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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.
223 Episodes
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Heather McGhee

Heather McGhee

2020-06-0401:25:111

Heather McGhee is an American political commentator, political strategist, currently a distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive U.S. think tank. Heather sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss race in America - her takeaway from going to a white school but living in a black neighborhood and her theory that racism comes at a cost to all races. Dax asks about the economic impact of systemic racism and Heather talks about her epiphany watching Black Panther. They talk about colorism, the history of police interfacing with the black community and the hope of change.
Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham

2020-05-2801:40:1414

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer prize winning author, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Jon chats with the Armchair Expert about this early fascination with politics, attending Ronald Reagan's inauguration as a young boy and the importance of delineating historical figures from saints. Jon states his position on confederate statues and Dax asks what factors distinguished his pulitzer prize winning book from the others. The two talk about how age has affected their career outlook and they debate the impact of Christianity in the modern world.
Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy

2020-05-2501:29:3948

Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Mike and Molly, Spy, Identity Thief) is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer. Melissa chats with her old pal, the armchair expert, about how she found the Groundlings, tanking her Bridesmaids audition and her hatred of e-mail. Dax commends Melissa for continuing to work with old friends and Melissa talks about her love of renovating homes. The two discuss the dream of Saturday Night Live, the unifying experience of seeing comedies in a theatre and they reminisce on an old comedy show they did together in which one audience member (in a 400 seat theatre) came to see it.
Laurie Santos

Laurie Santos

2020-05-2101:34:3126

Dr. Laurie Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University and host of The Happiness Lab podcast. Laurie chats with the armchair expert to discuss 5 ways to increase happiness during quarantine, the neuroscience behind deep breaths and why studying animals is better than studying humans. Dax connects Laurie's principals to the principals of AA and Laurie talks about the negative impact of academic grades. The two discuss the scientific effects of giving and the connection between anthropology and psychology.
50 Cent

50 Cent

2020-05-1801:01:4722

Curtis Jackson better known as 50 Cent is an American rapper, actor, producer, and entrepreneur. 50 cent chats with the Armchair Expert about towing the line between Curtis and 50 Cent, hustling at age 12 and having to make the distinction between the one who sells and the one who consumes. Dax asks about masculinity and 50 Cent talks about being a lightweight. The two talk about their instinctual guard against people and why it’s important to have a career that evolves over time.
Rajiv Shah

Rajiv Shah

2020-05-1401:54:2413

Rajiv Shah is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a former American government official, physician and health economist who served as the 16th Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 2010–2015 under President Obama. He also held many leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Raj chats with the Armchair Expert about the economics of the healthcare system, leading the U.S response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Rockefeller Foundation's commitment to expand Covid-19 testing. Dax asks what he learned from Bill and Melinda Gates and Raj talks about having to address the crisis in Haiti only 6 days into the job. They two talk about America's interest in expanding American values around the globe, vaccinations and the importance of agriculture in humanitarian efforts.
America Ferrera

America Ferrera

2020-05-1101:28:2518

America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, End Of Watch, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Superstore) is an American actress, voice actress, producer, and director. America chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss her feelings of insecurity when she won her Emmy, growing up being told she wouldn’t make it and her learned skill of molding stereotypes into true representations. Dax wonders if it can feel burdensome to be the voice of a community and America talks about her identity crisis at the conclusion of Ugly Betty. Dax and America discuss raising children in a place of privilege and the newfound proximity amongst women in the industry.
Dan Heath

Dan Heath

2020-05-0701:38:4816

Dan Heath is an American bestselling author, speaker and fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Dan chats with the Armchair Expert about why certain ideas stick, the emotionality behind urban legends and the benefit of thinking upstream. Dax implores those to think about the financial benefits to upstream social reform and Dan explains that every system is designed for its outcome. The two talk about systemic preventions that have a lasting impact, getting caught in a bad plan loop and they commiserate about being older dads.
Zoë Kravitz

Zoë Kravitz

2020-05-0401:48:0030

Zoë Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road, Big Little Lies, High Fidelity) is an American actress and singer. Zoë chats with the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between living with her mom versus her dad and her experience working with many powerful women on Big Little Lies. Dax checks himself on asking a potentially misogynistic question and Zoë outs Dax on being obsessed with her mom. The two talk about how Zoë caught Dax is in a compliment paradox the first time they met, they bond over Koo Koo Roo and they debate whether or not to refer to the superhero as Batman or The Batman.
David Chang

David Chang

2020-04-3001:38:3125

David Chang is an American restaurateur, author, television personality and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group. David chats with the Armchair Expert about growing up Korean American, his first time eating ramen in Japan and how he found his way into cooking. Dax talks about elitism in food and David discusses how depression led him to open Momofuku. The two talk about self-medicating, the responsibility to share one’s painful experiences and the importance of asking for help.
Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

2020-04-2701:42:4951

Rob Lowe (The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire, The West Wing, Parks and Recreation) is an American actor, producer, and director. Rob chats with the Armchair Expert about moving to Malibu as a child and feeling out of place, his time and ultimate departure from The West Wing and going to high school with many famous faces before they were famous. Dax asks about his navigation through negative public moments and Rob talks about his experience on The Outsiders. The two talk about sobriety and Rob’s foresight that caused him to move away from Hollywood.
Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle

2020-04-2301:54:3739

Glennon Doyle is an American author known for her #1 New York Times bestsellers Untamed and Love Warrior and bestseller Carry On, Warrior. Glennon chats with the Armchair Expert about her struggle with addiction, falling in love with a stranger and her realization about forgiveness. Glennon talks about overcoming societal memos and Dax questions if following your personal truth is a realistic goal. They discuss the responsibility of highly sensitive people and why control and love are inherently at odds.
Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow

2020-04-2001:25:5329

Sheryl Crow is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actress. She joins the armchair expert to discuss starting her career later in life, how breast cancer changed her perspective and her pattern of attraction. Dax wonders about her experience on the Michael Jackson Bad Tour and Sheryl talks about the physiological impact of music. The two talk about meditation, Sheryl declares she’s done making albums and Monica and Dax discuss their enneagram in the fact check.
Jessica Lahey

Jessica Lahey

2020-04-1601:36:4722

Jessica Lahey is an American teacher and author. She writes the bi-weekly 'Parent-Teacher Conference' advice column for the New York Times, is a regular contributor to the Atlantic and wrote the book, The Gift of Failure. Jessica chats with the Armchair Expert about the importance of childhood autonomy, the level of parental involvement to maximize childhood growth, and the profundity of the word 'yet' when engaging with children. Dax asks about the concept of "desirable difficulties" and Jessica explains why the internet hasn't replaced the need for learning facts. The two discuss loving your children for who they are; not who you want them to be, how to commit information to long term memory and allowing kids to have ownership of their knowledge.
In Part 10: Monica and Jess love each other, M and J chat with Kristen and Dax for their final episode. The four discuss what Monica and Jess learned from the experience, how they've grown and the things they can't un-learn after this journey. Monica talks about a newfound relationship to her narrative and Jess has a growing acceptance of addiction. Dax wonders what the big take-aways have been, Kristen praises M and J's vulnerability and the four verbally "write" their relationship manuals. Monica and Jess say farewell to this adventure and hello to whatever's next.
Ed Helms

Ed Helms

2020-04-1301:32:4439

Ed Helms (The Daily Show, The Office, The Hangover) is an American actor, comedian and musician. Ed chats with the Armchair Expert about his love of the banjo, feeling guilty about leaving The Daily Show and being self admittedly repressed. Dax asks about Ed's open heart surgery and Ed tells the story of having food poisoning when shooting The Hangover. The two talk about the loss of control that comes with fame, Ed’s new movie- Coffee and Kareem and Dax recalls escaping a career-ending situation in Thailand.
Andrew Marantz

Andrew Marantz

2020-04-0901:43:1624

Andrew Marantz is a journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. Andrew sits down with the Armchair Expert (pre social distancing) to discuss working as a journalist and specifically his time researching internet trolls and the direct ways in which they impact society. He talks about his experience getting to know many white nationalists and the revelation they aren’t always people you would expect. Dax wonders if there is an effective way to attack hateful ideologies without forgoing free speech and Andrew encourages social media companies to implement more foresight.
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

2020-04-0601:46:0144

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

2020-04-0202:08:5926

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.
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Comments (1679)

Sofia Herrera

I love Dax he has a upbeat but calming voice he knows when to talk energetic or calmer but his wife wow she’s like a runaway train when she’s talking lol Her interview actually gave me anxiety I had to stop listening. And she talks to him like she’s his Mother that was kinda annoying but oh well I’m not married to her 🙂

Jun 3rd
Reply

Thomas Albert

Never liked Whitney Cummings more & could not have guessed her to be so insightful an individual.

Jun 3rd
Reply

Erika Myers

go bill nye! no wonder he's so smart, his parents sound amazing!

Jun 2nd
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Amanda Bravo

I only have a 10 minute commute to work (essential worker over here), however, I listen to you guys while I work at my desk aaaall day and while I clean my house, folding laundry and cooking dinner. So you're definitely not losing a listener over here due to quarentine.

Jun 2nd
Reply

Sarah Michelle Keziah

I was in alateen from 12-15. I remember feeling the same way in the beginning but ended up making some of the best friends of my life and cherishing the experience.

Jun 1st
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Erika Myers

can we get to the meat already

Jun 1st
Reply

mari arana

Cuban?! Is Monica freaking serious? I'm Hispanic and grew up with Cubans in Miami but that doesn't even sound a tiny bit at all like anything Cuban.

May 31st
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Éirinn Chatwin

My boyfriend is decidedly not The Rock, but he runs 5 days a week at 4 am. 5 miles. Former military.

May 31st
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Annette Landry

I never comment on podcasts..I'm new at all this..but Dax...can't believe that I am possibly speaking to you..but I have been listening to your podcast which is one of my first...and Have been moved to the humbleness of Keith Morrison..I am also Canadian so feel a little attachment to Keith..very 1st time I am commenting on a podcast..love your podcast..not just entertaining but are actually changing us

May 30th
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Éirinn Chatwin

My boyfriend is decidedly not The Rock, but he runs 5 days a week at 4 am. 5 miles. Former military.

May 30th
Reply

Nadine Hamilton

I am a big listener on this podcast and recently started watching"Friday Night Lights", which is discussed in the episode. I'm LOVING it! (Also love that Minka Kelly, who played Lyla, guest starred in Parenthood.)

May 30th
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Jared Jat

mmmm Called Andrew Jackson a defender of Native Americans when Andrew Jackson was a well known Indian killer

May 29th
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Amy Brandum

I really enjoyed the introspection Sheryl shared in this interview. She's grounded and has worked to be true to herself; it's reflected in her work.

May 28th
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Jamie Longo

I would hate being married to dax

May 28th
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mc

Maybe January was saying the fictional time frame of mad men was 9 (or 10) years. 1960-70. no need to look up how many seasons the show has jeez. 🙄

May 26th
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Phily boy 214 215 affiliated for life #FUCK RATS

what's up folks it's Gotti from south Philly. I usely don't write I have severe PTSD from 3 toures in the sandbox since I been home I don't sleep and have to strap my arms down but drumroll since ACE my sleep has changed im sober I love you guys I sleep every night I probably listen to 90percent cause 10 percent some people like mark Mann I think he was a dick DAX you saved this MARINEs life I need a shut I'm one of the best people and have been screwed from a doc from VA I know ur busy Dax please reach out

May 25th
Reply (1)

PJ Cane

Great insight into my own generation's male body dysmorphia and women's perception of it. Trying to accept myself and understanding my worth isn't in how physically jacked I am is a big part of my own evolution. Thanks for the discussion.

May 23rd
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the1supermarioify

So he stands for one world government, chipping the entire world for tracking and vaccines. Hard pass!!

May 22nd
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Elisabeth Mount

2:04 to skip ads

May 21st
Reply (1)

mc

I think because he likes true blood where sookie is pronounced like that with their southern accents.

May 20th
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