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.
1:49:19Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Brockmire, The Birdcage) is an Emmy-award winning actor and comedian. Hank joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his addiction and recovery, being mistaken as someone in the upholstery business, and the controversy around his Simpson’s character. Hank and Dax discuss getting in touch with your emotions to help with conflict resolution and how addiction is really just an obsession. Hank talks about his perspective on white privilege, how he’s learned to smile more when meeting people, and that he can’t believe more baseball announcers haven’t been canceled.
Armchaired & Dangerous: Cannibalism
1:20:41David Farrier exposes Monica and Dax to a new conspiracy theory each month. Today’s episode: Cannibalism.
1:36:50Daniel Goleman, PhD is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated author and science journalist. Daniel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the differences between cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern, and that emotional intelligence starts with being aware and able to name your feelings. Daniel explains the importance of cognitive control, that the same circuitry that helps you focus also calms you down, and the impact your emotional intelligence has on your health. Daniel discusses the flawed understanding of emotion vs logic, that the brain is designed to learn from life when it comes to emotional intelligence, and the science behind how your brain communicates emotions with another person.
1:25:24Lamorne Morris (New Girl, Woke, Unwanted) is an actor, comedian and podcaster. Lamorne joins the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up on the southside of Chicago, how he knew he wanted to get into comedy at a young age and his relationship with his father. Lamorne and Dax discuss systemic racism, the time he got handcuffed after trying to stop a fight, and the conflicting nature of playing a police officer on tv while also confronting what’s going on in real life. Lamorne talks about auditioning for New Girl 15 times before he finally got the role, his new scripted podcast Unwanted, and Dax opens up about a deep insecurity.
1:14:51Walter Isaacson is an American author, journalist, and professor. Walter joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his work as a biographer, that it’s important to remember that all people are human, and how much more inspiring they are when you realize that. Walter explains the three great innovation revolutions of modern times, how transformative Jennifer Doudna’s gene editing work is, and how she used her knowledge of CRISPR to help with the fight against covid. Dax and Walter discuss the dilemma of editing out certain negative traits and the effects it can have on shaping a person and the importance of trying to maximize the Utopia of gene editing while minimizing the many unforeseen issues that will arise.
1:36:02Rachel Bilson (The O.C., Hart of Dixie, Jumper) is an actress and podcast host. Rachel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss getting her role on The O.C. at twenty-one years old and how being a fourth-generation actor helped keep her grounded. Rachel and Dax discuss Rachel’s tantric sex expert mother, how to talk to your kids about sex, and how poorly certain things they used to watch have aged. Rachel tells us about her new podcast, the time someone broke into her house and took a poop in her bathroom, and Rachel & Monica bond over the Bachelor.
59:32Sam Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated director and producer. Sam joins the Armchair Expert to discuss growing up in Harlem in the 50s, his path into becoming a film editor, and working with Spike Lee. Sam talks about his new film MLK/FBI: the red scare, non-monogamous activity, and racism.
2:00:06Dr. Susan Liautaud (The Power of Ethics) is an author, teacher of ethics at Stanford University, and founder of Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited. Susan joins the Armchair Expert to discuss ethics: the six forces present in all ethical dilemmas, why we can’t look at things in a binary manner, and how we’re only as ethical as our last decision. Susan explains that there’s no place for blame, shame or guilt in ethics, what incentive people have to make ethical decisions, and the need to make ethics accessible to everyone. Dax & Susan discuss the need to think about the consequences that could happen, not just the consequences that will happen and in the fact check, we have a visit from the man whose simulation we are all living in.
Race to 270: Septoplasty and 2X Neck Girth
46:13We check in three months later with both contestants: Aaron has a girlfriend, septoplasty, lasik and colonoscopy while Charlie’s arms are back to looking huge. Dax & Monica present them with trophies and a framed photo of the baby in the white dress.
1:31:44Robin Thicke is a singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, musician and actor. Robin joins the Armchair Expert to discuss losing his home to the Malibu fires, his time on set of Growing Pains with his dad, and getting his first recording contract at 16 years old. Robin opens up about losing himself after the death of his father, how he was still searching for his dad’s attention and approval, and how important focusing on balance in his life is. Robin discusses what he learned from the commercial flop of his first album and how his partnership with Pharrell started.