Hi, Dax Shepard here. I’m fascinated by smart people with a unique point of view. On this show, I leverage people’s vague awareness of me as an actor to talk with a bunch of bona fide experts. It’s a soothing mix of brain candy and defensive humor (my response to feeling intellectually outclassed). Join me on a layman’s journey through the Land of Specialists!
Brad Grossman is an author, entrepreneur, and creator of the Zeitguide’s Culture Class. Brad joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his role as a culture guide and how he seeks out all the interesting information in the world and synthesizes it for his students. Brad explains the inspiring ways companies and individuals are pivoting in order to connect to consumers, how covid has been a magnifier to our systemic problems, and the ways it will help us reboot our sense of humanity. Dax and Brad explore what’s going to happen in 2021, the need to dismantle archaic systems and tweak them in a way that’s more sustainable to humanity.
Go to Zeitguide.com and use code “ARMCHERRIES” for 50% off Brad’s first culture class of the year.
Sanjay Gupta Returns
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the first three-peat Armchair Expert guest and an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, CNN medical correspondent, and author. Sanjay, fresh off receiving his covid-19 vaccination, joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how much we’ve learned about human behavior this year. Sanjay explains the evolution of neurogenesis and why cognitive decline is not inevitable. The two discuss that in order to heal the body you have to heal the mind, the importance of building the resiliency of your brain, and the power exercise has on it. Dax tells Sanjay about Monica’s psilocybin experience and Sanjay tells us that the best thing you can do for your brain is to take a brisk walk with a friend and discuss your problems.
John O. Brennan
John O. Brennan is a former American intelligence officer who served as the Director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017. John joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the distinctions between the CIA and FBI, his professional route through his career, and serving under six different administrations. John explains what it’s like to be confronted with harsh realities where either course of action has implications, the ebbs and flows of the CIA’s power of persuasion, and the need for ethical intelligence. John opens up about the personal weight of his job, the trickle-down effects of supporting smaller nations, and the ways in which climate change will continue to have serious national security implications. In the fact check, we find out if Miniature Mouse is a good fit for the CIA.
Dov Fox is Professor of Law and Herzog Endowed Scholar at the University of San Diego School of Law and the host of the podcast Donor 9623. Dov joins the Armchair Expert from his closet to discuss growing up without a father, the effects overcoming adversity had on him as a parent, and cases of reproduction gone awry. The two debate genetic advantages that people are born with, how hard it is to tell your life story without knowing where it begins, and the ethics behind testing for genetic conditions in the reproductive process. Dov and Dax explore what’s okay to want in a child and when it crosses a line while Dax admits he wants to heal and nurture the child in him. And a surprise guest joins us for the fact check.
BONUS EPISODE with Emmanuel Acho is a former NFL player and the author of the New York Times Bestselling book Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. Emmanuel joins the Armchair Expert to discuss that their are huge differences between color and culture, how societally we need to do a better job being proactive instead of reactive, and the communication barriers between the black lives matter and blue lives matter movements. He explains the need to acknowledge opportunity inequality and that proximity breeds care while distance breeds fear.
Scott Kelly is a retired astronaut that set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space. Scott joins the Armchair Expert to discuss his path to becoming an astronaut and how seeing earth from space really changes your perspective on humanity. Scott explains his structured approach to dealing with isolation, how he was able to compartmentalize fear, and what it’s like living in microgravity. Dax asks Scott some questions about living in space, if he saw any extraterrestrial activities while up there, and if anyone has ever made love in space.