Whenever enough comedians get in a room together, it becomes difficult to discern the funny truth from the tall tales. Jokes fly at a rapid pace, and the presence of inquisitive journalists only seems to spur on the quick mixing of real answers with sarcastic kidding. This was most certainly the case on Sunday morning in Pasadena, when the cast of “Archer” sat down at the TCA winter press tour to answer questions about the show currently in its sixth season.
We’ve done our best to comb through the 30-minute discussion to determine what’s true and what’s not, but we thought it would be more fun if you played along. Try to guess which statements are fact and which are fiction, remembering that each and every one of the panel participants are spies…or at least voice one on TV. An answer key is at the bottom, and explanations/hints are printed beneath each numbered entry.
1) Amber Nash and H. Jon Benjamin don’t read the scripts.
– But Aisha Tyler stated she always reads the episode scripts before recording, in an effort to try to better understand the jokes and move the recording process along on production days.
2) The cast rarely records episodes together.
– Tyler also stated the cast members are split up across the United States, with three living in Los Angeles, three in Atlanta and two in New York. Executive Producer Matt Thompson said they wouldn’t have been able to record this way five years ago.
3) Jessica Walter is the best vocal talent on the show.
– Thompson, speaking for the producers, said as much when pressed on which one of the talents on stage is the best cast member. “Parnell and Jessica are pros,” Benjamin added. “The rest of us are clowns.”
4) Christian Slater is now “basically a part of the main cast.”
– Slater, who first voiced CIA Agent Slater last year in “Archer Vice,” has returned to the voice cast for Season 6, becoming the de facto government rep, assigning the ex-ISIS agents freelance work. Thompson pointed out Slater’s dedication, calling him a “giant fan of the show,” and even went so far as to say, “I consider him now basically a part of the main cast.”
5) “I think the most common note we give is, ‘Do it better.'”
– So said Thompson when asked what advice he had for his actors after five seasons.
6) Get ready for an “Archer”/”The Americans” crossover episode.
– While waiting on for a bus to take them to the Super Bowl, Thompson was hanging out with “The Americans” star Matthew Rhys. Once onboard, the Welsh actor regaled the passengers with a story about the Welsh separatist movement so captivating the “Archer” writers turned it into an episode (which will feature Rhys as a guest voice). The credits for the upcoming episode even state, “Written by Adam Reid, based on a rousing tale by Matthew Rhys.”
7) We’re going to meet Lana’s parents in Season 6!
– No other details were revealed.
8) Kumail Nanjiani will guest star as a Pakistani intelligence agent this year.
– The stand-up comedian and star of “Silicon Valley” had the role “written specifically for him,” after he agreed to the part before they even wrote the script.
9) Jessica Walter was unfamiliar with the sound of cliched porn music.
– “A couple of times, we have explained very, very, very, very dirty jokes to Jessica,” Thompson said. He went on to say once he had to go over a musical section of the script because the combination of noises didn’t evoke what it was meant to in the high class actress. Turns out, it was porn music. The cast was happy to sing it for her after the confession.
10) “Archer” has been renewed for Season 7!
– The seventh season will air in 2017.
1) Joke! Though not definitive, it seems as though Nash and Benjamin were joking about their lackadaisical work habits. If they are coasting, they’re even more talented than we previously thought.
3) True! Thompson said it, and though the cast initially objected, they quickly came around to the choice.
4) True! The cast objected to this declaration, as well, saying it was far too early for him to be included in the six-year-old group. “Lucky [Yates] just barely made it in,” Tyler said of the man who voices Dr. Krieger.
5) Joke! Thompson was quick to praise his cast after making the quip.
6) Joke! Well, just the part about “The Americans” crossover. Everything else is true about the Matthew Rhys story, from the Super Bowl party to the credits of the very real upcoming episode. Thompson did also say the writers “had a lot of fun” dressing up his character in ridiculous outfits and disguises in an effort to poke fun at the actor’s spy series.
10) True! Duh. This was announced months ago. Come on people. Keep up.