If you’re already an Armchair Expert fan (an armcherry) then you already know that this Podcast is built like a brick shithouse, and I mean that as the upmost compliment; it’s real, it’s sturdy, and the quality – substantial; if you hadn’t listened yet, then I’m going to tell you why that makes you a “borderline piece of shit.” Sorry! These are all inside jokes that come from the Podcast, but do I have your attention yet?!
I’ve been listening to Podcasts on and off for awhile now, the thing that really got me motivated to start listening to them start to finish and quite regularly was an increased work commute. I found that podcasts made me feel more awake when driving than music, and also that I tired of them less quickly than my usual car playlist, which sometimes I skip all the way through. I wanted to share with you my favorite, just incase you’re just getting into the world of Podcasts, or were curious and wanted to start somewhere, but didn’t know where.
Host, Dax Shepard (actor, director, and husband of Kristen Bell), is thoughtful, self-deprecating, and although occasionally interrupts his guests, it’s out of his sheer love for a good story and guys, like he’s working on it. Dax’s view on the world is not only healthy and whole, but unique and interesting and totally evolved. He interviews not only celebrity friends and influences, but also experts on experts, psychologists, behavioral analysts and the like. Whereas Dax is outgoing and leads the conversation, his co-host and Kristen’s, child, slash mother, slash sister-wife, Monica, reels him back in, and occasionally calls him out on his shit, one of the latest episodes they joked about making t-shirts that read ” borderline piece of shit,” which I might buy to wear around the house, so patiently waiting for that, but mostly Monica thinks Dax should have one.
Dax follows a similar line of questioning with each guest, walking us through the early years, what they were aiming for, and if having it all makes them happy. SPOILER ALERT, generally the money and the fame and the celebrity of it all is not what makes them happy. Listening to Armchair Expert does make me happy, whether listening to Dax talk about how amazing Monica is, listening to his guests talk about the challenges they’ve overcome, or listening to Dax reinvent the O’Reilly’s theme song – the Christmas version was stuck in my head for DAYS Dax. I can’t recommend enough, giving Dax, Monica, and their guests a listen, as a lot of days the car ride I spend with them is the most thought provoking, inspirational part of my day.
Anyway, their first ever show, I already wrote about here; I wrote about it because I just loved Kristen Bell’s worldview, but some of my other favorite episodes are with Zach Braff, Dax’s Mom, Mila Kunis, and David Harbour.
A few months back, Dax and Monica did Good Place week, a tribute to Kristen Bell and the cast of The Good Place and honestly if you want a taste of Armchair Expert I would recommend to start with the two episodes featuring Kristen, Dax’s wife, because they are charming, funny, and make your heart feel full. Kristen talks about so many important things, but mostly about the fact that we all should be trying to be more evolved human beings; she talks about which person you are when someone cuts you off in traffic and Dax says that that reflects on who you are as a person, if you assume kindness and benevolence and that someone is driving to the hospital, you’re probably kind and benevolent. Whereas, if you assume the person is a total jerk, you might be the total jerk. This reminds me of a concept I just read about in The Happiness Project, which is that when you tell someone that another person has a certain trait, the person you’re telling ends up associating that trait with you; for example, when you say so and so is a jerk, you run the risk of the person you’re telling thinking you’re a jerk, whereas if you walk around and list people’s positive traits, those positive traits are placed onto you.
Kristen also talks about eight seconds. Eight seconds is how long the average person feels uncomfortable when they stand up for themselves, or deliver negative feedback, and let’s face it, we can all survive eight seconds. This is something I need to remind myself of daily. All it takes to grow, or to change, or to challenge something you don’t believe in is 8 seconds.
Alright fine, all I want for my birthday and Christmas next year and even my next birthday is for Dax and Monica to do another live show in Brooklyn and to go to it, Darren ARE YOU READING THIS???