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.

Comedy
TV & Film
Music
1
Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Starry Messenger, StarTalk) is an astrophysicist, author, and podcast host. Neil joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he first got interested in astronomy, why he loved competing in high school wrestling, and how he became a public figure within the field of science. Neil and Dax talk about what happens to the human body when it is cremated, why Neil decided to leave UT Austin, and what movies accurately portray physics. Neil explains why the sky is blue, how geopolitics drive space exploration, and why he started practicing sound bites for the news.
145 min
2
Race to 35: Day 8 + Chelsea Handler
Liz and Monica declare their sisterhood in episode 8 (of 10) of Race to 35. The two discuss how pain is passed down, Monica cries over Delta, and they talk about how this experience is affecting the way they view their parents. In the second half of the episode, they discuss the choice to not have kids with Chelsea Handler. They talk about the value of being able to give globally instead of insularly, Chelsea shares the story of when she realized she didn't want kids, and she reinforces the idea that one can have a full life without children.
46 min
3
Flightless Bird: Bears
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand one of America’s grandest animals, the Grizzly Bear. Emblazoned on the California flag and seal, what does this giant predator have to say about the American people? David discovers that animals kill about 400 Americans every year… how many of those deaths involve bears? To get some perspective on this often misunderstood creature, David sits down with journalist and newspaper editor Rob Chaney, who wrote an incredible book about Grizzlies called “The Grizzly in the Driveway”. What are the main misconceptions about the Grizzly bear and why does the population of Grizzlies in major parts of America still face being wiped out? Why can other countries co-exist with this giant beast yet America is still struggling? David also learns about how to best protect yourself from a Grizzly attack, what happens to the human body in a Grizzly attack, and why despite their size this spectacular megafauna still tends to come out the loser when it comes to humans.
58 min
4
Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele (Get Out, Nope, Wendell & Wild) is an actor, comedian, and filmmaker. Jordan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he loves the horror and comedy genres, why doing films that have meaning is so important to him, and how he approaches character development in his stories. Jordan and Dax talk about the similarities between Punk’d and Mad TV, what growing up with single mothers was like, and how vital interpersonal skills are in the filmmaking process. Jordan explains what he is afraid of, how ego affects the creative process, and why actor performances are essential to make a great film.
94 min
5
Armchair Anonymous: Black Friday
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the craziest thing they've witnessed on Black Friday.
53 min
6
Mark Rober (engineer & inventor)
Mark Rober is an engineer and inventor. Mark joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he became one of the biggest YouTubers in the world, how he got a job with NASA, and how he has learned to reframe failures into successes. Mark and Dax talk about the experience of being recognized in public, what they love most about primates, and why science was a more appealing subject matter in school. Mark explains his glitter bomb video, what he thinks about ASMR, and why he resisted doing a television show for so long.
136 min
7
Race to 35: Day 7 + Dana
Liz and Monica are “feeling superior to men today" in episode 7 (of 10) of Race to 35. The two talk about their fears of being needy and question what it would look like to build a non-traditional family. They chat with a choice mom, Dana, who has a two year old son via IUI and donor. She talks the women through the process of picking a donor and the highs and lows of having a child without a partner.
64 min
8
Flightless Bird: Thanksgiving
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to find the perfect turkey and in doing so discovers what Thanksgiving is all about. Somehow, Farrier gets acclaimed celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio to cook him, Dax, Monica, and Rob a full Thanksgiving meal - which involves a lot of turkey, sides, stuffing and pies. Voltaggio and Farrier discuss turkey jacuzzis and where Michael can be found most Thanksgivings. Puzzled by the origins of Thanksgiving, David talks to Crystal EchoHawk, founder & Executive Director of illuminative.org - to find out the real origins of Thanksgiving and how to best spend the Holiday - including just checking an app like Native Land to clock the history of the land we live on. Kristen and Dax smell the turkey in the air and decide to show up for a tasty Voltaggio meal - and the whole Flightless Bird team gives thanks.
56 min
9
Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, 23 Hours to Kill) is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. Jerry joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how much he dislikes vacations, why you shouldn’t worship your children, and his ability to read people quickly. Dax and Jerry talk about how the algorithm isn’t good for the art form of comedy, where their attraction to cars comes from, and the nice ways to scratch your face. Jerry explains how everyone is in the perfect car for them even if they borrowed it, how art is the disguising of art, and why everything in life needs to be edited.
94 min
10
Armchair Anonymous: Thanksgiving
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the craziest thing that happened at Thanksgiving dinner.
45 min
11
Yuval Harari Returns Again
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens, Unstoppable Us) is a historian, philosopher and best-selling author. Yuval joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how people create fantasies in their minds about the real world, why he wanted to write a children’s book, and how humans are capable of building large collaborative communities. Yuval and Dax talk about how the invention of fire advanced human civilizations, how humans evolved to the top of the food chain, and why people lose their faith in the systems that run their lives. Yuval explains why he doesn’t like to hear his own voice, what the concept of social scores based on technology tracking is, and how the stories of religion can change over time.
119 min
12
Race to 35: Day 6 + Christina Perri
Monica and Liz's trays finally arrive in Episode 6 (out of 10) of Race to 35. In this episode, the two women start a new shot and Monica lies to Liz about how much it hurts. Additionally, Liz is put on a blood thinner because she tested positive for a genetic blood mutation. The two talk to singer/songwriter Christina Perri about her struggle with fertility and her experience enduring multiple miscarriages. Christina learns vital information about her body and the simple solution that could have prevented her miscarriages. She bravely shares this information with Monica, Liz, and the listeners in hopes of preventing the same outcome for others.
90 min
13
Flightless Bird: Airports
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand the American airport and what makes it tick. Why are the top seven busiest airports in the world all based in America, and what does that mean for the traveler? David sets off for the world’s third business airport, Denver, to dig into the various conspiracy theories surrounding the airport. Why does it greet passengers with a giant terrifying mustang with glowing red eyes and did it really kill the artist who made it? David descends into the huge underground network of tunnels under the airport to find out what’s really going on there and tries to find answers to the strange, apocalyptic artwork on display at the terminals.
53 min
14
John Stamos
John Stamos (Full House, Big Shot, ER) is an actor and musician. John joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his DM to Dax about loving the podcast, his fear of putting himself out there and giving 100%, and the time someone tried to set him up with Kristen. John and Dax talk about their shared love of Howard Stern, what the term “epcotting” means, and his experience on daytime soap operas. John explains how he wanted to get famous so he could have bodyguards beat up his high school bully, the hyper-nostalgia of Full House, and John brings Monica a surprise.
144 min
15
Armchair Anonymous: Stuck
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the worst place they've been stuck.
55 min
16
Layne Norton (scientist and bodybuilder)
Layne Norton, Ph. D. (BioLayne) is a scientist, professional bodybuilder, and physique coach. Layne joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how he approaches teaching people about exercise, his thoughts on the artificial sweetener debate, and his views on the use of steroids in bodybuilding competitions. Layne and Dax talk about how diet culture can shape people’s identities, how eating disorders can be treated as addictions, and how important the power of habit-forming can be to one’s health. Layne explains why tracking what you eat is beneficial, why having accountability with empathy is crucial in weight loss, and how detrimental stress can be to the human body.
148 min
17
Race to 35: Day 5 + Andrew Huberman
Liz and Monica decide they can't get canceled in ep 5 (of 10) of Race to 35. They revisit a final destination moment from last night's shots and Liz declares she finally feels like a person after hearing words of encouragement from an Uber mom. Monica receives some encouraging news about her follicles and they lament about the stingy medication implementation. Then they get science-y with professor at Stanford, podcaster and friend of the pod - Andrew Huberman. Huberman talks about how to maximize egg and sperm health, he walks through the purpose of each relevant hormone, and they receive a call from a very special megalith.
120 min
18
Flightless Bird: News
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand American Network News, and the country’s obsession with rolling 24/7 news coverage. Why does the Fox News Channel averaged more total viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined and how is American TV news faring in the wake of Twitter and TikTok? David talks to Stacy Scholder, a professor at the University of Southern California who teaches TV journalism. What is she teaching the next generation of TV journalists and what was it like covering OJ Simpson’s escape on the LA freeway? He also meets Victor Vlam, a 38-year-old man in the Netherlands who has the biggest collection of news theme songs on the planet. Why does he have 876 hours, 2 minutes and 52 seconds of news music? Victor explains the importance of news theme music and what it says about the news you’re about to hear. What’s the best news theme song and the worst?
60 min
19
Constance Wu
Constance Wu (Making a Scene, Crazy Rich Asians, Fresh Off the Boat) is an actress. Constance joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why she decided to write a book, the importance of having empathy and curiosity toward someone else's experience, and how she discovered her love for acting. Constance and Dax talk about her experiences working in television versus film, what they think being pessimistic means, and how Asian women are often treated on a production set. Constance explains her relationship with going to therapy, what being pregnant during the pandemic was like, and why she started running marathons.
109 min
20
Armchair Anonymous: Dating App
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their worst dating experience from a dating app.
62 min
21
Will Bunch (on college in America)
Will Bunch (After the Ivory Tower Falls) is an author and journalist. Will joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he wanted to research the college story in America, why people are so politically divided over the subject of higher education, and why it’s so expensive to go to American universities. Will and Dax talk about why it could be argued that college degrees are more about status than knowledge, how the debt relief program could shape the future of many people, and how it’s possible for vocational schools to make a comeback. Will explains why some states stopped wanting to fund their public universities, how college is mostly about learning to think critically, and the concept of a credential society.
101 min
22
Race to 35: Day 4 + Eve Wiley + Bee
Liz and Monica don't know what's real in episode 4 (of 10) of Race to 35. Monica receives unfortunate news from her doctor, we learn about Liz's synchronized swimming history and they remind each other they can do hard things. The remainder of the episode focuses on fertility fraud. They speak with Eve Wiley, advocate for regulation and legislation in the fertility industry, who tells a harrowing personal experience in uncovering her genetic truth. We also speak to Bee, a young woman who discovers she has many "diblings" (donor siblings) across the US and how she has learned to embrace the positive.
127 min
23
Flightless Bird: Maths
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand why Americans say “math”, while New Zealand - and most of the rest of the world - says “maths”. He speaks to Dean Koorey about the mysteries of language, before stumbling into the depths of math/maths and the perils of the metric system. How many ounces in a pound? How many pounds are in a stone? And why is America stuck using the imperial system when the rest of the planet loves the sensible metric system? Farrier is shocked to find that NASA once lost a space probe thanks to a metric conversion disaster, and meets with aerospace engineer Omar Abed to get to the bottom of the mess.
58 min
24
Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani is a singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. Gwen joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how she got started singing and writing songs, why she started a beauty line of makeup, and where she got her sense of style from. Gwen and Dax talk about their experiences with dyslexia, what growing up in 80’s culture was like, and the differences between taxis and Ubers. Gwen explains how she was introduced to Japanese culture, how she got the offer to be on The Voice, and how spirituality has played a large role in her career.
94 min
25
Armchaired & Dangerous: Satanic Panic
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Satanic Panic
66 min
26
Armchair Anonymous: Ghosts
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their spookiest encounter with a ghost.
51 min
27
Felix Gillette & John Koblin (on the Rise, Revo...
Felix Gillette is the enterprise editor for Bloomberg News & John Koblin is a media reporter for The New York Times. Felix and John join the Armchair Expert to discuss how HBO became one of the premiere television networks in America, how their original shows changed the landscape of television, and why they wanted to write a book about it - It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and the Future of HBO. Felix, John, Dax, and Monica talk about which HBO shows are their all-time favorites, how streaming services have changed how networks produce content, and what impact HBO has had on American pop culture. Felix and John explain where the HBO tagline came from, how they developed such a great documentary division, and how they think the recent Discovery HBO merger will change the platform.
134 min
28
Race to 35: Day 3 + Emily Oster + January Jones
Monica and Liz are owning their dumbness in episode 3 (of 10) of Race to 35. They discuss last night's shots which were an utter disaster involving Monica giving Liz a proper stabbing. They talk to Emily Oster, American author and professor of economics at Brown, who talks about how to apply the principles of economics to fertility and pregnancy. She applies cost/benefit, optimizing the margin and opportunity cost to their egg freezing journey. They also speak to a friend of the pod, actress January Jones, who discusses her personal experience with egg freezing and solo parenting.
93 min
29
Flightless Bird: Halloween
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets to understand where the heck Halloween came from, a holiday that generates over $10 billion in retail sales in the US each year. Why does an average American spend $60 on the scary day, and is it more tied in with paganism, Christianity, or scary monsters? David meets with Regina Hansen - a writer and scholar who teaches at Boston University - to talk about why we used to carve turnips instead of pumpkins, before calling up professor of philosophy and religion Justin Sledge to talk horror movies. Finally, David decides to use the spooky season to try and communicate with a ghost that’s been waking him up every morning at 3am.
57 min
30
Hasan Minhaj Returns
Hasan Minhaj (The King’s Jester, Patriot Act, The Daily Show) is a comedian, writer, political commentator, and actor. Hasan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his vulnerability and fear surrounding his new special, how he gauges its success based on the emotional resonance with the audience, and how he sees the beauty in Monica in a unique and specific way. Hasan & Dax rehash the Vanity Fair lie detector test incident, how their Illuminati event brought them closer together, and dealing with certain dreams and moments closing. Hasan explains how everyone needs to try to be more empathetic, how intoxicating public attention is, and Dax tells him that he’s only one ingredient away from Eddie Murphy.
117 min
31
Armchair Anonymous: Morning After
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the weirdest place they woke up after a night of drinking.
40 min
32
Siddhartha Mukherjee (physician & biologist)
Siddhartha Mukherjee is an author, biologist, and physician. Siddhartha joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how the evolution of cells can advance medical technology, how some body parts can reject cancer cells, and how the view of the opioid epidemic has changed. Siddhartha and Dax talk about where the idea of reclaiming one’s identity came from, what it means to be an insider or outsider of a certain group, and the differences between RNA and DNA. Siddhartha explains the different ways to organize a book, why he doesn’t own a television, and how cells communicate with each other in the human body.
106 min
33
Race to 35: Day 2 + Douglas NeJamie + Dre & Rachel
Monica and Liz are feeling "floopy" in episode 2 (of 10) of Race to 35. They discuss the previous nights' shots, the potentially deathly air bubble, substitute trays, and how they shouldn't be allowed to make purchases or decisions of any kind. They talk to Douglas NeJaime who is a professor of Law at Yale. Douglas specializes in parentage law and provides insight on what we deem legal parents in this country. Liz and Monica also talk to Dre and Rachel - a beautiful married couple who chose to use Dre's brother as their donor and sperm sample.
114 min
34
Flightless Bird: Shower Curtains
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand why America - despite all its advancements in innovation and technology - has decided to stick with the puzzling shower curtain. Why, while countries like New Zealand embrace the shower door, is America stuck in a long-term love affair with the fabric (or sometimes plastic) mistress? David calls his old friend Harvey from the Toilets episode to discuss American showering habits, before spending the day with the self-proclaimed “Glass Queen” who spends her days removing shower curtains and replacing them with glistening shower doors. He talks to professor David Schmidt about his complex mathematical simulations of shower curtains, to discover why the shower curtain insists on sticking to your body while you shower. Maybe this is a clue to why 66% of Americans shower daily, compared with 80% of Australians… and why 10 million Americans shower once a week or less.
39 min
35
Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men, The West Wing) is an actress, director, and producer. Elisabeth joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how seriously she takes her roles, what she has learned about directing other actors, and how she loves getting constructive feedback on performances. Elisabeth and Dax talk about if they are vain people, making shows about misogynistic worlds, and their skincare regiments. Elisabeth explains what ballet taught her about acting, what a “oner” is in filmmaking, and how she feels about attending award shows.
118 min
36
Armchair Anonymous: Funeral
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about the craziest thing they’ve witnessed at a funeral.
49 min
37
Reza Aslan (scholar of sociology of religion)
Reza Aslan is an author and expert on world religions. Reza joins the Armchair Expert to discuss where the idea of Christianity came from, the history of religious conversion in Iran and Persia, and what part religion plays in global conflicts. Reza and Dax talk about whether or not people are born believing in a higher power, who the historical Jesus Christ actually was, and how religion is really a form of emotional language. Reza explains why he converted from Islam to Christianity and then back to Islam, if it’s possible to recreate the idea of faith in Artificial Intelligence, and how people often insert their own beliefs into scripture.
130 min
38
Race to 35: Day 1
Day 1 - Liz and Monica embark on their fertility journey. They sit down with Monica’s BFF - who has gone through the egg retrieval process herself - to ask questions and discuss their fears about the upcoming 10 days. They talk needles, they learn what follicles are, and they equate the vaginal ultrasound wand to an uncomfortable dildo. At the end of the episode, Liz and Monica administer their first shot on air and it is quite a rollercoaster.
60 min
39
Flightless Bird: Amish
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier sets out to understand the Amish, a group of Swiss Germans slash Alsatians that chose America as their home away from home. Why does a country that embraces fast cars, fast money, and fast food also embrace the very slow-moving Amish? David discovers why back in 2000 there were only 178,000 Amish in the US, and why that number has climbed to well over 367,000 - an increase of 106%. David sits down with Susan Trollinger, a professor from the University of Dayton, to talk about Amish tourism and culture. He also talks to Misty Griffin, who wrote a book critical of the Amish called “Tears of the Silenced” and consulted on the Peacock documentary “Sins of the Amish.” She discusses why she had a terrible time being Amish and the problems she says exist in the Amish community.
52 min
40
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Her, Lost In Translation) is an award-winning actress. Scarlett joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her experience working with Bill Murray, what it means to have an “X-Factor,” and being sexualized at a young age. Scarlett and Dax talk about why some people poop their pants, working with Spike Jonze, and how difficult it was to shoot a sex scene as an A.I. character. Scarlett explains how profound the feeling of embarrassment is, how she has dealt with skin issues over the years, and her new skincare company: The Outset.
118 min
41
Introducing... Race to 35
The producers of Armchair Expert present their newest podcast venture, Race to 35. Race to 35 is co-hosted by Monica Padman and Liz Plank and focuses on Fertility. Throughout this 10 episode podcast, Monica and Liz will be going through the egg freezing process as they hit the critical age of 35. The top of each episode will check in on the two women- see how they are feeling, how their hormone shots are progressing and share their ever evolving thoughts, emotions, fears, joys, etc. The rest of each episode consists of Monica and Liz talking to people with different fertility stories and/or those who are experts in the field. We hear about fertility successes, fertility fraud, surrogacy, celebrity stories...We will hear from women who chose not to have children, hormone experts, parentage law professors and so much more. The subject of fertility usually happens behind closed doors. The goal of this podcast is to open it wide. As with all shows under the Armchair Umbrella, this show aims to remind all of us that the human struggle is universal. We hope you enjoy this race against the clock...Race to 35.
17 min
42
Armchair Anonymous: Pooped at the Gym
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they had an unauthorized evacuation at the gym.
41 min
43
Jonathan Abrams (on the history of Hip-Hop)
Jonathan Abrams (The Come Up) is an author and journalist. Jonathan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he wanted to write an oral history of hip-hop, how he became a sports writer, and who some of his all-time favorite rap artists are. Jonathan and Dax talk about which artists shaped the hip-hop landscape, what the different geographic pockets of the industry are, and how sampling influenced the progression of the genre. Jonathan explains the east vs west coast wars, why masculinity is so prevalent among some artists, and how hip-hop broke out into the mainstream.
104 min
44
Flightless Bird: Game Shows
In this week’s Flightless Bird, David Farrier embraces the American institution of game shows. He sets out to understand how in this time of high-caliber TV, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune still manages to pull in four million ahead of shows like Dateline, Undercover Boss, and Masterchef. David joins fellow kiwi Rhys Darby as he’s invited on Celebrity Family Feud - thrilled at the idea of meeting comic, actor, author, and Emmy Award-winning talk-show host Steve Harvey. Quickly David is shocked to learn he is not only attending a taping but also going on Family Feud as part of Rhys’ Kiwi “family.” Squaring off against actor and comedian Jay Pharoah (and Jay’s actual, real family), how will Rhys Darby and David Farrier cope? Will they be crushed or come out triumphant? Who will be the best team at guessing what the average American would answer? The American team or the New Zealand imports? Be warned: This episode quite possibly makes David the most American he’s ever been.
50 min
45
Kevin Bacon
Kevin Bacon (They/Them, City on a Hill, Footloose) is an actor. Kevin joins the Armchair Expert to discuss why he thinks Footloose had so much success, what being cool means to him, and why he decided to make the move to television. Kevin and Dax talk about what it’s like to do all those interviews to promote movies, why they embraced doing commercials, and how they view playing the role of an unlikeable character. Kevin explains how he views himself in the zeitgeist of American pop culture, what he thinks about being a mentor to young actors, and how working in the horror genre is different than it used to be.
114 min
46
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
47
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
48
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
49
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
50
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
51
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
52
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
53
Ice-T
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
54
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
55
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
56
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
57
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
58
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
59
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
60
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
61
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
62
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
63
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
64
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
65
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
66
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
67
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
68
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
69
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
70
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
71
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
72
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
73
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
74
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
75
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
76
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
77
Armchair Anonymous: Stealing
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about a time they stole something.
61 min
78
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
79
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
80
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
81
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
82
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
83
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
84
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
85
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
86
Armchair Anonymous: Zoom Blunder
Dax and Monica talk to Armcherries! In today's episode, Armcherries tell us about their biggest zoom blunder.
38 min
87
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
88
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
89
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
90
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
91
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
92
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
93
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
94
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
95
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
96
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
97
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
98
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
99
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
100
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