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
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
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
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
Armchair Anonymous: Stealing
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they stole something.
61 min
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Armchair Anonymous: Zoom Blunder
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their biggest zoom blunder.
38 min
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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