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
Armchair Anonymous: Caught Masturbating
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they were caught masturbating in an inappropriate place.
30 min
Saul Kassin (psychologist on false confessions)
Saul Kassin (Duped: Why Innocent People Confess) is a professor and psychologist. Saul joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why some people give false confessions in criminal investigations, what tactics law enforcement use in interrogations, and how the language of memory and inference differ. Saul and Dax talk about why some investigators object to recording the questioning of suspects, why some people offer confessions in high-profile cases, and what the optics of silence often says to the public. Saul explains why the Innocence Project only gets involved with cases with DNA evidence, how the threat of punishment can affect the outcomes of learning, and why some people are afraid to confront authority.
96 min
Flightless Bird: Pornography
This week on Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to explore America’s adult film industry, which has its heart in California’s San Fernando Valley. In this episode Farrier heads for a mansion in the hills of Calabasas to attend an adult film shoot, hoping to understand why Americans spend an average of 9 minutes and 44 seconds on porn sites at a time. David meets a porn director also called “David” to ask why they still have all that dialogue and plot in amongst all the sex, before chatting with porn stars Hadley and Lucas about the joys, trials, and tribulations of their unique job. At the end of the day, David sits down for 45 minutes as the actors all have sex with each other and tries to come to a conclusion about what this all means. David also meets one of the (now adult) stars of the popular 90s sitcom “Boy Meets World,” to find out why Mailand Ward decided to make a late entry to the adult film industry. They discuss her new book “Rated X” and the challenges and misconceptions of the porn world.
72 min
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
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
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
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)
Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) is a rapper, musician, and actor. Colson joins the Armchair Expert to discuss being vulnerable in a hyper-masculine society, how he moved around a lot growing up, and how he deals with some of the negative public feedback. Colson and Dax talk about how they built up their self-confidence over their careers, how they often would gossip about people they idolize, and what it’s like to direct a film you are starring in. Colson explains how he got hit by a double-decker bus in the UK, how he got Dennis Rodman to be in his film, and how he once picked up his aunt from her job in his tour bus.
111 min
Introducing... Flightless Bird with David Farrier
Armchair Umbrella and David Farrier introduce you to Flightless Bird, a show that follows kiwi journalist David Farrier as he embarks on a quest to understand American culture, after getting accidentally marooned here. From football to flags, religion to burgers, David wants to learn about the things that make America tick. “Why do adults love Disneyland so much?” and “why are American toilets filled to the brim with water?” are just a few of the important questions he’ll pose. Each episode sees Farrier documenting a different part of American culture, meeting people who’ll make you see America in an entirely new light with new episodes arriving every Tuesday.
5 min
Cathy O'Neil (data scientist on shame)
Cathy O’Neil (The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation) is a mathematician, data scientist, and author. Cathy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how shaming is used as a tool of oppression, how companies profit from shaming people publicly, and how social media conditions us to shame. Cathy and Dax discuss Race to 270, what punching-up shaming is, and how most people are in denial of their own shame. Cathy explains what the four stages of shame are, when shame can be used appropriately, and the ways in which we can challenge our own shaming.
88 min
Molly Shannon
Molly Shannon (Superstar, The White Lotus, I Love That For You) is an actress and comedian. Molly joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she really loves being a mother to teenagers, how she dealt with the passing of her mother and sister when she was a child, and how being Catholic affected her perspective on sexuality. Molly and Dax talk about how weird stuff always seems to happen at hotels, how similar their experiences with loved ones getting sober are, and how they try to set boundaries with the public as celebrities. Molly explains how she developed her famous character Mary Katherine Gallagher, what she gets embarrassed about, and why she decided to move on from Saturday Night Live.
94 min
Joseph Henrich (professor of human evolutionary...
Joseph Henrich (The WEIRDest People in the World) is an author and professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard. Joseph joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how cultural relativity affects people’s views on morality, how humans are obsessed with time, and what the marshmallow test says about people’s need to stockpile resources. Joseph and Dax talk about where the idea of the hourly worker came from, how most social experiments are done on American undergraduates, and how inconsistent human thinking can be. Joseph discusses the current pushback on human rights, how the internet can be used to preserve knowledge for future generations, and how the brain can update itself like firmware through life experiences.
95 min
Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum (Shameless, Phantom of the Opera, Angelyne) is an actress, producer, and singer. Emmy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what it was like being a classically trained singer at an early age, how her upbringing drew her to her character on Shameless, and how her close relationship with her mother changed her perspective on having kids. Emmy and Dax talk about what their dating experiences have been like, how she doesn’t view success as your net worth, and how they both define safety in their lives. Emmy explains why she wanted to play a character like Angelyne, how she doesn’t feel as accomplished as some of her other friends, and what it was like to audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber.
94 min
A.J. Jacobs (on puzzles and living biblically)
A.J. Jacobs (The Puzzler, The Year of Living Biblically) is a journalist and author. A.J. joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he loves puzzles so much, why he decided to follow every rule in the Bible literally to study religion, and what happened after he read the entire collection of Encyclopedia Britannica. A.J. and Dax talk about what their favorite riddles are, what it’s like to be a clue in the New York Times crossword, and how it’s human nature to want to gossip about each other. A.J. explains that he wants to get healthy by walking to space on his treadmill, what crazy things he sees outside his New York apartment, and how he ended up representing the U.S. in the world jigsaw puzzle championship.
101 min
Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin (Outer Range, No Country for Old Men, Goonies) is an actor. Josh joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what he thinks it means to be masculine, why he decided to get sober, and how he learned to have humility. Josh and Dax talk about what it was like to be in the LA punk scene, why murder documentaries are so intriguing, and how they have made many friends having deep political conversations. Josh explains how he got his iconic role in No Country for Old Men, what having status means to him, and what it was like for him when his mother passed away at a young age.
115 min
Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE: Charles Manson
Armchaired & Dangerous Live from Los Angeles at the Wiltern. February 17th, 2022. Today’s episode: Charles Manson
79 min
Floyd Abrams (Supreme Court lawyer specializing...
Floyd Abrams is a Supreme Court lawyer with a focus on First Amendment Rights. Floyd joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what the First Amendment actually says, how public members of the legal system should be, and how much people can give medical advice legally. Floyd and Dax discuss how the idea of what privacy means has changed, who can technically be sued for libel, and how the media should be protected regardless of opinion. Floyd explains what you can’t say if you settle a case, how social media has altered the idea of free speech, and how he used to tell his children about court cases as bedtime stories.
76 min
Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine, Knocked Up) is an actor, musician, and comedian. Craig joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he really wanted to be a musician instead of a comedian, how he left a full-time teaching job to pursue an acting career, and learning to trust his improv skills. Craig and Dax talk about why doing stand-up comedy is so appealing, how they have both turned down good money for bad roles, and why Craig has no personal section on Wikipedia. Craig explains wanting to have kids eventually, who his all-time favorite musicians are, and how he once made a cameo in one of Monica’s favorite sitcoms.
63 min
Bonus: Armchair Stories
Monica and Dax talk to Armcherries! In todays episode, they cover the topic: abnormal massage stories.
39 min
Paul Feig (filmmaker)
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks, Minx) is a director, writer, and producer. Paul joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his tendency for making female-led movies, why he loves gin so much, and why he wears suits every day. Paul and Dax talk about how they attended the same dinner party once, how writing for film and television differ, and why making movies that challenge genres is so important. Paul explains how he got admitted to USC film school, how he was once a Ronald McDonald, and why he really does not like being in nature.
80 min
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders, Batman Begins, Red Eye) is an actor and producer. Cillian joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how Irish culture can be both rebellious and obedient, how he wanted to play music before becoming an actor, and what being a father to two boys is like. Cillian and Dax talk about how his character on Peaky Blinders has evolved, how his relationship with Christopher Nolan has progressed over the years, and why he doesn’t like to talk about acting when he’s not at work. Cillian explains why he moved his family back home to Dublin, who his favorite musicians were growing up, and how excited he is about his new role in the upcoming film Oppenheimer.
84 min
Anna Lembke (psychiatrist on addiction)
Anna Lembke (Dopamine Nation) is a psychiatrist and professor at Stanford University. Anna joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why the opioid crisis has been so dangerous, how language is shifting when talking about people with addictions, and how being addicted to romance novels affected her personal life. Anna and Dax talk about how addiction drives people into isolation, how social media and drugs stimulate the same parts of the brain, and how nature, nurture, or neighborhood can affect peoples’ likelihood of forming an addiction. Anna explains how people rationalize their addictions in their own minds, what specific chemicals affect our moods, and how we need to explore reframing our concept of pain.
88 min
Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore (In Real Life, This Is Us, A Walk to Remember) is a singer, songwriter, and actress. Mandy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she was discovered singing the national anthem at a basketball game, what the circumstances surrounding her parents’ divorce were, and what going on tour with famous boy bands as a kid was like. Mandy and Dax talk about what they remember about the time she was on Punk’d, what they love about working on a TV show consistently, and how she met her husband on Instagram. Mandy explains how she is feeling about going out on tour again, what growing up in suburban Orlando was like, and that no one has ever said she looks like someone else.
93 min
Armchaired & Dangerous: MK-ULTRA
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: MK-ULTRA
59 min
Brian Cox (physicist)
Brian Cox (Horizons: A 21st Century Space Odyssey) is a physicist and former musician. Brian joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how we know the Big Bang actually happened, what actually happens when information is sent into a black hole, and how time moves differently in spacetime. Brian and Dax talk about where the end of time exists, how science is taught to kids in different parts of the world, and how social science differs from the science of physics. Brian explains how we have learned so much about the universe since the release of the movie Interstellar, how astronauts are actually falling when they are orbiting the Earth, and having dinner with Succession actor Brian Cox.
88 min
Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show, Nana Loves You More) is a comedian, actor, author, and television host. Jimmy joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he ended up hosting The Tonight Show, where his style of comedy comes from, and how he shifted his identity to being a parent. Jimmy and Dax talk about the culture of drinking, how they feel about their movie careers, and how Jimmy gives off Bradley Cooper vibes. Jimmy explains what it was like being raised Catholic, how he didn't have a serious girlfriend through high school, and how he comes up with new songs for his talk show.
81 min
Daniel Pink (The Power of Regret)
Daniel Pink (The Power of Regret) is a New York Times best-selling author. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how people having no regrets in their life is the wrong mentality to have, how people can underachieve if they are over-pressured to perform, and his findings on free will. Daniel and Dax talk about how to confront moral regrets, how self-compassion is more constructive than self-criticism, and how to approach the regrets of action versus inaction. Daniel explains what happens when people are incentivized to work, how growing up in the Midwest shaped his personality, and what usually happens when you reach out to reconnect with people in your life.
98 min
Tony Hawk & Sam Jones
Tony Hawk is a professional skateboarder and entrepreneur. Sam Jones is a photographer and director. Tony and Sam join the Armchair Expert to discuss collaborating to make a documentary about Tony’s life, how they have always seen skateboarding as an art form, and their thoughts on the inherent dangers of being a skater. Tony talks about how his style was always different than his peers, his relationship with his dad throughout his career, and how he didn’t get into skating for the fame. Sam explains how he met Tony skating at the same park, how skate videos changed the perception of the sport, and how it’s weird to hear the sound of your own voice. 
95 min
Armchaired & Dangerous LIVE: Havana Syndrome
Armchaired & Dangerous Live from Portland at the Keller Auditorium. February 2nd, 2022. ​Today’s episode: Havana Syndrome
62 min