Another Roundtable Chat with the Cast of “Archer”

This last summer, while the world held it’s breath about the American election, fans of “Archer” got a bit of satisfaction as the show was renewed for another three seasons. And so it was that, for the second year in a row, I met with almost all of the regulars of the humorously brutal animated spy/private eye sitcom, as well as the show’s creator, Adam Reed, who also provides the voice of fun-loving voice of sanity Ray Gillette. Like my last “Archer” chat held at San Diego Comic-Con, the interviews were done two at a time in super-fast five-minute stints. Alas, this meant that acting legend Jessica Walter deferred almost entirely to Reed. Similarly, ace farceur Chris Parnell lent brilliant but “you had to be there” comic support to Lucky Yates’s thoughts on voicing the lovably sinister Dr. Algernon Krieger. Happily, stars H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Judy Greer and Amber Nash were more easily transcribed.

As for the new season, with selfish superspy turned self-involved private eye Sterling Archer last seen floating fully clothed and wrong side down in a Hollywood pool, “Dreamland” will take us into a season-long fantasia set in the film noir heyday of 1947. Presumably emanating from the not-quite-dead Archer’s brain and very definitely from the show’s new network home of FXX, the show premieres Wednesday, April 5th at 10PM.

We are promised a great many noir references, the return of former guest star Jeffrey Tambor and no doubt phrasing and anachronistic references to Kenny Loggins. We can also reportedly expect a touching tribute to the long-suffering character of Woodhouse, formerly played by veteran actor George Coe, who passed away at 86 in July 2015, a few days after my first meeting with the “Archer” cast.

Showrunner-creator Adam Reed on how Season 8 will compare to past seasons.

“It’s the most different thing that we’ve done. It is going to be even more serialized than we’ve done in the past. And also in French.”

H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer) on his reaction to first learning of the apparent death of his character in the Season 7 opener.

I was nervous that it was the end of the line for Archer, though. I got the news that he was going to die and I was like, “Well, there goes that job.” There was that poor guy from “Game of Thrones” who got killed in the first season. That sucks. You have to watch all of them have the best time of their lives for seven years. That’s the worst feeling in the world, and I got killed in like the third minute.

Aisha Tyler (sensible superspy Lana Kane) on the rest of the cast’s reaction to the news.

He’s not a real person, so nobody freaked out! The great thing about being a cartoon character is that you can die and come back to life many, many times.

Judy Greer (insensible superspy assistant Cheryl Tunt) on her favorite moments as the deeply strange Ms. Tunt.

I liked being Cherlene [Cheryl’s country-superstar alter-ego in Season 6’s “Archer: Vice” storyline.]. All good things have to end, but I really liked being a country music star. And, in the real world, sometimes people actually think that I sang those songs. If I could go back in time I would have worn those [sexy little jean shorts] when I had different body parts.

Lucky Yates (insanely mad scientist Dr. Algernon Krieger) on whether he’s met any insanely devoted/strange fans outside of one impressive fellow who had created his own real portable hologram of Dr. Krieger’s anime hologram girlfriend.

I wish! I wish people would come to me with weird crap! Am I off-putting in person? Where the fuck are my fans? Throw me some weirdness people!

Amber Nash (insanely popular fan favorite Pam Poovey) on why we haven’t seen that dolphin hand-puppet featured in the “Archer” opening credits in so many seasons.

It just never came back, but it’s in all the branding – all the Pam stuff. They’re everywhere. I think Adam particularly likes to just never mention stuff again. There’s a power in it.

Aisha Tyler and H. Jon Benjamin on Ms. Tyler’s new business venture, which could make this writer’s weekly “Drink of the Week” blog posts all but obsolete!

AT: I do have a line of ready-to-drink cocktails coming out called Courage & Stone.

HJB: “Courage & Stone.”? That’s so fascist. It’s like “Blood & Soil.”

AT: “It’s like Blood and Soil.” That sounds delicious!

JB: It gets me nervous. I’m Jewish… ”Courage & Stone,” it’s very ominous. Could result in bad press.

AT: No, not ominous! Welcoming! It’s going to say, “Jon Benjamin – I’m frightened!’” That’s going to be his endorsement.

Adam Reed on what just what was up with a rumored live-action “Archer” movie starring a certain super-handsome leading man type he allegedly floated.

Somebody floated that for me. Everybody talks about Jon Hamm. And when they say who would you have play Archer in a live-action movie and, in all seriousness, I say Jon Benjamin. And they’re like, ‘No, but seriously.’ ‘Jon Benjamin!’ One of the things I love about Archer the character is that he says such terrible things, but Jon has this magic quality to his voice that makes it sympathetic. It must have been maddening to be his mom as a kid.

Lucky Yates on whether he could play Dr. Krieger if they ever did make make a live action Archer movie.

Sure! I can’t grow an actual beard though… So, I’m going to have to get a fake beard. But I am the model for Ray, so if they’re looking for lookalikes, I can play Ray! (But I’d rather play Krieger.)

  

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