kumail nanjiani

To Listen or to Skip? The 4 Best ‘Armchair Expert’ Episodes of 2020

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Dax Shepard created one of the most popular podcasts on the planet when he launched Armchair Expert back in 2018. Though the show’s only been around for two years, the 45-year-old actor has managed to book everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Bill Gates to Tom Brady.

Whether you’re interested in politics, Hollywood, business, sports, or anything in between, Armchair Expert has an episode waiting for you. And, what makes the show so fantastic is it truly doesn’t matter if you’re familiar with the guest or not.

The conversations are always about what we all can relate to — teenage angst, fighting with your family, following your dreams, dealing with trauma, and simply trying to understand life.

We already discussed the episodes to turn on when you need to smile, but with almost another year under his belt, it’s time to take a look back at Shepard’s best episodes of 2020. 

Ronan Farrow — January 9

As the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, it was obvious from the get-go that Ronan Farrow was going to be a fantastic guest. And, while his early life is intriguing, it was his stories about investigating disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein that was most interesting.

Farrow, who was an integral part of the #MeToo movement, discusses what it was like working to uncover sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood and why he decided to write a book.

Whitney Cummings — March 2

whitney cummings

One of the bravest things someone in the public eye can do is be honest about their struggles, and Whitney Cummings does exactly that in this episode. On the surface it appears she has it all — she’s beautiful, hilarious, and successful — but it’s quickly revealed that her life hasn’t been easy.

She opens up about going to Al-Anon meetings, struggling with love addiction, and being an extreme people pleaser. Listen to this episode and you’ll feel like you’re listening to a best friend.

Men’s Bodies with Kumail Nanjiani & Rob McElhenney — March 9

I remember when I first saw the title for this episode, I rolled my eyes and said out loud “I don’t want to hear fit guys talk about their bodies.” But, once I actually listened, I was blown away.

Not only do Shepard, Nanjiani, and McElhenney get very vulnerable about their body insecurities, but they discuss their interest in fitness and what it’s like struggling with body dysmorphia. It’s not very often that men open up about physical insecurities, and I have to imagine it’s a very relatable episode for a lot of people. 

Day 7 — September 25

Throughout the history of this podcast, Shepard has been very open about his journey to sobriety. In this extremely vulnerable episode released this fall, Shepard tells his listeners that he broke his 16 years of sobriety over the summer.

While it’s clearly difficult for him to discuss, he bravely reveals what lead up to him breaking his sobriety and the shame he felt in doing so. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a sober journey yourself or if you know someone who struggles with addiction, this episode will resonate with anyone who’s felt like they’ve let someone down in their life.