Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

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

TV & Film
Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy (I’m Glad My Mom Died, iCarly) is a writer, director, and actress. Jennette joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy has done for her mental health, how her relationship with her mother motivated the subject matter of her new book, and what being a love addict means. Jennette and Dax talk about why some people develop eating disorders, whether they like to cry or not, and why they seek approval from other people. Jennette explains what it was like growing up in a Mormon household, what she looks for when she is traveling, and how she loved learning about everyone else’s jobs on set.
99 min
Armchair Anonymous: Wild Animal
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they fought a wild animal.
64 min
Jared Diamond (geographer, historian, ornitholo...
Jared Diamond is an author, geographer, historian, and ornithologist. Jared joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what his thoughts are on the future state of the world, what motivated him to write books about human societies, and what factors contribute to the rise and fall of civilizations. Jared and Dax talk about why European societies were driven to compete with each other, why some people are obsessed with the “end of days” concept, and what it means to be considered a polymath. Jared explains how he got interested in birdwatching, how the spread of disease affected colonization throughout history, and how many languages he learned over the course of his travels.
88 min
Flightless Bird: RVs
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand America's obsession with recreational vehicles, also known as RVs. Joined by Monica and Dax, David discovers why 11.2 million American homes have an RV of some kind and why 10 million more are considering buying one within the next five years. David sits down with Monica Geraci, the official spokesperson for the American RV Industry Association, to find out some tips and tricks before descending into Griffith Park to meet an actor who lives in an RV full time. It's there he learns of a mysterious man who rents RVs out to the unhoused around Los Angeles, begging the question: is this mystery man doing them a favor or is he exploiting their situation as a kind of RV slumlord?
58 min
Ice-T (Power, Law and Order: SVU, Split Decision) is a rapper, actor, and producer. Ice-T joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the message of his new book, how he got introduced to the rap industry, and how hip hop changed the world. Ice-T and Dax talk about how crime can be a form of addiction, what their experiences with street fighting are, and how growing up in a tough environment shaped them. Ice-T explains why he joined the Army after high school, why he never liked doing drugs, and why he doesn’t go to funerals.
79 min
Armchair Anonymous: Pooped on a Date
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time that they pooped their pants on a date.
50 min
Will MacAskill (philosopher and ethicist)
Will MacAskill (What We Owe the Future) is a professor at Oxford and philosopher. Will joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how our moralities are affected by global ideologies, how fair trade works, and what effect artificial intelligence will have on our future. Will and Dax talk about the fundamentals of effective altruism, how people can figure out who to donate their money to, and what their opinions are on longtermism as it relates to preserving human life. Will explains why he took his ex-wife’s grandmother’s maiden name, how we can extend the lifespan of the sun, and how anyone can have an impact on making the world a better place.
116 min
Flightless Bird: Bunkers
This week on Flightless Bird, David descends underground into the world of preppers and bunkers, learning that 40% of Americans believe that stocking up on supplies or building an underground shelter is a better investment than saving for retirement. Joined by Monica Mouse, David discovers that humans have wanted to live underground for the last 2000 years. David interviews ethnographic researcher Bradley Garrett about the mindset of the American bunker enthusiast since Covid and finds out why Brad was arrested on the tarmac back in 2012, spending two years marooned in the UK. David finds out about the American man who wanted to buy a nuclear bunker with 56 bedrooms and calls up a bunker company to find out what’s in their million-dollar bunker package.
50 min
Lili Reinhart
Lili Reinhart (Riverdale, Look Both Ways) is an actress and producer. Lili joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her struggle with social anxiety, why she started writing poetry, and how she defines fame. Lili and Dax talk about their relationship with body dysmorphia, their OCD tendencies, and being pessimistic by nature. Lili explains what she would have wanted to be if not an actor, the reason she finished high school online, and why she likes gory horror movies.
111 min
Armchair Anonymous: Heroic
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time that they saved someone’s life.
36 min
Jamie Fiore Higgins (on her experience as a man...
Jamie Fiore Higgins (Bully Market: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs) is a former finance executive and author. Jamie joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her experience being a managing director at Goldman Sachs, why she feels she was a perfect fit for the job, and how she dealt with the toxic culture of the business. Jamie and Dax talk about how stressful work environments can lead to drug addiction, how family life is often sacrificed to one’s ambitious goals, and how making more money doesn’t always equal happiness. Jamie explains how she coped with the PTSD from the events of 9/11 in New York, how getting bonuses works on Wall Street, and why she eventually decided to leave her job.
110 min
Flightless Bird: Baseball
This week on Flightless Bird, David heads to San Francisco to meet the San Francisco Giants. Joined by Wobby Wob, David attempts to learn how to catch a baseball, before becoming distracted by some loud screams coming from the field. It's there he meets the Chicago White Sox's Liam Hendriks, an outspoken Australian with a good arm and lots of opinions. David learns why 16 million Americans play baseball in some kind of organized fashion and talks to bench coach Kai Correa about how to win a game. Farrier then interrogates Giants pitcher Logan Webb about pre-game rituals, before watching his first-ever baseball game... trying to figure out what he likes more: the game, the drinks, or the food?
55 min
Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks (Pinocchio, Forrest Gump, Cast Away) is an actor and filmmaker. Tom joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what his approach was playing a beloved Disney character, what he loves most about making movies, and how he tries to remember everyone he meets. Tom and Dax talk about the effect Tom’s films have had on pop culture, what working with Robert Zemeckis is like, and what it’s like to see your own billboards. Tom explains how he used to tell time by what was on television, how amazed he is with what technology can create on screen, and what it’s like to be at a dinner party with him.
121 min
Erin Kimmerle (forensic anthropologist)
Erin Kimmerle (We Carry Their Bones) is a forensic anthropologist and author. Erin joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what we can learn by studying the bones of the deceased, her work investigating possible war crimes, and how she got involved in excavating mass burial grounds. Erin and Dax talk about what happened to the kids who were incarcerated at the Dozier School, the difficulties she had determining their causes of death, and how those who survived dealt with the trauma. Erin explains how she got into the human rights side of anthropology, how some systems were designed to control the movements of certain people, and how society was affected by child labor laws.
86 min
Flightless Bird: Tipping
This week on Flightless Bird, David gets out his wallet and dives into the culture and politics of tipping. Joined by Monica Padman, he sets out to discover why 52% of Americans tip their hairdresser while only 14% always tip their barista. David interviews Mike Lynn, a professor at the Cornell Hotel School, about the social pressures of tipping and why we tip what we tip. David also talks to Saru Jayaraman of “One Fair Wage”, who explains that tipping is a deeply warped version of what Americans brought back from Europe - and that in America tipping has some fairly racist origins - which has led to power imbalances for the 5.5 million Americans that rely on tips. David is encouraged to hear that America is at a tipping point for workers and that there may be a future with a decent minimum wage - as well as tips. Unless you’re one of the 4% of Americans who refuse to tip, ever.
51 min
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris (Uncoupled, How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser) is an Emmy and Tony-award-winning actor, singer, writer and producer. Neil joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the escape hedge maze he’s building in his backyard, his time as the President of the Magic Castle, and how Doogie Howser created imposter syndrome in him. Neil talks about his desire to build things out of wood, how his biggest fear is inadvertently making someone feel bad, and how much he struggles with bandwidth. Dax and Neil discuss how uncomfortable it is to be naked on camera, how helpful it is working with an intimacy coordinator on set, and Neil’s first time playing a gay man as the lead role in Uncoupled.
104 min
Armchair Anonymous: Coitus Interruptus
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the most awkward moment they were interrupted. mid-coitus.
36 min
George Monbiot (climate activist)
George Monbiot (Regenesis, The Guardian) is a climate activist and author. George joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what the restoration story narrative is, how obsessed he is with the idea of high luxury in public spaces, and how we can achieve low-impact high-productive farming. George and Dax talk about the differences between simple and complex systems, how technology and politics have to work together to achieve solutions, and what the concept of Neo-Liberalism is. George explains the impact of grassfed beef on the environment, how wild ecosystems affect the planet, and how world events can severely alter our food supply.
122 min
Flightless Bird: Juggalos
This week on Flightless Bird, David dives into the insane world of Insane Clown Posse fans, who called themselves “Juggalos.” David is shocked to discover that due to the criminal enterprises of certain members of the fandom, the FBI decided to classify them as a gang. David talks to one of the first people to document Juggalo culture, Derek Erdman - before meeting another documentary maker who spent years with ICP’s “Violent J” and “Shaggy 2 Dope”, unlocking the magic that makes this band a $10 million-dollars-a-year business. With the annual Gathering of the Juggalos approaching, David learns ICP and their fans tell the story of a very specific part of American culture, that isn’t going away anytime soon. “Woop woop!”
48 min
Zoey Deutch
Zoey Deutch (Not Okay, Buffaloed, Zombieland) is an actor. Zoey joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like growing up on movie sets, how she is obsessed with other people’s drinking habits, and how she feels about the idea of public shaming. Zoey and Dax talk about who their favorite Formula 1 drivers are, what actors they love right now, and doing things that embarrass them. Zoey explains why she has so many names, how she was bullied in school, and how much she loves playing unlikeable characters.
117 min
Armchair Anonymous: Wedding Mishap
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us the craziest thing they’ve ever witnessed at a wedding.
36 min
Woo-Kyoung Ahn (Yale psychologist on thinking)
Dr. Woo-Kyoung Ahn (Thinking 101) is a psychologist and professor of Psychology at Yale University. Dr. Ahn joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how human thinking has evolved over time, how traumatic events can be measured, and what the concept of causal attribution means. Dr. Ahn and Dax talk about the different ways humans confirm their own bias, how people speak differently to their out-groups than their in-groups, and how we rationalize getting cut off in traffic. Dr. Ahn explains what the effects of rumination are on our brains, what the allure of fluency is, and how we are often overconfident in trying to understand others' intentions.
99 min
Flightless Bird: Amazon
This week on Flightless Bird, David prepares to hit “Buy Now” as he embarks into the world of Amazon, the company that notched up $116 billion in sales during the first three months of this year. Joined by Monica, he looks at how this company has slowly inserted itself into the American lifestyle, from TV and film, to products, to Alexa living in everyone’s house, tending to their every need. David interviews Emily West, an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusets, about how Amazon’s marketing made a brown cardboard box so popular. He also talks to the author of “Fulfillment,” Alec MacGillis about how Amazon’s various factories are changing the face of America, city by city - as Amazon is now America’s second-largest private employer next to Walmart.
58 min
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller (Severance, Meet the Parents, Tropic Thunder) is an actor, producer, and director. Ben joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what his experience was directing the first season of Severance, what working through the pandemic was like, and how much he enjoys watching dramas. Ben and Dax talk about what movies shaped their childhoods, who they think the funniest comedians are, and how important good scriptwriting is for successful shows. Ben explains how much he misses acting in movies, how his ultimate goal was always to be a director, and how he views his own identity.
96 min
Armchair Anonymous: Workplace Poop
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their untimely, unauthorized evacuation in their pants while on the job or at work.
44 min