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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.
206 Episodes
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In Part 9: Monica & Jess love Love Addiction, M and J chat with author and the Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, Dr. Alex Katehakis. Dr. Alex talks about the tenants of unmanageability and addiction. Monica wonders if you can be a love addict who’s never fallen in love and Jess asks questions about post relationship nostalgia. Dr. Alex declares both Monica and Jess have some dissociative tendencies in relationships and adhere to fantasy as an outlet. Monica expresses her fears of being replaceable and Dr.Alex thinks Jess uses sex to mitigate anxiety. The three talk about childhood abandonment and how that has trickled into adulthood and she gives both Monica and Jess 90 day challenges to take into the world.
Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys

2020-04-0601:46:0112

Alicia Keys is an American musician, singer, composer, actress and pianist. Alicia joins the Armchair Expert to discuss overcoming resentments, her pattern of people pleasing and releasing the notion that being overworked equals success. Dax relates to Alicia's love of her grandparents and Alicia talks about a life lesson that taught her the necessity of boundaries. The two talk about fear of abandonment, the mix of work and friendship and Dax proves to have good phone game. Alicia’s new book More Myself: A Journey is out now.
Stephen Dubner

Stephen Dubner

2020-04-0202:10:2214

Stephen Dubner is an author, journalist, and podcast/radio host. He is co-author of the Freakonomics book series and host of Freakonomics Radio. Stephen sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss being drawn to counterintuitive thinking, his journey to Judaism and looking at politics through an objective lens. Dax asks about Stephen’s childhood and Stephen talks about popular Freakonomics pieces. The two weave in and out of many topics including the prevalence of artificial insemination in turkeys, the uptick in pedestrian deaths and the potential of eating humans.
In Part 8: Monica & Jess Love Cock Buffets, M and J welcome Dan Savage (author, media pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist) to the attic via video chat. Dan delineates many differences between dating in the gay community vs. the straight one. He talks to Monica about why women are engrained to "vet a guy before they bed a guy" and talks to Jess about transgressive behaviors in the gay community. He discusses the notion that we meet a few people in life who are .68 and we make the choice to round them up to a 1. He talks about the equality complex and how we need to give ourselves permission to have successful short term relationships. Monica talks to Sam on the phone and relays to Jess what they talked about and Dan takes the challenges to a new level of scary.
Joy Bryant Returns

Joy Bryant Returns

2020-03-3001:15:156

Joy Bryant (For Life, Parenthood, Get Rich or Die Tryin') is an American actress. Joy returns to Armchair Expert and sits down with her ex-TV husband to discuss her new obsession with duck, living bi-coastal and the parameters of when she wears a headscarf. Dax tries to induct two new people to the soul spectrum and Joy revisits the conversation of house note vs. house payment. The two talk about whether traumatic backgrounds give you a pass for problematic behavior, they discuss the extremities of the societal pendulum swing and Dax updates Joy on a recent change of opinion.
Lydia Denworth

Lydia Denworth

2020-03-2601:49:5816

Lydia Denworth is a science journalist and author. She is the contributing editor for Scientific American and writes for Psychology Today. Her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time. Lydia sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about the biology of friendship, the science of social bonding and the evidence that we are social animals. Dax asks for suggestions to aid social development for kids who struggle to make friendships and Lydia details how friendship impacts mortality and longevity. They also touch on Lydia's work in the Deaf community, quality vs. quantity in friendships and Lydia explains why Monica is Exhibit A in the necessity of friendship.
In Part 7: Monica & Jess Love Goblins with Esther Perel, M and J are thrilled to welcome psychotherapist, Esther Perel to the attic. Esther makes the distinction between love and desire and she reminds them that having a lot of sex with many partners is equivalent to avoiding sex- both are methods to avoid rejection. Esther encourages Monica to let go of the goblin on her shoulder and she removes the phrase "losing feelings for" from the relationship vocabulary. The three talk about "want" vs. "should" and Esther is intrigued by Jess's interactions with "out of my league guy". Esther does exercises with M and J on how to spark desire and she gently tells them if they don't let go of their narratives, regardless of who they date, they will always be dating their narrative.
Sanjay Gupta on COVID-19

Sanjay Gupta on COVID-19

2020-03-2353:5830

Dr. Sanjay Gupta (American neurosurgeon and medical reporter) joins us for an informative episode on COVID-19. Sanjay takes time out of his incredible busy schedule to answer Dax and Monica’s questions about the pandemic. He hits many topics such as immunity, correct precautions, the danger of overwhelming our medical system, human ingenuity in times of crisis and balancing honesty and hope.
Tom Silver

Tom Silver

2020-03-1901:48:4726

Tom Silver is a Hypnotherapist with over 35 years of experience developing powerful, proven therapeutic hypnosis methods. Tom sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his relationship with sobriety, how he stumbled into hypnosis and the depth of the subconscious mind. Dax asks about the distinction between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist and Tom talks about his experience hypnotizing Guillermo on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. In the second half of the episode, Tom hypnotizes Miniature Mouse. He hooks her up to an EEG and they note the difference in her brain waves in and out of hypnosis. Dax and Monica have another long-distance fact check in which they dissect the experience. Visit Tom’s website at www.tomsilver.com.
In Part 6: Monica & Jess Love Tough Love with Patti Stanger, M and J welcome the Millionaire Matchmaker to the attic. Patti is direct and no-nonsense when giving her opinion on Monica and Jess’s love lives. She asks about their dream men, she prods for details about Monica’s fantasies and believes Jess wants to be chased. She talks about the differences between “beta” and “alpha” partners, differences between matchmaking in gay vs. straight communities and how she believes money and love are more connected than people want to believe. She encourages Monica to get more in touch with her sexuality and discusses the concept of “out of your league” with Jess. At the end of the episode, Patti doles out challenges that terrify both Monica and Jess.
Lennon Parham

Lennon Parham

2020-03-1601:48:5523

Lennon Parham (Playing House, Veep, Bless This Mess) is an American actress, comedian and improviser. Lennon sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in the deep south, feeling like she couldn't find "her people", and the balance of holding on to your personal dream while in a relationship. Dax praises Lennon on her work on Bless this Mess and Lennon talks about the experience of creating her own show. The two talk about questionable 80's songs, new ideas for the yearly hot bodies calendar and Dax and Monica do a long distance fact check.
Adam Mosseri

Adam Mosseri

2020-03-1201:55:4426

Adam Mosseri is the current CEO of Instagram. Adam sits down in the attic to talk about how he landed a job at Facebook, the responsibility of social media and the rise of the individual. Dax wonders if Mark Zuckerberg likes McDonalds and Adam talks through the reasoning behind the hiding likes trial. The two discuss how Facebook got intertwined with Cambridge Analytica, designing platforms to have a certain energy and Dax thinks men's preferences boil down to circles.
In Part 5: Monica and Jess Love Getting Called Out on Their Bullshit with Dr. Drew, M and J invite the esteemed addiction medicine specialist and personality Dr. Drew Pinsky to the attic. Dr. Drew cuts right to the chase asking Jess about his relationship to mania, asking Monica about family trauma and he calls both of them out on negating themselves. He talks about removing expectations and how our country puts pathological love on a pedestal. He discusses neurological wiring regarding attachment styles and asks about Monica’s sexual history. The two are assigned a very interesting challenge at the end of the episode.
In this episode, Dax invites Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet) and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick) into the attic to discuss their obsession with male bodies. Dax remains shirtless through the duration of this episode while the three dissect childhood insecurities that led to this predilection, their opinions of the perfect male body, body dysmorphia, societal influences on females vs. males, and not being in on the joke. Rob mentions the high point when a stranger wanted to take a shirtless picture of him and Kumail reveals a tidbit about his abs. Monica commends the three for talking openly and vulnerably.
BJ Fogg

BJ Fogg

2020-03-0501:44:5530

BJ Fogg is an author and social science research associate at Stanford. BJ sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his approach to changing behavior, growing up in the Mormon faith and his new book Tiny Habits. Dax commends BJ's approach of habit building by stating "after I blank, I will blank" and BJ talks about overcoming a childhood condition. The two discuss the behavior grid, lowering the bar on aspiration and technology in regards to behavior.
In Part 4: Monica and Jess Love Therapy with Harry the Therapist, M and J invite Harry - Kristen and Dax's couples therapist, to the attic. Harry specializes in both personal and couples therapy and Kristen and Dax have credited Harry for giving them the tools for relationship longevity. But today he brings his expertise to Monica and Jess's love lives. Harry wonders if Monica has any unresolved parental issues and he encourages Jess to listen to his small inner voice. He provides a few Harry rules for approaching a forever relationship and reminds M and J that we are all a work in progress. Monica and Jess talk about their challenges from last week and the realization that these challenges have nothing to do with the other person - it’s all about personal growth.
Whitney Cummings

Whitney Cummings

2020-03-0202:01:0333

Whitney Cummings (Whitney, Two Broke Girls, Chelsea Lately) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, producer, writer, director, and podcaster. Whitney sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her time in Al-Anon, her need to people please and the first time she met Dax at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Dax asks about her workaholism and Whitney talks about growing up in an isolated environment. The two talk about the pros and cons of roasts, manifesting your fears and Monica discusses her new medical condition in the fact check.
Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein

2020-02-2701:43:0720

Peggy Orenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Girls & Sex, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Waiting for Daisy and Boys & Sex. Peggy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her research in talking to young boys, why parents need to be open with their kids about sexual realities and the impact of pornography. Dax asks how boys can stand up to injustice without losing their social capital and Peggy talks about the uncoupling of pleasure and sex. The two talk about the double standards that exist in the way we perceive young males and young females, how gay communities navigate sex and the misconceptions boys and girls hold about the opposite gender.
In Part 3: Monica and Jess Love Motherly Advice with Kristen Bell, M and J invite their mom to the attic. Using her mother's intuition, Kristen warns Jess on the falsity of butterflies, they discuss the prevalence of blocking people on apps and Kristen asks Jess about the rigidity of tops and bottoms in the gay dating community. She encourages Monica to externalize her sexuality, she tells a story of a friend who leaves her underwear at bars and Monica reveals a recent fantasy slip. Kristen talks about her own dating patterns - testing her partners and dealing with jealousy. The three discuss fidelity, knowing one's value and Kristen assigns the most extreme challenges yet.
Ashton Kutcher Returns

Ashton Kutcher Returns

2020-02-2401:56:1064

Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch, Jobs, No Strings Attached, That 70s Show) is an American actor, producer, and entrepreneur. Ashton returns to the attic to discuss new decade resolutions, his goal to eliminate child pornography from the Internet and his interest in improving the foster care system. Dax talks about working with Ashton on The Ranch and Ashton talks about his love of a live audience. The two talk about preparing for the apocalypse, intention versus perception and appreciating counterintuitive data.
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Comments (1599)

Aaron Dumas

3:54

Apr 8th
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Allen Robinson

Great episode!!

Apr 7th
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Erika Myers

wow, never knew this stuff about Jason. I guess its true that you don't know what people do behind closed doors.

Apr 1st
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mari arana

Funny that they mention the alpha male thing during the fact check because although I found this episode and the guest to be really interesting, I felt he was very arrogant. I can't exactly say why or what it was about him which bothers me.

Mar 31st
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Erika Myers

these two together! such a good episode

Mar 31st
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Ryce Davis

I just love her!!!

Mar 30th
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Narges Masodyan

I think the difference between men and women regarding Media and society pressure is that most of the women that are being represented look thin and you either have skinny or fat and in this scenario the normal looking woman is of a certain shape that I wouldn't define it as an everyday woman. But for guys is different and they are in the right category. The meaning hasn't changed. supper jacked, normal and fat or thin are all the same things that they are in real life.

Mar 29th
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Joshua Franzen

Why is he trying to be Joe Rogan? This show used to be entertaining, now it's just him trying to be intellectual. Doesn't really seem like a good fit for him.

Mar 29th
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Nick Gillett

The one blockubuster is in Bend Oregon

Mar 27th
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Erika Myers

very interesting. might have to look into Anthony bourdain. no idea he was a heroin addict.

Mar 27th
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ejbalancio

I am so enjoying this new podcast. I love Armchair Expert and now I love Monica & Jess Love Boys. So for Monica, you so need to get out of your own way. If you know the movie Swingers, I think of the part when Trent tells Mike, "Your so MONEY and you don't even know it." You are beautiful and accomplished and are so deserving of all the love in the world.

Mar 27th
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Jason Fusaro

Dax I'm not telling you how to run a show. But in this crazy times we need some of ur light hearted funny stories with your people's in Hollywood ur competers are putting new ones every day I rather listen to you and mouse then Joe rogen expecally after a long day in bed at night LOVE YOU GUYS AND THE #1 SHOW IN THE WORLD #ACE

Mar 26th
Reply (1)

Lauren Hillin

Fact check his age.. You said he's 36, then he said 35. But then he said he was born in 83..doesnt add up at all. He should be turning 37 or already turn 37. (I am 35, born in 85, January bday)

Mar 25th
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Erika Myers

I love Amy Schumer!!!!! So hilarious, I have to go watch trainwreck now

Mar 25th
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Jason Fusaro

Dax Thank you this show. Made me a better Father, Husband, 24 mnts and your podcast saved my life

Mar 25th
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Ahmed Bahaa

i think their relationship is stressfu

Mar 23rd
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Rachael Scott

Monica - maybe demisexual? I wouldn't take advice from anyone who uses astrology to diagnose.

Mar 22nd
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Anonymous Joe

OK, this question has been brewing for a while, and this podcast on the topic of social networks is the perfect time to ask. When Dax & Monica say they posted pictures of different things - where the heck are they posted?

Mar 21st
Reply (2)

Jennifer Fischer

Loved this episode!

Mar 20th
Reply

KrisS73

Patti is not a good guest. Super annoying, steps on toes, and everything is exciting.

Mar 20th
Reply (1)
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