When talking to two of the world’s deadliest funny people, I found it’s best to be armed with orange pop and quick access to the google search engine. Did you know what ‘Greenmantle’ was about?
Alright you cheeky monkies – we’ve reviewed Archer in advance, we’ve posted gobs of pictures for you to drool over and so, I just need to know… WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK OF US? (Please picture me shaking your helpless shoulders as my voice raises in irrational hysteria. …Don’t get turned on, though.) Well, you are right to think we have more. Very good. Very wise. You could be a spy. But I’m not here to be your guidance counselor, dude. Let’s focus. TV. We love TV. So now I’m going to share with you an interview that I took part in along with Adam Reed (writer/creator of Archer) and Aisha Tyler (Lana on Archer).
The energetic (and I suspect never boring) pair could easily host a daily radio/talk show and I’d listen every day even if it meant getting up early (and then I’d promptly go back to bed like the sloth I am). When you get the right people together on a good project… well you’ve seen Sabrina the Teenage Witch, you know what happens!
Aisha and I actually had something in common during the conference call. We are both nerds who, during a moment when we weren’t “on”, took time to check our respective Twitter accounts. I’ve talked to lots of celebrities at this point (am I totally bragging?), but none of them have ever really tweeted to me! (I think they put me on their blacklists after they deal with me, muahaha! Kidding, kidding. But RT’s don’t count.) So it was really fun when after I tweeted about the call that I discovered a certain Miss Tyler had tweeted back to me. We’re both rebels. Rebel nerds. It’s a thing. Come join our rebel nerd nation! I think Adam Reed will join, too. (I’d love to be in any group that the talented Reed is in, even if it’s a cheese of the month club.) And if not, I am fully confident that Aisha could make him join. She’s a tough chick!
And she’s also a smart chick (I’m so smart I typoed that as ‘smark’ at first). Because of her insistence to be all smartypants I had to google the word ‘laud’. That’s right, I’m a writer and I wasn’t positively sure what that word meant. But isn’t it more important that I know that the show Archer is amazing? And speaking of Archer…
SmallScreenScoop (SSS):Adam, is Archer how you wish all James Bond movies had been?
Adam Reed (AR): No, I don’t. He’s not a good guy. I love James Bond as who he is. I wouldn’t want to mess with those movies. But when I was doing research for this spy business, I watched everything from the “Bourne” movies to “Johnny English”. [ I ] read tons of books all the way back to “Greenmantle” by John Buchan. And I read a lot of the James Bond novels, which are a lot darker than the movies. They really sort of put a smile on that guys face. In the novels he’s pretty misogynistic. There’s definitely some racist tones in those novels. And so that was part of the inspiration… trying to see how much of a jerk I could make this guy and still make him likable. I don’t know if ‘likable’ is the right word. Maybe ‘sympathetic’ – even though he’s a total tool.
Aisha Tyler (AT): He’s kind of a jackass, right? So it’s like you don’t hate him… We were watching and were like, ‘That guy’s just such a jackass, but he’s not mean. He’s just kind of oblivious.’ And I think that’s the line. He’s a jerk – absolutely. But he never feels so mean spirited or cruel that you just want to throw him out a window. You just think, ‘God this guy needs to pull his head out of his ass’. That add where he smokes around a pregnant woman and she says ‘do you mind?’ – that’s one of the most outrageous ads I’ve ever seen. We had it on the TV here and we were like, “outraaageous!” but we were laughing out heads off. So there’s something about him that’s likable because he’s kind of a doof.
AR: He is a doof.
AT: I have a doof in my life that I’ve known since I was very young. And he’s such a doof that if if I met him now I would never be friends with him. But he’s just like a cancer. I can’t cut him out, it’s too late. That’s kinda like Archer.
AR: Like one of those friends you have to prep your other friends for 20 minutes before they meet him. ‘Here’s some thing’s that are gonna happen… and I wanna prepare you for this. He is gonna grab your butt. At some point.’
AT: ‘He’s also gonna be super racist. He doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t understand what it means. He’s like a child.’
AR: ‘It comes from an innocent place.’
AT: ‘He may puke. He may poop. We don’t know. Just keep a perimeter.’
SSS: Would you be friends with Archer if he was a real person?
AT: I think I answered that question. (Laughs)
SSS: Aisha, when you go to record do you go in your pajamas or do you ever wear something special to get into Lana’s mindset?
AT: No…depending on where I’m recording I’m in various states of ‘I can’t believe she wore that’ on TMZ.com. I’m very, very lucky – the booth that we record in is, like, down the street from my house. So, I’m there usually in whatever I slept in that morning. And the guy – the sound technician – he’s not pleased – I don’t think. I think he has some picture in his head. And then I just stumble in there looking like a hobo. And he’s like ‘Mm, she’s just a step away from ending up on the front page of Gawker’. But when I was in New York I dressed up because I had to walk around. But, no – I never dress up to be Lana. Lana is never wearing any clothes, anyway.
AT: Rarely. So if I went to dress up like Lana, then you know… arrested. So I’m usually just in sweats. And I jump around a lot. I don’t know about the other actors on the show, but you have to make all of these pictures in your head. I do a lot of leaping and sweating and pulling my hair while jumping up and down. So doing that in what Lana is wearing would result in some type of terrible injury, I’m sure.
SSS: So are you able to consider that your exercise for the day?
AT: That has been my exercise the last few sessions. I gotta pull it together. But it’s very strenuous, if I do it right. And Lana’s also very intense. I do a lot of screaming. So if I don’t leave with a sore throat then I didn’t do my job that day.
SSS: Speaking of screaming, my favorite thing that you say is, “YUUUP”. I just love that so much.
AT: We were talking about that yesterday, weren’t we Adam?
AR: We were. I felt guilty because it feels like I sort of co-opted Aisha’s real-life thing.
AT: I have lots of other things. I’ll come up with a new thing. I’m working on it now. And now it’s become a thing she (Lana) has done in a bunch of episodes. It’s gonna be my ‘Hey now!’ So I’m excited, I’ve coined a word.
SSS: It would be a great ringtone.We love it.
AT: Aaahh – are the people who could do that listening? Do they hear the ‘it would be a great idea’?
SSS: I’ll put it out there. (Editor’s note: This is me putting it out there. Are you listening?!?!)
AR: We made a ringtone for the show. And I think it’s gonna be available on the website. It’s a rap song. Sort of a dirty South rap song. Archer’s got the ringtone, and it’s “Mulatto Butts”.
AT: (Cracks up in the distance) Our butts are pretty flat. It’s not the ass I would have chosen if I were going to laud one.
AR: So look for that on…ringtones dot gov.
Whether or not we have level 1 clearance to watch a show that’s this fun, we’re going to be able to have it in our lives and cuddle it dearly to our bosoms. So watch. Enjoy. And don’t try to re-enact the episodes unless you have amazing health insurance.
Archer premieres Thursday, January 14 at 10PM ET/PT.