Just a short while before their Comic-Con panel, we took part in roundtable interviews with the cast and crew of FX’s animated spy spoof Archer. Show creator and executive producer Adam Reed is coming right off a risky and ultimately brilliant fifth season in which the show’s intelligence agency turns bad, leading to a temporary renaming of the show as Archer Vice. We discussed obscure references to the creator of watermelon, both upcoming and dream guest stars, as well as a reveal for the primary villain in Archer Season 6. Hit the jump for the full interview.
REED: [picking up a piece of Laffy Taffy abandoned on the table] Oh my gosh. Are these free? Can we have these?
REED: Thank you. I love Laffy Taffy. World’s worst jokes. All right, I can’t even that, I don’t have my glasses, but. [turns the Laffy Taffy over] Oh, they’re riddles! [takes the glasses someone offers up] …Nope, I got nothing.
Say your name, for the recorder?
REED: I’m Adam Reed from Archer. [pauses] Thanks, guys. [pretends to start to get up]
Do you get your jokes from Laffy Taffy?
REED: Basically, yeah. I just eat a ton of Laffy Taffy and get the jokes from there. I can’t believe I just ragged on Laffy Taffy on camera. Laffy Taffy’s great and the jokes are great! [winces]
What’s your favorite obscure reference that’s been on the show, or just last season?
REED: I really liked that Bartleby the Scrivener joke from way back, that was pretty obscure, and I’m sure I’ve done, like – one of our sort of running gags is somebody will say something about something, and somebody else will say, “who am I, person blank?” And whatever the thing is- we just did one about watermelons, and then I go look up watermelon on Wikipedia and spent the next hour learning there’s basically a guy who invented watermelons. Like, they weren’t a thing, and then some person just made that happen.
I really enjoyed the Dave Frishberg reference.
So when did you decide you wanted to do Archer Vice, and then what made you decide to go back to something similar to what you were doing before?
REED: I think it was a vacation, you know, and vacations end and you’re ready to get back home and sleep in your own bed. So I think that was a lot of it. It’s like, let’s go do something fun, but then you’re tired of sleeping in hotels and you want to just go home.
Can you talk about some of the guest stars you’ve gotten on the show? They’ve been so great.
REED: We just recorded this past week- Allison Tolman from Fargo plays Pam’s sister. They go home for Pam’s sister’s wedding, and she takes Archer as her date. And then things go…horribly wrong. And Christian Slater’s coming back a lot this season. And…I’m drawing a huge blank right now, but we also haven’t recorded that many episodes, we’ve only recorded four so far, so we still have a lot of time to bother guest stars and ask them to come be on Archer.
Do you have any dream guest stars you haven’t yet gotten?
REED: A ton, like everybody, you know? I would love to have Zach Galifianakis on, that would be huge. So he’s probably my, like, voiceover crush.
What character would you have him play?
REED: I don’t know yet. Maybe an insane version of himself. Yeah, I don’t know, I haven’t even thought about what that character would be because…we probably won’t get Zach Galifianakis. But I would love that!
How do you make these pretty terrible people so lovable?
REED: I think it’s a combination of the voice cast being so great, and then our artists and animators have a way of, in concert with the voices, making the worst things that you can imagine sound sympathetic coming out of these folks. So I think it’s really a combination of the actors and the artists.
In one of the past episodes, you guys got the trailer, and I know many fans were excited about maybe seeing a Top Gun episode.
REED: Oh, well, it was never going to be an episode, that was just like a one-off thing. But we should’ve made an episode because we’d done all the drawings and then we could’ve just patted that out. But there’s- we’ve been talking about an episode for a long time where, since Archer is sort of set we-don’t-know-when, in the Archer universe there would still be a draft. And Archer has just never, never did it, he just blew it off. And then he gets caught and has to go be in the army for like, at least a week until he could get himself kicked out of the army. But they probably wouldn’t let him fly a jet.
Can you tell us anything about Barry and his return?
REED: Barry comes back in a big way. And he’s gonna be, I think, probably the key villain of the season. But things pretty quickly go really badly also for Barry…physically.
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