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Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard
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Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Author: Armchair Umbrella

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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.
284 Episodes
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Emmanuel Acho

Emmanuel Acho

2020-12-0450:542

BONUS EPISODE with Emmanuel Acho is a former NFL player and the author of the New York Times Bestselling book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss that their are huge differences between color and culture, how societally we need to do a better job being proactive instead of reactive, and the communication barriers between the black lives matter and blue lives matter movements. He explains the need to acknowledge opportunity inequality and that proximity breeds care while distance breeds fear.
Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly

2020-12-0301:43:503

Scott Kelly is a retired astronaut that set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space. Scott joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to becoming an astronaut and how seeing earth from space really changes your perspective on humanity. Scott explains his structured approach to dealing with isolation, how he was able to compartmentalize fear, and what it’s like living in microgravity.  Dax asks Scott some questions about living in space, if he saw any extraterrestrial activities while up there, and if anyone has ever made love in space.
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

2020-11-3001:28:0822

Hillary Clinton is a politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th US secretary of state, a US senator, and First Lady. Hillary joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over not being able to properly take a compliment, the feeling of imposter syndrome, and raising daughters. Hillary discusses significant transitions she went through, what its been like getting to know heroes in her life, and the assumptions and projections people put on her as a public figure.  She opens up about losing the 2016 election, feeling the weight of history and expectation, and how difficult of a transition it was to unexpectedly not become president. Hillary discusses how women often compare themselves against impossible standards and that progression is a relay race.
Susan David

Susan David

2020-11-2601:45:2618

Susan David, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading management thinkers and an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the work she does on emotional agility, what it takes for us to be healthy humans, and the dangerous narrative that success equals happiness. Susan explains that emotions are transient, how we need to face them with compassion and how vital accuracy is when evaluating them. She demonstrates how you go about defining your values and how to start creating distance between ourselves and our emotions.
Jewel

Jewel

2020-11-2301:32:1817

Jewel is a Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Jewel joins the Armchair Expert and talks about growing up in Alaska with no indoor plumbing, singing in bars at a young age, and admits to being a terrible celebrater. She discusses being propositioned in bars & parking lots and how it skewed her idea of men. Jewel reflects on how much of an impact Bob Dylan’s mentorship made on her career, what it was like to sell a million copies every month for a year, and how she ended up millions of dollars in debt. She opens up about mindfulness, her neurological exercise routine, and how she’s learned to deal with anxiety.
David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Lizard People
Tristan Harris

Tristan Harris

2020-11-1902:08:2913

Tristan Harris is a computer scientist, the co-founder & president of the Center for Humane Technology, and co-host of the Your Undivided Attention podcast. Tristan Harris joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the role technology is playing in our lives, how algorithms determine the things we like, and how technology companies need to take on more responsibility. Tristan explains our inability to have trust in a shared information environment, how humans are becoming more unable to choose their own thoughts, and how technology enables us to run away from ourselves. Dax & Tristan discuss how users are more profitable when they’re addicted, anxious, and misinformed and Tristan breaks down the deep dilemma of living in these digital habitats.
Halsey

Halsey

2020-11-1601:44:5834

Halsey is a Grammy Award-nominated, platinum-selling singer songwriter. Halsey joins the Armchair Expert and the two bond over vaping, ranch-style homes, and both having car salesman fathers. Halsey opens up about being bipolar, the effects of that while being in a relationship with an addict, and the impact Mac Miller’s death had on her. Halsey reflects on how she used to use her sexuality and how much more empowered her talents make her feel now. She discusses how writing has turned into a tool for exorcising pain, learning about most life experiences through books first, and Halsey reads one of her new poems for us.
Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

2020-11-1201:48:4319

Daniel Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian Formula One racing driver. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting into racing when he was 9 years old, how he stays fit during the race season and rebounding from a poor qualifying round. Dax explains the science behind downforce and g-force, he compliments Daniel on his girthy neck and pitches a race gas scented cologne. Daniel explains how anti-superstitious he is and how it leads to a lack of accountability, how he finds enjoyment before a race and just how important the first 45 seconds of a race is. By the end of the interview, Monica impresses Daniel with the insightfulness of her racing questions.
Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

2020-11-0901:49:0738

Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, The Big Bang Theory, 8 Simple Rules) is an actress and producer. Kaley joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her equestrian husband Karl, how he has an Instagram account dedicated to trolling her, and how strong his legs are. Kaley expresses her gratitude for having John Ritter and Katey Sagal as role models early on in her career and how she navigated the success of the Big Bang Theory. The two bond over Dateline and Comedian in Cars Getting Coffee while Dax describes the trailer to her new show in great detail and suggests that Kaley and Kristen start a support group for dog lovers.
Yuval Harari Returns

Yuval Harari Returns

2020-11-0501:31:4525

Yuval Harari (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) is a historian who lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. Yuval joins the Armchair Expert again to discuss the positive and negative sides of biometric surveillance and the importance of trusting other scientific institutions. Yuval explains the value of understanding how we got where we are today, that revolutions need to be gradual, and how disruptive technologies don’t obey borders. The two discuss how extreme views are much better for grabbing human attention, how algorithms are figuring out how to hack humans, and the problems with believing in free will without considering external manipulation.
Adam Brody

Adam Brody

2020-11-0201:27:2523

Adam Brody (CHiPs, The OC, Gilmore Girls) is an actor, writer, and producer. Adam joins the Armchair Expert to discuss Jack Parsons and the book Strange Angel, his OCD tendencies involving his rearview mirror, and getting scooped up by the golden age of teen television. Adam amazes us with his encyclopedic knowledge, he explains how much of an influence Vince Vaughn had on his acting, and talks about his on-screen three-way with Kristen. Dax & Adam realize they both auditioned for Blues Clues and Dax publicly states that Adam was the best part of CHiPs.
Joseph Laycock

Joseph Laycock

2020-10-2901:49:2817

Spooky episode alert! Joseph Laycock is an associate professor of religious studies at Texas State University. Joseph joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things exorcism; the overall belief of demonic possession in America, the unholy trinity of films that influenced belief, and how it’s typically a political phenomenon. Joseph talks about the Salem Witch Trials, the West Memphis Three trial, the McMartin Preschool trial and explains why people tend to tell awful stories during times of upheavals. Dax reminisces on the satanic panic of the 80s and Joseph exclaims that if you’re doing it right, critical thinking should hurt.
Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

2020-10-2601:51:2066

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, True Detective) is a Golden Globe & Academy Award-Winning actor, author, and producer. Matthew joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the red and yellow lights in his life that he turned into green lights, why he loves delusional optimism so much, and the art of running downhill. Dax and Matthew bond over having to navigate fighting their fathers, how they aren’t who they are without the love of their mothers, and growing up around “by hook or by crook” ethics. Matthew tells the horror story of his year abroad in Australia and Dax confirms that the two do indeed have rhythm.
Erin Geiger Smith

Erin Geiger Smith

2020-10-2201:44:5015

Erin Geiger Smith is a freelance reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and author of Thank You for Voting: The Past, Present, and Future of Voting. Erin joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the history of democracy, the rise of the electoral college, and how voting has evolved over time. Erin explains the ways in which voter suppression is still happening today, the systematic issues we face and how democracy works best if everybody shows up. Dax asks Erin about voter fraud and the voting statistics between different demographics. In the fact check, Dax and Monica have a debate about issues on this year’s ballot.
Chelsea Handler Returns

Chelsea Handler Returns

2020-10-1901:34:0822

Chelsea Handler (Evolution, Chelsea Lately, The Chelsea Handler Show) is a comedian, actress, writer, television host, producer and activist. Chelsea sits down the Armchair Expert to discuss how standup comedy is evolving, how she can tell by body type what drug a person can handle, and she admits that being known for insulting people puts them at unease when she first meets them. Chelsea discusses her path to realizing she wasn’t a very empathetic person, how people should look at change with open-mindedness instead of fear, and how she wanted to attack the issue of white privilege from her own perspective. Dax admits he doesn’t have as thick of skin as Chelsea while she explains the desire to keep putting herself out there in vulnerable ways.
Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson

2020-10-1601:11:4215

BONUS EPISODE with Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Isabel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss caste systems in the United States, the patterns of regression in civil rights in this country and giving someone the basic benefit of the doubt. She explains assumptions of competence, how embedded assumptions are and that caste systems aren’t only about race.
Eric Lander

Eric Lander

2020-10-1502:06:527

Eric Lander is a geneticist, molecular biologist, and mathematician. He was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project and is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Eric joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work with the Human Genome project, the practical applications they’ve found, and how collaborative biology has become. Eric describes how the Broad Institute came to be, how their data is starting to uncover connections between different diseases, and that we have a lot of challenges ahead that are going to take science to solve. Dax takes a few swings and misses with his 25-year-old biology memory and Eric explains why humility has to be a part of every bit of science.
Sara Gilbert

Sara Gilbert

2020-10-1201:21:4722

Sara Gilbert (The Conners, The Talk, Roseanne) is an Emmy-Award nominated actress, director, and producer. Sara joins the Armchair Expert and discusses how she handled success at 13 years old, the difficulty of balancing her personal and public life at that age, and her time spent at Yale. Sara admits that conflict seems to always find her, the huge crush she had on Corky Nemac, and what inspired her to create The Talk. Dax asks her what made her not give up on the Conners and Sara explains the connection the show has to real life for its’ viewers. Best friend Aaron Weakly returns and helps double fact check Dax.
Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward

2020-10-0801:17:5122

Bob Woodward is an American investigative journalist that started working for the Washington Post in 1971 and currently holds the title of associate editor. Dax discusses how bipartisan Bob’s reporting has been over the years, his rigorous search of the truth and how Bob has covered 20% of the presidents this country has had. Bob talks about the difference between a good faith f*ck up and a bad faith f*ck up, getting spontaneous calls from the president when he was writing his book, and the relationship that developed out of that process. The two discuss the handling of the virus and the inability to put together a cohesive plan. And most importantly, Dax asks who more accurately captured Bob in film, Robert Redford or Will Ferrell.
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Comments (1937)

💝

You need Candace Ownes and Amy Barrett. your show is far too liberal.

Dec 4th
Reply

Jonathan Bosch

I'm looking forward to this, just the name of Emmanuel's book makes me say Yes! These days feel like the 60s to me in that people are waking up about living together in peace while fighting oppression. Seeing our common humanity is a start yet seems almost impossible for some. Thanks again Dax.

Dec 4th
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Erika Myers

zoe is amazing

Dec 4th
Reply

Erika Myers

what a poem !

Dec 3rd
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Erika Myers

😍😍😍😍😍 halsey

Dec 2nd
Reply

Katie Cuthel

Love your podcasts, Dax I agree why so binary, global understanding will happen just not in our life time. Can you please interview Hugh Grant...

Dec 1st
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Ninah Christie

I have listened to all of the podcasts, enjoyed them all, but this episode in particular has left me feeling far more optimistic, called to action and inspired than ever before. She's a fucking delight and a powerhouse 💪🏼 Great ep!!

Nov 30th
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Jen Jen

The thing about wealth--inherited--is that, originally, someinre DID earn that money (in most cases.) Most people are not thieves, and that wealth does not usually last. I have no issue with people who inherit money. Good for them. They are blessed. My family comes from old money, and because of that, I have a home. Beyond that, I'm actually fairly poor, but I've watched the money filter down through my family. We're all just regular people. Great episode! I like Susan!

Nov 30th
Reply

colby bowles

she can manage to hold on to all that junk but 30k emails just vanish???

Nov 30th
Reply

Alexandra Campo

She's quite literally a wicked witch who brutally murders children!! wtf Dax, you support this evil witch?! Absolutely revolting!

Nov 30th
Reply (6)

Stephen Russell

she is a murderer

Nov 30th
Reply

Jessica Bird

I feel like this episode needs a fact check. The fact that there isn't one is really unsettling.

Nov 29th
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ID18856732

Really fantastic interview with Jewel! Her insights and experiences are really valuable. Listened a few times and got more out of it each time. Thank you!

Nov 29th
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Chrissy Mclain

THIS. IM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

Nov 29th
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Laissa

Monica's laugh sounds so fake in this one

Nov 27th
Reply

Laissa

Nokia is actually Finnish

Nov 24th
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Phily boy 214 215 affiliated for life #FUCK RATS

MONICA YOU NEED TO HIRE ME. WHO EVER THE ASSHOLE WAS THAT TOLD YOU NOT TO HAVE YOUR HAIR NOT SHOWING MADE YOU LOOK LIKE A INDIAN ELDERLY AUNTIE

Nov 23rd
Reply

Hully Piper

some people would argue it's not the smartest idea to give conspiracy theories such a huge platform like Dax has....regardless of the viewpoint.

Nov 20th
Reply

Vicki Blaauw

Thich Nhat Hahn is still alive. Fact check!

Nov 19th
Reply

Amelie Koury

dogs are actually not pack animals. they navigate through different social groups. their "hierarchy" is based on friendliness.

Nov 17th
Reply
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