A podcast that celebrates the messiness of being human
Dax Shepard is a guy we haven’t heard get too serious before. But listening to Armchair Expert, it makes you wonder if maybe he just hadn’t had the right platform to do so. Sure, it’s still Dax Shepard, so things can get a little goofy but on Armchair Expert he is often exploring serious and mature subject matter with his guests. And more so than that, he seems comfortable exploring the more serious subject matters and doesn’t turn to humour to lighten the mood or make himself more comfortable-- a habit a lot of comedians tend to fall back on. He’s of course trying to provide value for his advertisers but it can tend to miss the mark a bit from time to time. In Dax’s words, the show focuses on “the messiness of being human”, even defining the goal of the podcast as “discovering human truths”.
It’s an interview style podcast, often with fairly high profile celebrities, but rather than asking them about their latest work, or keeping things high level, Dax and co-host Monica Padman, dive deep into the stories and struggles these messy humans have had, touching on topics like mental health, alcoholism, sexual abuse and more. Dax is a recovering alcoholic who has celebrated a decade of sobriety so he has the background to ask the right questions and help his guests tell their stories.
A few critiques: the podcast leans a little heavy on ads-- there are a few paid spots on every episode and Dax tends to spend a few minutes after the ad contextualizing it-- after an ad for HelloFresh he’ll spend a few moments talking about what he had for dinner which can seem a little forced. And as interview style podcasts go, it can run a little long with certain episodes nearing the two hour mark-- for most listeners that’s stretching things a bit far, but overall a great podcast-- Dax has really refined hosting and speaking skills and provides a platform for big names to tell stories we may not have heard about them before.
Stacey is a Toronto native who has dabbled in production, writing, marketing and more. She is currently wandering around Asia eating ramen and contemplating her next move. Obsessions and interests include dogs, pizza, wine, live music and every other generic, predictable interest you’ve ever heard of. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @staceyorth