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Armchair Expert

Known to most for either his roles in slapstick comedies like 2004’s Without a Paddle or his marriage to Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard has embarked on a path taken by many a celebrity before him: podcasting. His show Armchair Expert follows a conversational format which readily lends itself to the title’s origin. As far back as the 1800s, the phrases “armchair traveller” or “armchair critic” were deployed to indicate an amateur who provides advice or critique from the comfort of their own home, devoid of practical experience in the matter at hand. Shepard’s spin on this idiom is to explore the “messiness of being human” via philosophical conversations with both experts and laymen, the latter of which are often Shepard’s fellow celebs, like Sarah Silverman and Michael Peña. For its live shows, Shepard and co-host Monica Padman bring on surprise guests that are often local to each city — the last time Armchair Expert swung down to Austin, they spoke with University of Houston professor Bréne Brown, who has spent her career researching courage, empathy, shame and vulnerability.

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