Armchair Expert Umbrella is a media/podcast network comprised of all shows produced by Armchair Expert.
Flightless Bird: Amazon
This week on Flightless Bird, David prepares to hit “Buy Now” as he embarks into the world of Amazon, the company that notched up $116 billion in sales during the first three months of this year. Joined by Monica, he looks at how this company has slowly inserted itself into the American lifestyle, from TV and film, to products, to Alexa living in everyone’s house, tending to their every need. David interviews Emily West, an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusets, about how Amazon’s marketing made a brown cardboard box so popular. He also talks to the author of “Fulfillment,” Alec MacGillis about how Amazon’s various factories are changing the face of America, city by city - as Amazon is now America’s second-largest private employer next to Walmart.
Flightless Bird: Healthcare
This week on Flightless Bird, David sets out to make sense of the very confusing American healthcare system. Joined by Monica, he tries to figure out why some Americans end up paying their own ambulance bill and why over half of the American population is riddled with medical debt. David talks to Luke O’Neil - the journalist and writer behind the popular newsletter "Welcome to Hellworld" - about why it falls on children to raise money for their parent's medical bills and discovers why in the US healthcare system teeth are considered “luxury bones”.
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.
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.