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Fail Better with David Duchovny
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Fail Better with David Duchovny

Author: Lemonada Media

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Why am I making a podcast? The best answer I can come up with is that I feel like I’ve been failing my entire life, so I can speak from plenty of experience. Sure, I was on The X Files and Californication, I wrote some books and made some music. But I also got a literal F in The New York Times. I had a high-profile divorce and a magical mystery tour through rehab. So now I want to get into the way that failure looms over all of us and really shapes who we are. What’s good about that, what’s bad about that, what’s holding us back in shame? Lots to unpack here. So join me and some cool guests from sports, tv, politics, business and beyond starting May 7, wherever you get your podcasts – and we’ll get into it.
10 Episodes
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There are few actors left who embody the ethos of old Hollywood. Sean Penn is one of them. We got together at his place for a face-to-face exploration of Sean’s life and career. We discussed how his childhood in Malibu helped him create the iconic Jeff Spicoli, and how his first acting coach still shapes him today. We speak of his friends — Brando, DeNiro, and Scorsese — legends whose reputations, work ethic, and willingness to keep learning shaped their characters and their lives. Spending an hour in his presence is a masterclass in the pursuit of being a better creator, and a better human. Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
When I first heard about Patric Gagne, a diagnosed sociopath with a buzzy new memoir, I was intrigued. If she lives without the social emotions that often hold us back — embarrassment, jealousy, and shame — does she actually have a superpower? What can she teach us about failure, and does she fear it like the rest of us do? After tearing through her book, I sat down to discuss these big questions, bust the tired tropes, and learn about the Zen of sociopathy.  Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Stephen Dubner, host of Freakonomics Radio, has done more than change the way we think about economics — I consider him a spiritual guide of our time. But for all his success, he’s got a laundry list of careers he’s left behind, from rising-star musician to New York Times writer. We debate the merits of expecting the worst versus hoping for the best and discuss how to trade nuance for novelty as we get older. It’s never too late to keep learning — or, according to him, to start a podcast. Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On stage and off, Sarah Silverman is always evolving, whether that’s honing her standup routines or coming to grips with missteps in her past material. We reminisce about our mutual friend Garry Shandling, including the comedy star-studded basketball games he used to host, where I first met Sarah. I also have the pleasure of talking to Sarah about the satisfaction of apologies and the struggle of forgiveness, and I realize, once again, that I extend much more grace to others than I do to myself. Lucky for me, Sarah won’t stand for that. Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Like all of us, athletes fail often. Renowned tennis coach Brad Gilbert knows that well, and has spent decades analyzing weaknesses as a way to develop strengths. As a player, he rose to the rank of #4 in the world, then began coaching stars like Andy Roddick, Andy Murray, and, most recently, Coco Gauff. He even trained Zendaya for the movie Challengers. I loved hearing how the man Andre Agassi called “the greatest coach of all time” gets even more out of the best players in the game.  Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This is my most personal episode so far, but it's really about the wisdom of Dr. Gabor Maté. The author, physician, and public speaker reminds us all how we sometimes become too comfortable with self-criticism and regret. We talk about parenting, collaboration, and addiction, and I leave the interview feeling a level of gratitude that I don’t know what to do with. Here’s that conversation. Follow me on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with Lemonada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A long time ago when I worked as a bartender at Radio City Music Hall, I caught the second half of a Bette Midler show, and it blew me away. More than forty years later I ran into her at a restaurant in Santa Monica and said hi. I'm thrilled that she agreed to sit down and talk to me about a couple things that have gone wrong in her storied career. Tune in to hear about workplace horrors, how being self-deprecating doesn’t make me special, and what it really means to know thyself. All hail The Divine Miss M. Follow David on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
You can get even more Fail Better with Lemonada Premium, where I share the extended thoughts I have after each interview. Here’s a free peek at what you could be getting: After my conversation with Bette Midler, there are many things I’m still wondering about because I couldn’t find a way to bring them up, including what I wished I’d asked her about parenting. Subscribe to Lemonada Premium now in Apple Podcasts. Follow David on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Believe it or not, Ben Stiller has failed. (Remember Zoolander 2? He’d probably rather you didn’t.) As it turns out, Ben has had his share of flops — a man after my own heart — and we chat for a good while about those times in his life, including how they sometimes led to something better. In my first-ever interview, he keeps me on track, answers questions I forgot to ask, and overall makes me feel like I’m actually succeeding at being a podcast host. Follow David on Instagram at @davidduchovny. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium. And if you want to continue the conversation with other listeners, join the My Lemonada community at https://lemonadamedia.com/mylemonada/ For a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this and every other Lemonada show, go to lemonadamedia.com/sponsors.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
To be human is to fail. And not just to fail once, but to fail a lot. But if it's something we all do so often, why are we so afraid of it? As the author Samuel Beckett once said: “Fail again. Fail better.” This saying means a lot to me and my family – so much so that my daughter even got a tattoo of it. I want to fail better, dammit. So, I’m sitting down with thoughtful people every week to talk about it. Because maybe if we fail better, we’ll feel better. Fail Better - coming May 7, from Lemonada Media.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (14)

Matthias Smith

in the process of failing miserably. but this podcast helps. it came along at just the right time.

Jun 13th
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May 28th
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May 28th
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May 26th
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May 25th
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sara

What a great episode. I enjoyed every moment of it.

May 25th
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Cedric cheri

interesting...

May 25th
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John Pitts

sorry I sometimes text to fast

May 21st
Reply

John Pitts

Mr Dochovny I remember you from something you did way before X - Files don't mother the the babysitter died , and red shoe diaries for real no kidding. I am on Facebook I live in Navarre , Fl. , the panhandle part go to Google maps. I don't know if you personally read your comments but if you do here I am. I am a 63year old borried guy

May 21st
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Alec Greenfield

Great idea for a podcast. Would be interesting to talk about how the fear of failure is making us dumber. The best teacher is failure.

May 20th
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