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.
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.
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 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.
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 (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 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 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, 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 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 (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.
In Part 2: Monica and Jess Love Boys who like Christmas, M and J have one solo episode (before they bring in experts) where they dive deeper into their histories. They discuss their experiences completing last week’s challenge. Jess lived in fear all week that he ruined his challenge and Monica adds “needs to like Christmas” to her list. Jess talks about having secret moments in his youth with other boys while openly having a girlfriend and Monica goes through some of her boy-crazy artifacts. The two discuss feeling on the outside of normal and craving experiences just to feel “in the club”. They realize the amount of similarities in their backgrounds. Jess and Monica give each other challenges to complete by the following week.
Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men, Glow) is an American actress. She sits down with the armchair expert to discuss the experience of filming Mad Men and Community simultaneously, why she doesn't like WWE being referred to as "fake" and mental illness in her family. Dax asks how she met her husband and Alison talks about the decision to do nudity. The two discuss why humans are inclined to protect bad behavior, the merits of apple eating and the science of blackouts.
In Part 1: Monica and Jess Love Boys with Dax Shepard, M and J sit down with the Armchair Expert. Dax knows Monica and Jess better than anyone and he uses his previous knowledge to help diagnose individual and collective dating patterns. He asks Jess about addiction, his propensity for sex, “dating” rituals and he asks why Jess isn’t leading with his superpower: personality. He talks to Monica about her tendency to overanalyze, her pattern of wanting people she can’t have and not being attracted to people who find her attractive. Dax gives tips on how to navigate this social experiment and he gives M and J a challenge to complete by the following week.
Ezra Klein is an American journalist, blogger, and political commentator who co-founded Vox. Ezra sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the current state of polarization, how liberty and equality can work in tandem and the impact of media on the world. Dax asks about his debate with Sam Harris and Ezra details the prevalence of NIMBY-ism. The two talk about the effects of political transparency, the misconception about identity politics and the pros and cons of universal basic income.
Monica and Jess Love Boys is a 10 episode series brought to you by the Armchair Expert that follows the relationship struggles of two opposites. Jess, who dates too much and Monica who dates too little. They approach relationships from opposing ends but quickly realize how the underlying issues are universal. Jess dates in the gay community while Monica dates in the straight one. They get to deep dive not only into individual patterns but societal ones as well in the different dating scenes. Through meeting with different experts (therapists, doctors, friends in successful relationships, relationship professionals and the armchair expert himself), they explore and uncover traps and patterns that we all fall into as humans and they ask the age old question- why do we do what we do? However, in keeping with the true armchair spirit- Monica and Jess know talking about problems is not enough. Action is necessary to evoke change. At the end of each episode M&J are given a challenge in an attempt to break bad habits. In one episode Monica is challenged to give a stranger her phone number. In another, Jess is asked to be 100% honest on his dating profiles. As they learn how to partner healthily with others, they grow into healthier individuals as well.
Josh Gad (Frozen, Frozen 2, Book of Mormon, The Daily Show) is an American actor, comedian, and singer. Josh sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss kindness in Hollywood, fatherhood, and his experience on Broadway. Dax claims Josh has won the lottery multiple times and Josh sets a goal for the next time he visits Armchair. The two talk about how we can learn from history, what its like to be the court jester and putting their mothers on pedestals.
Chris Voss is an American businessman, author, and professor. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference. Chris sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his time as a hostage negotiator, what drove him to law enforcement and the benefits of de-escalation. Dax wonders about the evolution of terrorism and Chris talks us through the hostage negotiation of Jill Carroll. He talks about the power of saying no, the concept of bending reality and the ways in which we can win negotiations in our daily lives.
Will Arnett (Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman, Blades of Glory, Lego Movie) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian and producer. Will sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his friendship with Dax, feeling like people misconstrue his optimism for arrogance and why he doesn't consider himself a comedian. Dax admits he was envious of Will's life and Will talks about his experience doing voiceover work. The two discuss sobriety, re-defining their narratives and how they became friends over Breves.
Jared Cohen is an American author and businessman. He is currently serving as the CEO of Jigsaw and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and as an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. Jared sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his obsession with history, the impact of social media on world crises and he teaches us how to win the week. Dax asks about his collection of presidential hair and Jared talks about how he learned to transfer his visible ticks to invisible ones. The two debate the importance of presidential fidelity and the narrowing center in American politics.
Claire Danes (Homeland, Romeo and Juliet, Temple Grandin, My So Called Life) is an American actress. Claire sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in an artistic environment, her feelings surrounding the final season of Homeland and her only one-night stand. Dax wonders if Claire was scared to play Temple Grandin and Claire talks about the choice to pass on Titanic. She discusses an absence of socialization as a kid, the awkwardness of returning to acting after college and an absurd experience at the Met Ball.
Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show, The Price is Right) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor, sports executive, and game show host. Drew sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his experience with meditation, his interest in gambling and being able to see his childhood with clarity as an adult. Dax asks about the phenomenon of The Price is Right and Drew invites the AE team to Disneyland. The two talk about overcoming less than ideal circumstances, their relationship to money and Drew shares his secret to show business.
Sam Harris is an American author, neuroscientist, philosopher, and podcast host. In Sam’s return to Armchair Expert, he discusses what it means to live an examined life. He touches on the concepts of being deliberate with one’s attention, consciousness as experience and the value of meditation. Dax believes Sam holds paradoxical interests and Sam admits he is increasingly leaning away from controversy. The two start the episode with an interesting thought experiment and they discuss the complexity of gurus.
January Jones (Mad Men, Last Man on Earth, Anger Management) is an American actress and model. January joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her obsession with reality TV, moving to Los Angeles with Ashton Kutcher in her early 20s and noting people don’t expect her to be smart. Dax is excited they are both named after fictional characters and January gives her opinion on why Mad Men was so successful. The two talk about social anxiety, January talks about her fear of fear and she discusses her experience as a single mother raising a young boy.
Ronan Farrow is an American journalist. Ronan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood growing up among 10 siblings, the discomfort of having a public family and his commitment to uncovering the truth. Dax is obsessed with Ronan’s wunderkind status and Ronan corrects Dax on calling him the “vanguard of the me too movement.” The two talk about universal insecurities, Ronan gives a piece of advice to celebrity parents and Dax and Monica beg him to be their best friend.
Rainn Wilson (The Office, Six Feet Under, The Rocker) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, businessman and producer. Rainn joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his feelings about The Office, his experience with the Baha’i faith and his familial connection to acting. Dax commends Rainn’s approach to comedy and Rainn talks about using the position of celebrity for good. The two talk about overcoming the need for global approval, Monica admits a big confession and Rainn explains that we will all meet again and on the next spiritual plane.
In our final episode of 2019, we send out the year by inviting friends and family to sing, laugh and be merry. Please enjoy our 2019 holiday spectacular with Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes and Scotty Icenogle. Music performed by David Schuler and routine shenanigans brought to you by Dax Shepard, Monica Padman and Rob Holysz.
Keri Russell (Felicity, Mission: Impossible III, The Americans) is an American actress and dancer. Keri visits the attic to discuss her time on the all new Mickey Mouse club, meeting Dax’s mom and sacrificing a normal childhood for work. She talks about being an introvert and Dax is thrilled about a childhood connection he has to her. The two discuss the need to privately re-charge at public events, the story of why Keri cut her hair on Felicity and they dissect the themes of loyalty and marriage in The Americans.
Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist, author, speaker and podcast host. Malcolm joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the value of gleaning information from other cultures, growing up in a college library and our inability as humans to read others. Dax claims that Malcolm is our most referenced person on the podcast and Malcolm shames Dax for using the derogatory term of “jogger”. The two geek out over cars, they talk about how media shapes public perception and they give credit to people they met early in life who affected the trajectory of their lives.
T.I. is an American rapper and actor. He sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his foray into entrepreneurship as a child, narcissistic patterns and developing desensitization. Dax asks Tip to acknowledge his trauma and T.I. refuses to accept that Dax is a hillbilly. The two talk about imprisonment in the African American community, gearing education to kids' strengths and growing up in a single-parent home.
Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology. Adam visits the armchair expert to discuss overcoming introversion, being a super taster and the difference between givers and takers. Dax debates Adam on his latest Atlantic article and Adam talks about the importance of criticism. The two talk about growing up in Michigan, the necessity of tenure and how genius is often a result of quantity not quality.
Sam Elliott (Mask, The Big Lebowski, Road House, A Star is Born, The Ranch) is an American actor. Sam sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about fighting fires in Malibu, having a crush on his now wife and his introduction into the business. Dax reveals that his mom is in love with Sam and Sam discusses the evolution of A Star Is Born. The two talk about Sam's mixed messages persona, his draw to Westerns and the changes in the industry.
Laura Beil is a journalist and podcast host. Laura sits down with the Armchair Expert on this Thanksgiving day episode to talk about having to work on your feet as a journalist, her specific draw to the medical field and how she stumbled into podcasting. Dax theorizes on Laura’s Dr. Death podcast and Laura claims a story is never done, it is only due. The two talk about her new podcast, Bad Batch, that focuses on the stem cell industry, they eat Taco Bell together and Monica and Dax thank Laura for serving the best podcast of 2018.
Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Toy Story 4, Veep) is an American comedian and actor. Tony joins the attic to discuss his tools for combating anxiety, his relationship to religion and being present with his daughter. Dax wonders if Tony ever felt career insecurity and Tony ponders why he doesn’t have memories before 5th grade. The two talk about achieving their dreams and the subsequent lack of fulfillment. They discuss relating to others as a survival mechanism and their shared inability to remember people’s names.
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Me Before You, Terminator Genisys) is an English actress. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about her Hogwarts-esque boarding school, learning Dothraki and her experience having two brain hemorrhages. Dax describes his love of male physiques and Emilia appreciates a Boston accent. The two discuss round features, struggling with imposter syndrome and Emilia weighs in on the difference between British and American sexual escalation.
Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He is known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eating Animals and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. Jonathan sits down with the armchair expert to discuss his struggle to eat vegetarian, his first book getting rejected by every publisher and he walks us through a traumatic childhood event he experienced. Dax wonders if Jonathan was nervous to write a second book following the success of his first and Jonathan talks about the efficacy of moderate changes. The two talk about climate change, hypnosis and there is a special visitor in the fact check.
Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks, The 40 Year old Virgin, Knocked Up, This is 40, Trainwreck) is an American filmmaker, producer, actor and comedian. Judd sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss interviewing comedians as a teenager, what he’s learned from his marriage and the experience of delving into Gary Shandling’s life posthumously. Dax wonders if Judd feels a loss when his projects end and Judd talks about growing up in a spiritual void. The two talk about being children of divorce and Judd talks about his commitment to personal growth.
Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford's Professor for Public Understanding of Science until 2008. Richard joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to science, his theory on evolution and the lack of language diversity in English cultures. Dax admits he has been a fan of Richard since college and Richard declares what shows he’s watching on Netflix. The two talk about atheism, the evolutionary cause of death and the distortion of objectivity due to human filters.
Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days) and Oliver Hudson (Nashville, Splitting Up Together) are American actor/producer siblings. The two sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss their new podcast, they talk about their relationship to their father and how sibling perspectives differ. Kate tells a story of when she went to Valentino’s house and Oliver discusses unearthing old trauma. Kate and Dax talk about their past relationship and what they learned, stifling children’s aspirations and watching the OJ chase.
Liz Plank is an author, journalist and political correspondent at Vox. Liz sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss how to include men in the conversation on masculinity, her observation on American race relations and her solution to Twitter negativity. Dax praises Liz for changing Olympic guidelines and Liz delineates the components to a female orgasm. The two debate gender in sports, responsibility of the media and Dax experiences an unexpected mishap while taking a picture with Liz.
Edward Norton (Fight Club, American History X, Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel) is an American actor and filmmaker. Edward sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his new film Motherless Brooklyn, his relationship to privacy and his thoughts on storytelling. Edward talks about how he always felt on the outside of cool and Dax wonders if Edward seeks control. The two discuss iconic vs. shapeshifting actors and they tell the sad origin story of how they met.
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, 40 Year Old Virgin, Pitch Perfect) is an American actress, writer, director and producer. Elizabeth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss going to a uniphile school, turning 40 on the set of the Hunger Games and her producorial recipe. Elizabeth talks about her positive disposition and Dax recalls meeting her at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The two talk about wanting their kids to feel a sense of danger, the sexiness of a capella singers and female empowerment.
Monica Lewinsky is an American activist, television personality, and fashion designer. Monica visits the attic and discusses life at Beverly Hills High, and struggling with confidence early on as a teenager. Monica talks about falling in love with the environment of the White House and the shame she carried about how her relationship was perceived by the world. The two talk about public shaming, the importance of upstanders, and the enormous shifts that can happen when people step into compassion.
Jim Jefferies (Legit, The Jim Jefferies Show) is an Australian-American stand-up comedian, political commentator, actor, and writer. Jim visits the attic to discuss his early negative experience doing standup, his mothers end of life and his relationship to sobriety. Jim talks about the gun control bit that changed his career and Dax asks about Australian masculinity. The two talk about the desire to one up every conversation and the benefit of maintaining friendships with ex-girlfriends.
Nadine Burke Harris is an American pediatrician who is the 1st and current Surgeon General of California. She is known for her work in adverse childhood experiences. Nadine visits the Armchair Expert to discuss the impact childhood trauma has on health and longevity, she talks about her own experience with childhood adversity and she gives tools to buffer those who have many ACEs. Nadine talks about the screening process she pioneered and Dax wonders if parents will ever be truthful in admitting their contribution to childhood trauma. The two talk about the study that first led to ACE research, they discuss how awareness leads to shame reduction and Monica and Dax are in awe of Nadine's uniphile status.
Adam Devine (Workaholics, Pitch Perfect, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and singer. Adam sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about managing ego, the series of events that led to Workaholics and an early childhood trauma that he credits to his career in comedy. Adam discusses his first experience on Letterman and Dax explains the effects of a certain muscle building diet. Adam confesses that he originally thought Pitch Perfect was a baseball move and the two realize they are both obsessed with the same almond butter packets.
Lori Gottlieb is an American author and psychotherapist. She sits down in the attic to discuss her transition from entertainment to therapist, her willingness to listen to career advice and the importance of the patient/therapist relationship. She talks about the privilege of being let into someone’s thoughts and Dax wonders if she’s ever fallen in love with a patient. The two talk about the unfamiliarity of change, her rule for couples therapy and what it’s like seeing her patients out in the world.
The Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band. They sit down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the experience of being in a family band, the balance between touring and home life and the connection between artist and audience. The two talk about how they came to love music and Dax describes the magic of an Avett Brothers’ concert. They discuss the male right of passage, their relationship to religion and the feeling of universal unity.
Jim Gaffigan (Away We Go, 17 Again, Mr. Universe, Obsessed) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. Jim joins the armchair expert to discusses his desire to revolt against expectations, his relationship to religion and his experience growing up in the midwest. Jim laments over being offered grandpa roles and Dax talks about the dangers of elitism. The two talk about challenging the audience, why certain people can avoid scandal and whether their children will have addictive personalities.
Dave Asprey is an entrepreneur and author. He founded Bulletproof 360, Inc., and Bulletproof Nutrition Inc. He has also written multiple books. Dave sits down in the attic to discuss his transition from tech to nutrition, his experience working through PTSD he developed at birth and his journey to lose weight. Dave talks about the benefits of delayed ejaculation and Dax wonders what the evolutionary purpose is for death. The two talk about embracing placebo, the impact of gratitude and Monica and Dax take a field trip on the fact check.
Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses, Pacific Rim) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, director and musician. He sits down the with Armchair Expert to discuss growing up amongst musical PHD's, his biggest fear as a parent and the process for creating It's Always Sunny. Charlie relays an incident involving a BB gun which resulted in profound life advice and Dax wonders what it was like to work with Ice Cube. The two talk about their varying relationships to money, wanting to avoid the comparison game and they debate whether or not its valuable to insert yourself in a dangerous situation.
Duane "Dog" Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter is an American reality TV star and bounty hunter. Dog sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss why he joined the Devil's Disciples, how he got the name Dog The Bounty Hunter and his longest hunt. Dog talks about his connection to Tony Robbins and Dax sees many similarities between Dog and his dad. The two talk about being in public-facing marital relationships, building armor to cover trauma and creating moral boundaries within immoral situations.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From the Sun, 500 Days of Summer, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, and entrepreneur. Joseph visits the attic to discuss the differences between enjoying science vs. art, his commitment to creativity and the future of privacy in social media. He talks about why he did a Pop Tart commercial as a kid and Dax admits to a social blunder upon first meeting Joseph. The two discuss career fear, Jospeh talks about his grandfather who was blacklisted from the industry and they dissect the perceived idea that Joseph is extra confident.
Pete Carroll is an American football coach who is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the USC Trojans of the University of Southern California. Pete joins the Armchair Expert to discuss overcoming his stature as a kid, the importance of being present and his this three basic rules. Pete talks about learning from failure and Dax is enamored by Pete's skin. The two discuss the value of being a salesman, learning how to be competitive and the power of self-actualization.
Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar, The Namesake, House) is an American actor, comedian, producer, and former civil servant. Kal sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss developing his stage name, not being able to please everyone and lying on his resume. Kal talks about his time working in the White House and Dax asks about balancing work and stereotypes. The two discover that they are the same person and they discuss the worth of a Big Mac.
Beanie Feldstein (Neighbors 2, Ladybird, Booksmart) is an American actress. Beanie sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in LA but always feeling like a New Yorker. She talks about her experience falling in love and the merit of summer camp. Beanie recalls her first night on Broadway and Dax needs to revisit his stance on Barbara Streisand. The two discuss differing confidence levels between siblings and Beanie claims to be an avid Armcherry.
Dr. Steven Gundry is an American doctor, former cardiac surgeon and author. Dr. Gundry sits down in the attic to discuss his early work in heart transplants, the degeneration of the human microbiome and his theory on lectins as they impact health. Dr. Gundry talks about training as a scrub tech when he was in medical school and Dax is extremely interested in crapsules. The two talk about the evolution of humans, why medical residents are forced to work on no sleep and Monica and Dax host a moonlight fact check.
Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Pineapple Express, Topic Thunder, Alien: Covenant, Vice Principals) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. Danny sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his conflict between taking work and being with his family, his childhood memory of living on a prison ground and his move to Charleston. Danny talks about being drawn to people who aren't what they claim to be and Dax is in love with The Righteous Gemstones. The two talk about making comedies vs dramas, Danny talks about the moment he realized none of his characters have long sleeves and we learn in the fact check that Dax can't stop sending Danny e-mails.
Tal Ben-Shahar is American and Israeli professor and author in the areas of positive psychology, organizational psychology and leadership. Tal sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his road from squash player to Harvard professor, his trick for mitigating road rage and his psychological approach to solving structural problems. Tal gives tips on building resilience and Dax questions the validity of self-help. The two talk about the reasons behind escalating systemic depression, the idea that humans have more commonalities than differences and the concept of ritualizing positive behavior.
Busy Philipps (Freaks and Geeks, Cougar Town, Vice Principals, Busy Tonight) is an American actress, writer, producer, and director. Busy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling creatively seen on Freaks and Geeks, individualists vs. communalists and her perception that Dax has facial blindness toward her. Busy talks about her catharsis writing her book and Dax asks about her foray into social media. Dax and Busy are excited to learn they both worked at the California Pizza Kitchen and Busy believes everyone deserves to hear “I Love You” before bed.
Casey Affleck (Good Will Hunting, The Assassination of Jesse James, Gone Baby Gone, Manchester By The Sea) is an American actor and director. Casey sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood in Boston, his lack of foresight in making career decisions and his Kevin Bacon related epiphany. Dax is shocked Casey doesn’t know they’re neighbors and Casey believes any actor could have played his roles. The two commiserate over going to Alateen meetings as kids, they unearth an old misunderstanding between the two of them and Monica tells Casey about her Good Will Hunting obsession.
Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen) is an American actor, singer and songwriter. Ben sits down with the Armchair Expert to talk about surprising Kristen for her birthday, having to go on silent vocal rest for 10 days and the moment he come out to his parents. Dax wonders if Ben will eventually choose a partner over work and Ben speaks about his love of New York. The two discuss the level of dedication required for live theater, Ben talks about his worst moment on Broadway and he shares the weirdest backstage interaction he's ever had.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is an American politician serving as the 42nd and current Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. Mayor Garcetti sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his draw to public service, his love of jazz piano and the overwhelming issue of homelessness in Los Angeles. Dax asks about the future of motorized scooters and Mayor Garcetti talks about his love of napping. The two discuss pragmatism over party and Eric divulges the best restaurant in Los Angeles.
Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer, No Strings Attached, It’s Complicated, Bless This Mess) is an American actress, director, screenwriter and TV wife to the Armchair Expert. Lake visits the attic to discuss her creative process, her evolution toward marriage and the harrowing story that eventually led to her two tattoos. Lake wrestles with taking on certain roles now that she is married and Dax wonders if many of Lake’s previous roles are now obsolete in the industry. The two debate the varying ways to run a set, Lake discusses growing into her body vs. growing into her sexuality and Monica and Dax re-create the Estonian method in the fact check.
Dr. Rahul Jandial, MD, Ph.D. is a dual-trained brain surgeon and neuroscientist at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Rahul sits down in the attic to discuss intermittent fasting, emigrating from India as an eight-year-old and how he redirected some of his negative qualities into positive ones. Dax wonders if it takes a certain level of arrogance to choose brain surgeon and Rahul gives a breakdown of the human body as it relates to mechanics. The two talk about modern approaches to fighting cancer and the importance of keeping the brain stimulated.
Fred Savage (The Wonder Years, The Princess Bride, The Grinder) is an American actor, director and producer. Fred sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss being a child in the public eye and his singular goal of finding the emotional underpinning in all projects. Dax wonders about Fred’s decision to go to college amidst a burgeoning career and Fred talks about emulating Ron Howard. The two discuss being in the dead dad club, Fred gives his trick to auditioning and Monica and Dax coin a new word in the fact check.
Andy Richter (Conan, Madagascar, Andy Richter Controls the Universe) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and late night talk show announcer. Andy sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his childhood, the idiosyncrasies of growing up in a small town and the importance of being vocal about mental health. Dax talks about the first time he saw Andy at a bar and Andy talks about his experience as a winner on Jeopardy. The two talk about their different journeys through drugs, Dax wonders if the term “sidekick” is triggering and Andy talks about finally feeling content.
Jennifer Newsom is an American documentary filmmaker and actress. Jennifer joins us on this episode of Experts on Expert to discuss her documentary The Mask You Live In, the value of teaching empathy at a young age and the fear surrounding the toxic masculinity conversation. Dax wonders what it’s like to travel with secret service and Jennifer discusses the increasing need for “feminine” traits in business. The two talk about conscious capitalism and the role both genders play in building stereotypes.
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Barry, Trainwreck, Skeleton Twins) is an American comedian, actor and producer. Bill sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up surrounded by females, his experience as a production assistant in LA and his struggle with intense anxiety at SNL. Bill talks about the first time he met a movie star and Dax questions Bill on why he has so much sexual rhythm with women. The two discuss how growing up in a small town ingrains self-deprecation and Bill repeats sage advice he learned from Jeff Bridges.
Steve Madden is an American fashion designer and businessman. Steve sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling different from an early age, his experience going to prison and the surreality to watching his life on the big screen. Dax is excited to learn Steve is sober and Steve talks about managing his ego. The two talk about the trap of narcissism and Steve discusses growing his business from $1100 to over a billion dollars.
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Legion, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) is an American actress, comedian and producer. Aubrey sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her desire to disrupt the norm, her experience in same-sex education and her journey after a love that got away. She talks about the unsavory elements of working at a video store and Dax convinces her she is great on talk shows. The two talk about their medical histories, her draw to improv and Monica and Dax go to Detroit for the fact check.
Dr. Alex Katehakis Ph.D., MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S is the Clinical Director of Center for Healthy Sex in Los Angeles and the author of Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction, Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation: A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment and co-author of Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence. Dr. Alex sits down in the attic to discuss the role shame plays in sexual dysfunction, the indicators of love addiction and the practice of tantric intimacy. She talks about the multiple factors that lead to disassociation and Dax believes dolphins are very sexual. The two discuss the different types of relationships young people are engaging in and they talk about the impact of pornography on developing minds.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Veep) is an American actress, comedian, producer and queen of the Armchair Expert’s heart. Julia sits down in the attic to discuss her childhood, her intense fear of horror films and her naivety surrounding Seinfeld’s popularity. Julia talks about her attraction to cynical people and Dax hopes to become Julia’s stepdad and husband. The two chat about the trap of raising children in Los Angeles and Julia remarks on the ways having breast cancer rightsized all her priorities.
Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Goldbergs, Arrested Development) is an American comedian, actor, producer, director, and writer. Jeff sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the pursuit of being humble, utilizing respect as a parenting philosophy and his unconventional process in creating stand up. Jeff talks about the torment of unrequited love and Dax asks about his partnership with Larry David. The two discuss the trap of negativity and Jeff dissects the way he uses food to regulate emotions.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author best known for her books Eat Pray Love, Committed and Big Magic. Elizabeth sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up on a Christmas tree farm, her highest moment during the Eat Pray Love process and she talks about a tragic moment that led to a deep realization. Elizabeth recalls getting her first short story published and Dax dissects his young attraction to rogue writers. The two discuss methods of female empowerment and Elizabeth talks about her positive relationship with fear.
Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Saturday Night Live, Step Brothers) is an American actor, comedian, producer and writer. Will sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the impetus for Anchorman, his reverence for being on a team and his love for Sweden. Will gives the backstory of when he dressed as security at a Lakers game and Dax questions Will about the ways in which he contradicts comedic stereotypes. The two talk about childhood moments that led to careers in comedy, Will discusses his compulsion to put himself in stressful situations and Dax admits to occasionally getting angry at Will’s creative genius.
Erin Lee Carr is an American documentary film director, writer, and producer. She sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss her journey to sobriety, her interest in complicated humans and growing up with parents who are addicts. Dax asks about Erin’s relationship with her father and Erin talks about creating boundaries in her filmmaking. The two talk about process-oriented work, her need to speak for those who are silenced and how AA meetings taught her how to listen.
Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley, Adventure Time) is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, podcast host, and writer. Kumail sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to overcoming undiagnosed anger, he talks about the moment he realized his childhood cuteness had disappeared and he gives the backstory to why he stumbled in his SNL monologue. Dax wonders what it’s like to be married to a relationship therapist and Kumail talks about his journey to gain 20 lbs of muscle in 5 months. The two debate whether feeling excluded is universal, Kumail talks about his complicated relationship with Pakistan and he teaches Dax the difference between Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic hamburgers.
Samin Nosrat is an American chef and food writer. She is a regular food columnist for the New York Times magazine and has a docuseries on Netflix called Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Samin visits the attic to discuss how community is tied to food, her first experience at Chez Panisse where she eventually worked and her realization that mistakes lead to growth. Dax describes some of his favorite at home recipes and Samin talks about how she cried in every episode of her documentary series. The two talk about food systems, the importance of asking for help and Samin wishes Americans had more words for “restaurant”.
Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Poltergeist, Parenthood) is an American actor and the Armchair Expert’s TV dad. Craig sits down in the attic to discuss his struggle with aging, his journey to sobriety and he talks about the period in his life when he left LA for something simpler. Dax asks Craig to regale us with some of his epic drug stories and Craig reflects upon his relationship with his father. The two talk about their time on Parenthood together, the bond over their mutual love of racing cars and they discuss the power of the ego.
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers, Dodgeball, Alvin and the Chipmunks) is an American actor and comedian. Justin sits down in the attic to discuss growing up in a religious family, feeling protective of his older brother and he shares the moment he realized adults can be wrong. Justin talks about his relationship with men who are physically larger than him and Dax is blown away by Justin’s Vince Vaughn impression. Dax as Justin talk about the rare experience of dating someone in the public eye, Dax lists reasons why he is jealous of Justin and Justin talks about getting abducted in Michigan.
Listen and subscribe to Justin’s podcast Life Is Short: http://wondery.fm/lifeisshort
Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy) is American science communicator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer. Bill sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss the importance of facts, the pros and cons of shooting Bill Nye the Science guy in Seattle and he declares all kids love science. Dax wonders if Bill has any taste buds left after eating too many frozen marshmallows and Bill talks about his parents' fascinating journeys. The two discuss the Wright brothers, the impact of Steve Martin and the future of Science.
Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show, Homecoming King, Patriot Act) is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. Hasan sits down with the Armchair Expert to discuss feeling overwhelmed by the balance of life and work and the effect of trends and forces in his life. Dax wonders if Hasan is attracted to people who resemble his mother and Hasan wants Monica to speak up. The two talk about Dax’s relationship insecurity, the current excitement around diverse cultures represented in art and Hasan gives the secret sauce to The Daily Show magic.