Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali Explore Celebrities' Health Issues on New Podcast 'Hypochondriactor'

The Will & Grace star teams up with Wali, a physician and comedian, to share their own health histories and to interview celebs like Kristen Bell, Alec Baldwin and Leslie Odom, Jr.

Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali new podcast Hypochondriactor
Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali. Photo: SAG; Courtesy Priyanka Wali

Sean Hayes is a proud hypochondriac — "when I read or hear a story about a health issue, I immediately wonder if it'll happen to me," he tells PEOPLE — and his medical records could stack up waist-high. So it was only natural that he would launch a new podcast, Hypochondriactor, all about health.

"I've always been obsessed with medical stories," Hayes, 50, says. "My favorite part of any talk show is when people from all walks of life come on and talk about a medical issue they've had. I think it immediately connects us, and if by chance you've been dealing with a similar issue, it normalizes it and you don't feel so alone. It kind of provides hope."

The actor ended up finding Dr. Priyanka Wali, an internal medicine physician in San Francisco and stand-up comic, and they "married the two, and gave birth to a podcast about it," he says. It launches May 5, and the pair will talk about Hayes' health experiences throughout his life and interview celebrities like Kristen Bell, Alec Baldwin, Leslie Odom, Jr., Howie Mandel and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir about their own health histories.

"We're talking about bread-and-butter stuff, but not from a traditional angle," Wali says. "For example, Kristen talks about her anxiety and depression, and she also talks about how she used psychedelic substances to help manage those symptoms. With Yvette Nicole Brown's diabetes episode, we spent a big chunk of the episode talking about ketogenic diets."

Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali new podcast Hypochondriactor
Hypochondriactor. Hypochondriactor

Issues like access to health care also come up, with Odom talking about how he had H1N1 "way before he was famous [and had health care], and how scary and vulnerable it was for him at the time," Wali says.

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The first episode features Will Arnett, who talks about his knee problems, as well as Hayes discussing his botched nose job.

"I thought I was going to f---ing die," the Will & Grace star says, laughing. "I think that specific doctor had a fetish for cleaning your nose up, went too far with it and completely nailed ... an artery or vein or something and it just gushed blood like a faucet. He's like, 'Oh, just calm down.' I'm like, 'Me? Calm? You calm down. There's blood coming out of my nose like a bathtub.' "

"Sean may or may not donate his body to science when he's no longer with us, but he's already doing it right now with this podcast," Wali adds. "He's like this never ending well of stories. As a physician, it's such a privilege to be able to interact with someone who's just so open. That's the other beauty of the podcast."

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