David Duchovny to Host His First Podcast, About How to ‘Fail Better,’ With Guests Ben Stiller, Bette Midler and More

Rexa Vella

David Duchovny to Host His First Podcast, About How to ‘Fail Better,’ With Guests Ben Stiller, Bette Midler and More

David Duchovny is diving deep into screwing up in “Fail Better,” marking his first foray as a podcast host.

The actor, writer, director, author and singer-songwriter’s seasonal weekly series is produced by podcast network Lemonada Media. “Fail Better” is slated to premiere in May 2024, to be available across all major audio platforms. The podcast explores failure “in all its forms, from the professional to the personal, and the ways in which failure, shame and falling short” shapes our lives, per the company’s announcement.

Duchovny will share his own experiences with failure in “Fail Better.” In each episode, he’ll sit down with a guest and together they will “interrogate the painful, shameful stings of life,” according to Lemonada. Confirmed guests include Ben Stiller, Bette Midler, Sarah Silverman, physician and author Gabor Maté and “Freakonomics” author Stephen J. Dubner.

“I’ve been a connoisseur of failure for a long time, obsessed with the mistakes we make or fear making,” Duchovny said in a statement provided to Variety. “I like thinking about how those mistakes, coupled with the futility of trying to avoid them, shapes our lives. If failure is something we all do so often, why are we so afraid of it?” He continued, “Working with Lemonada to explore this part of human nature is a gift in itself, and a meta-exercise for me in doing something new — hosting a podcast — which frankly fills me with my own fear of failure.”

Duchovny starred in and directed “Bucky F*cking Dent,” released last year, which was based his 2016 novel. He’s best known for his starring role in the hit Fox supernatural procedural “The X-Files,” on which he starred as FBI agent Fox Mulder. Duchovny also is known for starring in Showtime’s “Californication,” with recent film credits including “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,” “You People” and “What Happens Later.” He is repped by CAA and Mosaic.

“So much has been explored about failure in the self-help and business sectors. David’s soulful and earnest look at the subject is a 180-degree exploration of a topic we often love to pretend to embrace,” said Lemonada co-founder and CEO Jessica Cordova Kramer. Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Lemonada’s co-founder and chief creative officer, added, “David brings an intellectual depth and honest curiosity, coupled with delightful threads of humor and humility, to the way in which failing, shame and ego shape our trajectories.”

Founded in 2019, Lemonada recently struck a deal with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to distribute her podcast “Archetypes” (previously exclusively on Spotify) and to develop a new, as-yet-untitled original podcast series hosted by her.

The company’s podcast slate also includes “Wiser Than Me With Julia Louis-Dreyfus,” which was named the 2023 show of the year by Apple; Jennette McCurdy’s “Hard Feelings”; “Funny Cuz It’s True With Elyse Myers”; Gracie award-winners “Last Day” and “Believe Her”; “Choice Words With Samantha Bee”; “In the Bubble With Andy Slavitt”; “Add to Cart With Kulap Vilaysack and SuChin Pak”; and reality show “Being Trans.” The network also recently added two podcasts to its lineup — Penn Badgley’s “Podcrushed” and “Threedom,” hosted by Scott Aukerman, Lauren Lapkus and Paul F. Tompkins.

Last year, Lemonada partnered with Apple Books to launch “The Lemonada Book Club,” a free-to-join digital program designed to bring together fans of nonfiction storytelling across books and podcasts.

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