Armchair Expert Umbrella is a media/podcast network comprised of all shows produced by Armchair Expert.
Flightless Bird: Diners
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand what makes the American diner experience so special, by traveling to Reno, Nevada. There he meets the staff of Peg's Glorified Ham N Eggs and meets the regulars who've made the diner their home away from home - including Rainbow Man, a man obsessed with painting human bodies at Burning Man. What makes a diner a diner? How have they changed over the years? David and Monica discuss their various diner experiences, from fights to excessive milkshake consumption.
Flightless Bird: Circumcision
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to discover why America loves circumcision so much, to the point where 115 million American men now find themselves without a foreskin. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why this medical procedure became so popular here, leading to some medical diagrams not bothering to include a foreskin anymore. David talks to a man in his 30s who’s furious he got circumcised when he was a baby, and another who’s annoyed he wasn’t circumcised, as he considers getting an adult circumcision. David talks to a doctor who’s carried out hundreds of circumcisions to find out what all the fuss is about, and spends time with Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America - who wants circumcision to be thrown out the window.
Flightless Bird: Football
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand a game that simply doesn’t exist in New Zealand: American Football. He tries to figure out America’s most popular sport and asks why over 100 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. After watching the Super Bowl for the first time, David travels to Seattle to get schooled by NFL Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones, who was drafted by the Seahawks in 1997. He discovers what a locker room smells like and why some football players love to chew gum so much. Walter also opens up about his theories on the existence of extraterrestrial life.
Flightless Bird: Bottled Water
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand America’s obsession with bottled water. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why tap water just won’t cut it in many US States, leading Americans to spend billions on bottled water every year. David talks to author and scientist Peter Gleick about tap water myths, and how some bottled water companies have accidentally added things like arsenic and cricket parts to their bottled creations. We discover why a new sports stadium purposefully didn’t install enough public water fountains and get to the bottom of whether carcinogenic chemicals leech from plastic bottles creating a deathtrap.
Flightless Bird: Disney II
This week on Flightless Bird, David embarks on his first-ever trip to Disneyland with Dax, Monica, and Wobby Wob to see if the magic of the place rubs off on him. In amongst discovering the joys of Star Wars: Galaxies Edge and the Cars ride, David investigates Disney Social Clubs, also known as "Disney Gangs." He learns about the alleged beef between two groups, the Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club and the White Rabbits, and talks to a member of the Sons of Anakin. David discovers the one Disney property that isn't copyrighted and lays eyes on an elusive Disney feral cat.
Flightless Bird: Flags
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to understand why Americans love their flag so much, buying nearly 150 million of them every year. Joined by Dax and Monica, David quizzes them about what it’s like to go to school and pledge allegiance to the flag, before Dax recalls his colorful interactions with an American flag and a flag pole. David talks to flag expert, TedTalker and podcaster Roman Mars about what makes a good flag design, before chatting with vexillologist Tory Laitila - curator of Textiles and Historic Arts of Hawai'i at the Honolulu Museum of Art - about the dos and don’ts of flag etiquette. Thanks to first amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, we discover how the burning of a flag led to one of America’s most divisive court cases.
I’m not big on celeb interviews but I love binging this pod because it’s such a different and more personable approach. I feel like I learn to love & appreciate something about every guest.
Monica should go back to being to Bell/Shepard’s nanny
I really like Armchair Expert, it’s become weekly essential listening. Also being from Detroit I greatly appreciate Dax’s Midwest can-do spirit. That said as soon as it comes to the “fact check” I immediately tune out. I’m not sure how Monica ended up in Dax’s orbit but for sidekicks he could do so much better. I think back to an episode where she thought when Dax was talking about Steve Austin she assumed he was talking about the wrestler, not the TV character. Other podcasts pull off the sidekick well (Sona on “Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend”) but it just doesn’t work for this podcast. For being a fact checker her skills are nonexistent. Monica should go back to being to Bell/Shepard’s nanny.
Toilet episode: Europeean Shoes
Informative episode and comical at the same time. However one thing was not discussed about men’s urinals. The distance from the exit tube to the porcelain and the splash factor. Next time you use a men’s stand up urinal look at the floor around the urinal. Think about it and your shoes.