FanBolt had the chance to sit down with the cast and executive producer of hit FX series Archer last Friday, and it was certainly a treat for me. For those of you who may not know, before I was stolen away by FanBolt’s Editor Emma Loggins, I worked with Floyd County Productions for 4 years and got my start as a production assistant for Archer during season 2. Interviewing this bunch kind of solidified things coming full-circle for me, and the time was certainly a hilarious treat.
H. Jon Benjamin, Chris Parnell, Lucky Yates and EP Matt Thompson sat down to talk to us about some of their favorite Archer live moments, what character on the show they’re most like in real life, and of course we got a few season 6 details out of them as well (including the return of an old fan favorite)!
How are you going to make the transition back to Isis next season?
Matt Thompson: We’re kind of hitting a reset and kind of going back to how things really were more in the second season, where we’re going to do a lot more spying, a lot more dangerous covert missions where people are going to die. Some people didn’t notice that they never sold any cocaine last season and they never killed anybody and I think that the show has always- you know it worked best in some of the earlier seasons when they were going on these great big spy missions, it was out there in jungles and whatever, so we’re going to go back to a lot of that. The way that we’re still keeping continuity with things that happened in season 5 is we’ll find out that they’re doing a lot of sub-contracting for the CIA. Christian Slater is coming back as kind of our…well, I don’t know that you could call him a liaison, because he’s more like “You guys have to go do this.”
So is Malory not going to be the boss anymore?
Matt: She is and she’s trying to work her way around, through or under her overlords.
Which characters on the show are you most like in real life?
Chris Parnell: Probably Gillette…I mean I relate to Lana the most in some ways. She’s like the most moral person.
H. Jon Benjamin: I think Cyril is the most moral character on the show.
Will Woodhouse ever die?
Matt Thompson: I don’t think so. You know, Adam and I had this light plan that we were going to do and we talked about it for a long time and the plan was- and we still might do it so I’ll probably ruin it if we do it… We thought it would be really interesting if Archer got a new butler and that butler, you know, dotes on him, does everything super well and then it turns out that the butler is a spy and we wanted to maybe give him multiple different butlers and have celebrity people to come in and do it. I actually pitched for Noah [voiced by David Cross in “Heart of Archness” arc] being his new butler, but at the end of the day Adam just couldn’t walk away from Woodhouse. Adam loves Woodhouse. Now a lot of people don’t realize that the name Woodhouse is taken from the author of the Jeeves books.
Jon/Matt: P.G. Wodehouse
Matt: Spelled differently, but it’s a famous series of books about a butler who was incredibly competent and makes his idiot, rich family look competent. Really great British character Jeeves…that’s where the Ask Jeeves search engine comes from. Jeeves written by P.G. Wodehouse is the world’s greatest butler.
Would you and Adam ever consider doing a flash forward episode?
Matt: Hmm…I don’t know! Never say never, you know? I mean every once in a while we dip back into the past…but never into the future, so I don’t know.
What do you guys think your characters would be doing 10, 20 years into the future?
Chris: Cyril would probably be a CPA, doing taxes.
Jon: You wouldn’t go do something else in your second career?
Lucky Yates: Krieger would build an army of clones and try to take something over and fail miserably, probably. Like try to take over a city but he would aim too high. “I’m gonna take over Los Angeles!” and there’s just no way he would do it. He should start in Ohio somewhere.
Jon: I don’t know what Archer would do…he’d-
Lucky: Lacrosse! He’d try to become a famous lacrosse coach. He’d probably coach like catholic girls’ school lacrosse.
Matt: (laughs) He’d change into Coach McGuirk . Wouldn’t that be great if we find out like 10 years from now he becomes McGuirk?
Have you ever wanted to include anything in Archer that FX gave you a hard “No” on?
Matt: There’s been two things, only two things that they’ve ever told us no on. One was there was an episode where we find out about Woodhouse’s days in the British Air Force, and the climactic scene in the end of the episode is Archer throws a baby up in the air to disrupt everything and they didn’t want us throwing a baby at someone to disarm them. FX was like “You can’t disarm someone by throwing a baby at them.”
Chris: I mean you can in real life.
Matt: You can!
Lucky: It’d be the best thing to do!
Matt: The other one was in an episode called “Swiss Miss” the girl was originally aged 14 years old. That great line of “What is this? The Alabama of Europe?!” or whatever, she ended up being 16, but she’s written as a 14 year-old, and FX was like you can’t do all this sexual stuff with a 14-year-old.
Lucky: And it’s because in whatever country she was actually from, the age of consent is 14, right? You checked it.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
What’s one of your favorite Archer Live moments?
Matt: For me it’s easy there was a show here in Austin where we were here on campus and they had a person translating for the deaf and to watch everyone go over and interact with that guy…it became filthy because everyone would go over to him and say the worst thing just to see him [sign it].
Lucky: Jon did that at Comic-Con last year too!
Lucky: There was a signer there and that’s where the trouble began.
Chris: [My favorite moment was] Probably when we did the show in Nashville. I’m from Memphis so I got an extra nice warm welcome coming out.
Jon: So you’re just thinking about yourself then…
Chris: Yeah..well, that was what the question was about. The question was what is yourfavorite moment.
Lucky: My favorite moment was when Ox saved the show in San Francisco. There was a guy named Ox that took off his shirt and saved the show in San Francisco.
Matt: He looks exactly like what you’d think an “Ox” looks like.
Lucky: He was a big loud guy in the back and we were playing at the Filmore and it was a fun show but clunky at best, even in our most refined moments Archer Live was clunky at best and this was like our second show and…I don’t even know how…he barreled..
Matt: You asked him to take his shirt off then he whipped it off and he ran up onstage and the whole crowd was just chanting his name like “Ox, Ox, Ox!”
Lucky: I will never forget Ox… in San Francisco.
Will the return to ISIS be permanent or will we get more one-off seasons in the future?
Matt: I don’t think that we’re ever going to go for a full season. I think Archer works really well sometimes with three episode arcs. Some of my favorite episodes of the show were like the double cancer episode and the 3 episodes for “Heart of Archness” so I would like us- and I know Adam and I have been talking for a long time and we thought season 6 was going to start off with them in prison and we really seriously contemplated like what would that mean for the entire season, for everybody to be in prison? It just became logistically too much of a problem just because the show works best when all of the characters somehow, they’re all on the blimp, you can suspend the disbelief, but for prison they’d have to be in Gitmo or something, so it just didn’t work. We could get away with it for like one episode where the girls somehow visit the guys, but it didn’t work. But I’d like to see something like that- the three episodes- but I don’t think we’ll do another departure for a full season.
Chris: I want more stuff in outer space.
Matt: I do too.
What can you tease about the new season?
Matt: It’s going to be much more visceral, much more back to the second season. Spying, killing, danger. We’re kind of resetting to some degree. One other thing I know, a character that a lot of people wanted to come back is coming back…Conway Stern is coming back, which is someone everyone loved. We just recorded Coby Bell the other day he did a great job.
Lucky: I’m excited that Conway is coming back.
I honestly don’t think I could have had a more pleasant first one-on-one interview experience and a huge thanks to Kristy Silvernail at FX for making the whole thing as not awkward as interviewing your old boss could potentially be.
Archer season 6 premieres on FX in 2015 and we’ll bring you the official premiere date once released. Be sure to stay tuned for more info on the show until then!