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: Wild Card
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us a crazy story.
47 min
Alison Roman (food writer & chef)
Alison Roman (Sweet Enough, Home Movies) is a chef and author. Alison joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her experiences working in commercial kitchens, how she got into creating her own content, and her approach for pastries. Alison and Dax talk about how people use food to express themselves, what’s in Dax’s spaghetti recipe, and why she didn’t finish college. Alison explains whether she’s an introvert or extrovert, what growing up near Los Angeles was like, and why she loves old-school restaurants.
132 min
Flightless Bird: Pickleball
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand America’s fastest growing sport, pickleball. Why did five million Americans turn to pickleball during the pandemic, and why did Tom Brady and LeBron James buy franchises in various Pickleball leagues? David goes to meet and play Pickleball with one of America’s best players, Jessie Irvine, to discover some tips and tricks. Along the way he discovers why Americans are suing each other over pickleball, before talking to Chuck Menke, Chief Marketing Officer for Pickleball America. They discuss what the chances are of pickleball becoming an official Olympic Sport, and whether the rest of the world is embracing pickleball with the same gusto as the US.
54 min
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas (Citadel, Quantico, Love Again) is an actor and producer. Priyanka joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her immigrant experience coming from India to America, her inherited burdens, and how returning to India for school prepared her for fame. Priyanka and Dax discuss the equity of lighter skin in India, her journey with pay disparity, and the incredible evolution of Bollywood. Priyanka talks about her transition from Bollywood to Hollywood, how being single gave her clarity on what she needed rather than what she wanted, and her love story with Nick Jonas.
152 min
Armchair Anonymous: Fart
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their most embarrassing fart.
56 min
Susan Magsamen & Ivy Ross
Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross (Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us) are researchers and authors. Susan and Ivy join the Armchair Expert to discuss how important it is to participate in the arts, why room designs can affect moods, and how technology can be used to improve quality of life. Susan and Ivy explain how humans are feeling beings that have learned to think, that writing down a secret can reduce your stress levels, and what being in a completely silent room would be like. Susan, Ivy, and Dax discuss the importance of play, humans perpetual state of aesthetic fatigue, and why people feel most comfortable in curved spaces.
117 min
David Letterman
David Letterman (Late Show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his relationship with work and retirement, what his different strategies for interviewing people are, and how having heart surgery has affected his life. David and Dax talk about their experiences with alcohol, how the important lessons we learn are the ones we forget the quickest, and the reverence they have for Howard Stern. David explains what he does when he sees bears on his property, how he got to know Bono & The Edge, and how Matt Damon is the nice guy every American should aspire to be.
100 min
Flightless Bird: Rabies
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier gets bitten by a squirrel, forcing him to come face-to-face with his greatest nightmare: rabies. Why does this virus have a near 100% mortality rate and how are you meant to be treated for it? David joins the 60,000 Americans who find themselves having to reckon with the risk of rabies every year, whether they are bitten by dogs, raccoons, bats… or in David’s case, a squirrel. To learn more, David meets fellow victims Courtney and Paul, who all had to have jabs in their arms, legs, and butts! David discovers that American emergency rooms can be very expensive and that rabies makes you terrified of water! For more on his rabies encounter, see Farrier’s newsletter Webworm:
51 min
Armchair Anonymous: Divorce
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a crazy divorce.
55 min
Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty (On Purpose, 8 Rules of Love) is an author and podcaster. Jay joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he decided to live as a monk for three years, his journey to becoming a life coach, and how his philosophy of teaching from ancient wisdom. Jay and Dax talk about how Indians are portrayed in pop culture, the problems with hero-worshipping, and how beautiful Jay’s eyes are. Jay explains why he stays away from teaching with his own life as an example, that having child-like wonder can stimulate creativity, and how the genuine practice of helping is a constant practice of reflection.
140 min
Flightless Bird: BBQ
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier travels to Austin, Texas to investigate America’s love of BBQ. Why do 7 out of 10 adults in America own some kind of BBQ device, and why is there so much BBQ in Texas? David meets up with the BBQ editor of Texas Monthly, Daniel Vaughn. David discovers that Daniel has eaten at over 2,000 barbecue spots all over the planet… 2,119 to be precise - many of them in Texas. Daniel agrees to take David on a day of BBQ eating, from Austin to Lockhart to Luling - shoving brisket and sides town their gullets in a feeding frenzy of epic proportions.
63 min
Kurtwood Smith
Kurtwood Smith (That 90’s Show, That 70’s Show, Patriot) is an actor. Kurtwood joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he discovered acting in college, his move from the midwest to Los Angeles, and his original reluctance to do comedy. Kurtwood and Dax talk about the dialogue and tone of Patriot, how they became close friends while shooting El Camino Christmas, and their experiences with using opioids for acute pain. Kurtwood explains how he likes to prepare for his scenes, what going to Stanford in the 60s was like, and how much he loves directing students.
107 min
Armchair Anonymous: Caught
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they were caught.
56 min
Stephen Dubner Returns
Stephen Dubner (Freakonomics, No Stupid Questions) is an author, journalist, and podcaster. Stephen returns to the Armchair Expert to discuss why people often focus on the negative aspects of experiences, the maker vs manager conflict, and the struggles of religious fundamentalism. Stephen and Dax talk about the frustration of humans' inability to change, what the different types of large cats are, and why people want adoration from others of higher status. Stephen explains why creative people can be more prone to drug use, what a productivity trap is, and what his experience with cognitive behavioral therapy is.
117 min
Flightless Bird: Waco
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to Waco, Texas - taking a drive to visit the Branch Davidians compound, the old home of David Koresh. David is surprised to find that the strange offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist church still exists and sits down to interview their new leader. Why are they still on the same grounds where so many terrible things happened? What do they believe? What do they think of Koresh? What is inside their church? And why did things go so crazy here 30 years ago, America essentially going after one man with an army of guns, helicopters, tear gas, 12 tanks, and almost 900 members of the FBI, ATF, Texas National Guard, the Army, the Waco police department, and the Texas Rangers.
51 min
Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega (Wednesday, Scream, X) is an actor. Jenna joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her relationship with her self-esteem, why she doesn’t like watching her own performances, and growing to be very protective of Wednesday. Jenna & Dax discuss the expectations of constant gratitude, the feelings of isolation that come with it, and the juxtaposition of what people see for her vs what she sees for herself. Jenna talks about the iconic dance scene in Wednesday, attending her Disney prom, and her love of murder podcasts.
133 min
David Remnick (editor of The New Yorker)
David Remnick (editor of The New Yorker) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and editor. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what working in Soviet-era Moscow was like, how his parents’ health affected his upbringing, and his experience interviewing novelist Salman Rushdie. David and Dax talk about why violent sports are so appealing, what the public image of The New Yorker is, and their shared love and admiration of Malcolm Gladwell. David explains what his thoughts are on the current situation in Ukraine, how your political views can change over time, and the New York vs Los Angeles rivalry.
122 min
Flightless Bird: Waffle House
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand Waffle House, the much loved diner found scattered throughout the American south. What makes this chain so special, and what the heck is the Waffle House Index? David interviews Waffle House’s Njeri Boss about the magic of waffles and why it’s actually more about the hash browns. He also talks to photographer Micah Cash about his book Waffle House Vistas ( and why this generic shoebox restaurant is actually incredibly diverse and special. What does Hootie and the Blowfish and the Bloodhound Gang all have in common? Waffle House!
54 min
Shania Twain
Shania Twain is a singer-songwriter. Shania joins the Armchair Expert to discuss what breaking into the country music scene from Canada was like, how she always enjoyed indulging in her creative outlets, and the root of her stage fright. Shania and Dax talk about how their family dynamics shaped their careers, how she allows herself to trust too much, and her relationship with her stepdad. Shania explains how she developed her armor, the pressures of sustaining success, and how processing needs its own moment.
142 min
Armchair Anonymous: Sleepwalking
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a crazy sleepwalking experience.
43 min
Kelly Slater (11x World Surfing Champion)
Kelly Slater (Make or Break) is a professional surfer. Kelly joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he was drawn to surfing over other sports, what it was like being featured in a documentary series about his career, and how he balances his personal life from his public one. Kelly and Dax talk about their experiences with stepdads, what the mental health journey is like for action sports athletes, and getting a role on Baywatch. Kelly explains what the feeling of winning gives him, what he does if a shark approaches him in the water, and the spiritual sense he gets from competition.
118 min
Flightless Bird: DMV
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out for the DMV in an attempt to get his American driver’s license. By his side (and scared in the passenger seat) is Monica Padman, there to assist the New Zealander in his quest. Things take a turn when they discover Monica’s car is far too dirty. A diversion to a carwash, a quick quiche, and a lot of debate over the road rules take the pair to the DMV. Will David pass? What could go wrong? A whole lot, apparently.
50 min
Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man, I Love You Man, Clueless) is an actor. Paul joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the importance of male friendship, why he’s gotten more introverted as he’s gotten old, and how he doesn't seem to age. Paul and Dax talk about what it’s been like for him to join culturally impactful things after they’ve started, relating to the funny part of dramatic things, and how much his foundation gave him confidence. Paul explains the joy he gets from watching funny people do what they do, how he always looked up to comedians that could use their bodies in funny ways, and how he came to co-own a candy shop.
150 min
Armchair Anonymous: Pet Sitting
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a pet sitting incident gone wrong.
51 min
Andrew Newberg (neuroscientist on the brain and...
Dr. Andrew Newberg (The Varieties of Spiritual Experience) is a neuroscientist and author. Andrew joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the different levels of enlightenment, what happens to the brain when people connect with others, and how neuroscience does not prove or disprove any religious experiences. Andrew and Dax talk about what happens when people use psychedelic drugs, what the brain is doing when you are dreaming, and the benefits of meditation. Andrew explains the possible causes of dyslexia, how philosophy plays a role in studying the mind, and how different perspectives help society.
100 min