towards music and her new show, I Know This Much Is True.
69 min
380
Jeffrey Sachs
Jeff Sachs an American economist, academic, public policy analyst and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor. He is known as one of the world's leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. Jeff chats with the Armchair Expert about his career in international economics, what he’s learned from advising other countries and his propensity to model Scandinavia’s middle way economic model. Dax asks about communism in theory vs. in practice and Jeff implores us to take care of one another. The two talk about how the history of WWI has led to today and Jeff describes ways in which we couldn’t have a more balanced economy.
109 min
381
Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is an American professional basketball player for the NBA the Detroit Pistons. Blake chats with the armchair expert about growing up playing basketball with his dad and brother, learning to be a leader amongst players who are older than him and he talks through his game-day routine. Dax asks about Blake’s experience with racism and Blake discusses managing money. They talk about balancing egos and Blake shares what he learned after enduring an injury early in his career.
101 min
382
BONUS: Malcolm Gladwell
BONUS EPISODE! Malcolm Gladwell joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the upcoming season of The Revisionist History podcast.
32 min
383
Vivek Murthy
Vivek Murthy is an American physician and former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. Vivek chats with the armchair expert about the health implications of loneliness, how his childhood as an outsider made him more compassionate and why he became interested in public policy. Dax wonders about the dilemma between liberty and equality on health legislation and Vivek talks about the biggest boat rescue in human history. He talks about what he learned from a patient who won the lottery and the lessons he’s taken from patients on their deathbeds.
115 min
384
Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City. Adam and Mike D sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the nascent beginnings of the band, the protective nature of a group dynamic and working with legends early in their careers. Dax makes predictions about Mike and Adam's life and they discuss the conflation of personal identity with band identity. They talk about what it feels like to lose a band member and Adam is the first to introduce Zoom chat to the Armchair Expert recording history.
69 min
385
Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Alanis chats with the Armchair Expert about finding music as a young kid, the concept of "deserving" fame and the attributes of being a highly sensitive person. Dax is hung up on one of her song lyrics and Alanis shares what it's like to be a principal's daughter. The two talk about shedding the desire for loyalty, they dissect the word perverted and they talk discuss the fundamental difference between Canadian and Americans.
73 min
386
Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is an American author and historian who teaches at American University. From July 2020, Kendi will join Boston University to launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. Ibram sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the definitions of racism vs. anti-racism, the importance of acknowledging moments of racism in your life and his own racist beliefs that he has worked on shedding. Dax wonders if it’s realistic to ask people to prioritize issues that don’t directly affect them and Ibram equates fighting racists ideas to fighting addictions. They talk about the police system, how to educate children and the unspoken element of gun deaths in America.
82 min
387
Bradley Whitford
Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale, Get Out) is an American actor and political activist. Bradley chats with the armchair expert about growing up in a Quaker household, the impact of social change through storytelling and the three thoughts that flood his brain when receiving direction. Dax asks about the events that led to Bradley writing episodes for The West Wing and Bradley talks about his experience of playing complex characters. The two talk about professions that draw arrogant people and their mutual desire to say the worst thing at the worst moment.
77 min
388
Heather McGhee
Heather McGhee is an American political commentator, political strategist, currently a distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive U.S. think tank. Heather sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss race in America - her takeaway from going to a white school but living in a black neighborhood and her theory that racism comes at a cost to all races. Dax asks about the economic impact of systemic racism and Heather talks about her epiphany watching Black Panther. They talk about colorism, the history of police interfacing with the black community and the hope of change.
80 min
389
Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer prize winning author, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Jon chats with the Armchair Expert about this early fascination with politics, attending Ronald Reagan's inauguration as a young boy and the importance of delineating historical figures from saints. Jon states his position on confederate statues and Dax asks what factors distinguished his pulitzer prize winning book from the others. The two talk about how age has affected their career outlook and they debate the impact of Christianity in the modern world. 
99 min
390
Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike and Molly, Spy, Identity Thief) is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. Melissa chats with her old pal, the armchair expert, about how she found the Groundlings, tanking her Bridesmaids audition and her hatred of e-mail. Dax commends Melissa for continuing to work with old friends and Melissa talks about her love of renovating homes. The two discuss the dream of Saturday Night Live, the unifying experience of seeing comedies in a theatre and they reminisce on an old comedy show they did together in which one audience member (in a 400 seat theatre) came to see it.
83 min
391
Laurie Santos
Dr. Laurie Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Laurie chats with the armchair expert to discuss 5 ways to increase happiness during quarantine, the neuroscience behind deep breaths and why studying animals is better than studying humans. Dax connects Laurie's principals to the principals of AA and Laurie talks about the negative impact of academic grades. The two discuss the scientific effects of giving and the connection between anthropology and psychology.
88 min
392
50 Cent
Curtis Jackson better known as 50 Cent is an American rapper, actor, producer, and entrepreneur. 50 cent chats with the Armchair Expert about towing the line between Curtis and 50 Cent, hustling at age 12 and having to make the distinction between the one who sells and the one who consumes. Dax asks about masculinity and 50 Cent talks about being a lightweight. The two talk about their instinctual guard against people and why it’s important to have a career that evolves over time. 
56 min
393
Rajiv Shah
Rajiv Shah is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a former American government official, physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 2010–2015 under President Obama. He also held many leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Raj chats with the Armchair Expert about the economics of the healthcare system, leading the U.S response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Rockefeller Foundation's commitment to expand Covid-19 testing. Dax asks what he learned from Bill and Melinda Gates and Raj talks about having to address the crisis in Haiti only 6 days into the job. They two talk about America's interest in expanding American values around the globe, vaccinations and the importance of agriculture in humanitarian efforts.
109 min
394
America Ferrera
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, End Of Watch, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Superstore) is an American actress, voice actress, producer, and director. America chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss her feelings of insecurity when she won her Emmy, growing up being told she wouldn’t make it and her learned skill of molding stereotypes into true representations. Dax wonders if it can feel burdensome to be the voice of a community and America talks about her identity crisis at the conclusion of Ugly Betty. Dax and America discuss raising children in a place of privilege and the newfound proximity amongst women in the industry.
81 min
395
Dan Heath
Dan Heath is an American bestselling author, speaker and fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Dan chats with the Armchair Expert about why certain ideas stick, the emotionality behind urban legends and the benefit of thinking upstream. Dax implores those to think about the financial benefits to upstream social reform and Dan explains that every system is designed for its outcome. The two talk about systemic preventions that have a lasting impact, getting caught in a bad plan loop and they commiserate about being older dads.
91 min
396
Zoë Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road, Big Little Lies, High Fidelity) is an American actress and singer. Zoë chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between living with her mom versus her dad and her experience working with many powerful women on Big Little Lies. Dax checks himself on asking a potentially misogynistic question and Zoë outs Dax on being obsessed with her mom. The two talk about how Zoë caught Dax is in a compliment paradox the first time they met, they bond over Koo Koo Roo and they debate whether or not to refer to the superhero as Batman or The Batman.
102 min
397
David Chang
David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, television personality and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group. David chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up Korean American, his first time eating ramen in Japan and how he found his way into cooking. Dax talks about elitism in food and David discusses how depression led him to open Momofuku. The two talk about self-medicating, the responsibility to share one’s painful experiences and the importance of asking for help.
93 min
398
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe (The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation) is an American actor, producer, and director. Rob chats with the Armchair Expert about moving to Malibu as a child and feeling out of place, his time and ultimate departure from The West Wing and going to high school with many famous faces before they were famous. Dax asks about his navigation through negative public moments and Rob talks about his experience on The Outsiders. The two talk about sobriety and Rob’s foresight that caused him to move away from Hollywood.
96 min
399
Glennon Doyle
Glennon Doyle is an American author known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior and bestseller Carry On, Warrior. Glennon chats with the Armchair Expert about her struggle with addiction, falling in love with a stranger and her realization about forgiveness. Glennon talks about overcoming societal memos and Dax questions if following your personal truth is a realistic goal. They discuss the responsibility of highly sensitive people and why control and love are inherently at odds.
110 min
400
Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actress. She joins the armchair expert to discuss starting her career later in life, how breast cancer changed her perspective and her pattern of attraction. Dax wonders about her experience on the Michael Jackson Bad Tour and Sheryl talks about the physiological impact of music. The two talk about meditation, Sheryl declares she’s done making albums and Monica and Dax discuss their enneagram in the fact check.
80 min