Archer is one of those rare shows that’s capable of finding humor both high and low in its characters’ diverse and often self-inflicted quandaries, whether they’re dangerous missions in exotic locations, or just a bevy of HR complaints. Like anything great, Archer has its following on Tumblr, including copious gif sets from choice jokes, two different Fuck Yeah Archer blogs, and fandom crossovers like Sterling Archer Draper Price. Although show creator Adam Reed was indisposed (in his “writing cave” attempting to finished the season finale’s script) Matt Thompson, Executive Producer and collaborator with Reed on such wonderful shows as Sealab 2021 & Frisky Dingo was nice enough to answer our most pressing questions about Archer.
How did you two start working together?
Thompson: Adam and I were both working in the On-Air Promotions department at Cartoon Network (1994???). It was a really great place to work too. It still had that small, us against them feel as the network had not been around that long. At that time it was mostly a place to catch old Hanna Barbera cartoons as Adult Swim did not exist yet. Our boss, a really great guy named Stephen Croncota, decided to pair us together to make some small interstitial shows to wrap around things like the Smurfs. We came up with a talking hand show where my hand was a no nonsense cowboy and Adam’s hand was my wacky sidekick. I use to have tons of tape on this, but I can no longer find it. I did find one thing online, a promo we did for an upcoming show of ours. It starts at the one minute mark.
The high-flying setting stuff comes from Adam’s love of Ian Fleming’s James Bond character. Not the one we have today (which is great too), but the original novel version of the character where he is much darker, much more of a misogynist. And Adam likes to have fun with that. Additionally Adam is incredibly well traveled having spent recent time in the Middle East and Vietnam. And he speaks fluent Spanish and French.
Adam sits down at his computer and bangs them out. He does a lot of this from home, where things are more quiet. People always ask me about how wacky our writers room meetings are. And then everyone is shocked to find out this is just one guy typing away.
I would think that Adam would say Pam. She is unfiltered, but yet she seems kind. I think she gets the best lines.
Hmmm… not sure. I know we had a big talk about cell phones early on. Because we definitely wanted them and wanted them to exist. At the same time, we did not want phone cords to exist. But that was strictly out of them being a pain in the ass to deal with animation wise. I think I am going to turn this over to our Art Director, Neal Holman, for better insight.
This season we are going to have Timothy Olyphant playing Archer’s best friend. And he was just great at the whole thing. Charming, funny, and attractive - ugh. Also, Anthony Bourdain plays a bastard celebrity chef in something this season. Adam wrote the part specifically for him as we think he is one of the coolest people on the planet. And for the two part season finale, we have a big secret casting coming. But I am going to hold on to that for a while.
There are a lot of people that I think are really great that we would love to do something with. But if I had to pick just one, I think it would be Daniel Craig. But I would want him in a role as far away from his James Bond character as possible. Something that would allow him and us to make fun of the spy stuff together.
It is a really tricky balance and honestly I do not know how Adam does it. Let me give you an example. Myself and producer Casey Willis avidly read almost every spec script we get. We do this because we are desperate to not have Adam writing so much as his fingers may literally fall off. Anyway, almost every time we read these scripts, there is something too gross in there: “jokes” about menstruation or jacking off monkeys… weird, un-funny shit. The writers are trying too hard to push the boundaries and would be better off just being clever.
Adam knew Archers of Loaf while he was in college at UNC Chapel Hill. Adam listens to a lot of classic stuff like Mingus and Sarah Vaughan. But really his tastes are all over. A LONG TIME ago we lived together and I remember a lot of G Love and Special Sauce mixed with the Rebirth Brass Band. But the thing I remember most about his music tastes are the things he hates: Pink Floyd and the The Doors come to mind.
Baboo will be back. But there is now a new animal in the mix this season that Archer falls in love with. It comes in an episode late in the year. Basically it is Archer hanging out with Cujo.
It was not the networks as much as convincing Loren Bouchard that we meant no harm to his Bob’s universe. Luckily he was super cool about the whole thing. And I can not wait for people to see it. It will look like their restaurant and their characters, but we have “Archer-ized” them to exist in our world.
Bourbon. Always bourbon. For both Adam and myself. But I try my best to avoid it as I like staying married. But we just got some for the crew last week. If you have not heard of B&E Bourbon, google it immediately. They are made by a distillery in California named St. George Spirits. It is amazing.
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