Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

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

TV & Film
Flightless Bird: 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
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
Armchair Anonymous: Scams
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries answer the question: have you ever been scammed?
42 min
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
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
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
Father's Day
11 min
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Armchaired & Dangerous: NXIVM
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: NXIVM
61 min
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
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
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
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
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
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
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