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.
1:16:06Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides) is an Academy Award & Golden Globe Award-winning screenwriter, director, producer, and actress. Sofia chats with the Armchair Expert about spending her childhood on set, how comfortable she always felt there and how she fought becoming a director because it seemed expected. She explains how she never felt oppressed by her father’s success in film, her time living in Paris and what it was like trying to track down Bill Murray. Sofia discusses how Kirsten Dunst became her muse and Dax asks Sofia for advice on how not to ruin his daughters’ lives.
47:17Day 7. Dax gives the Armcherries a personal update. Recorded on September 21, 2020.
1:47:23David Farrier is a New Zealand investigative journalist known for his documentary Tickled and documentary series Dark Tourist. David joins the Armchair Expert to discuss all things conspiracy theories, from QAnon to Wayfairgate to Flat Earthers. The two discuss how these conspiracies happen, what makes people susceptible to them, and how to have constructive discussions with their believers. Dax confesses how sad he is that he can’t hang out with David every day.
1:31:38Sara Bareilles is a Grammy Award-winner and Tony and Emmy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actress and author. Sara chats with the Armchair Expert about her awkwardness as a kid and how she found her place in community theater. Dax geeks out about the two attending UCLA at the same time and Sara tells him how she wasted a year of school credits abroad. She discusses her obscure overshares on stage, the bipolar lifestyle of musicians on the road, and how she feels a little like a superhero because she had covid already.
1:44:49Leah Plunkett is a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. She is the author of the book, Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk about Our Kids Online. Leah chats with the Armchair Expert about the pitfalls of sharing kids’ data on social media, the ways in which tech companies commodify human data and how she implements restrictions in her own house. Dax wonders how to balance the positive and negative sides of tech and Leah talks about using improv in teaching law. The two talk about possible solutions moving forward and Leah teaches Dax and Monica a new word.
1:20:46Keith Urban is a four-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer. Keith chats with the Armchair Expert about adjusting to Nashville from Australia, why he couldn’t get signed to a record deal and his unique meld of sounds. Dax wonders why songs by Australian singers often sound American and Keith talks about wanting approval from his father. They talk about Keith’s time on American Idol, having many years of professional struggle before success and how he found sobriety after marriage.
52:07BONUS EPISODE with Susan Burton, the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, a non-profit that provides sober housing and other support to formerly incarcerated women. Susan chats with the Armchair Expert about her heartbreaking story – battling addiction, losing her son, and her time spent within the prison system. Dax and Susan discuss the control that prisons seek and how often prisoners are survivors of trauma. Susan talks about her road to recovery and how it introduced her to the concept of service. She discusses her journey to becoming a resource for women coming out of prison and all of the amazing work A New Way of Life is currently doing.
1:43:27Tom Brady is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. Tom joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his journey to healthy dieting, valuing skills that often get undervalued and starting football in high school. Dax asks what it was like to leave the Patriots after such a long career and Tom talks about having a chip on his shoulder. The two discuss Tom's approach to bettering himself and the identity shift he will inevitably experience post-retirement.
1:53:46Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, Ted) is an American actor, animator, writer, producer, director, comedian, and singer. Seth chats with the armchair expert about how he first found animation, luck vs. effort and how he handles criticism. Dax brings up a lingering insecurity about Family Guy and Seth talks about the first time he drew a nude in college. The two talk about the future of animation, Seth’s involvement in philanthropy and Dax is disappointed they haven’t read any of the same books.
2:06:24Lenore Skenazy is the president of Let Grow, a non-profit promoting childhood independence and resilience, and the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement. Lenore discusses the generational differences in growing up, how unrealistic the current standards are for being a good parent, and the importance of play. Dax asks Lenore to dispel the myth of common childhood dangers and Lenore explains the negative notion of the phrase “stranger danger.” The two discuss frequency distortion, how resilient kids are, and Lenore unveils her husband’s crow box.