My family and friends back east think it’s oh so cool and glamorous that I live in Hollywood. They think I’m running into stars and starlets every time I turn around. (Well, one time Paris Hilton threw up on my shoes in a parking garage, but that’s another story.)
So of course when the FX animated show Archer got started, they were absolutely sure it was about me. I had dropped my first name years ago for my career and just went by Archer. And look, the TV show has the same name, so hey, instant connection!
Yeah Dad, by day I’m a mild-mannered radio personality and programmer with a penchant for kidney stones. By night I’m a super-secret animated spy working in some strange world where it’s both 1961 and today, where the Cold War is still going on but there are smartphones, where computers are both on the desktop and in large rooms like in space-race times, where the fashions are straight out of Mad Men but a guy has Rush’s Hemispheres cover painted on the side of his van. The fashions are retro but the pop culture references are today.
(The lack of clarity on when Archer actually takes place is a running gag in the show. One character recently asked, “What year did that happen anyway?” and someone replied, “Um, that’s actually a pretty good question.”)
Archer is, in my opinion, one of the funniest animated shows ever made. The lead character is voiced by the inimitable Jon Benjamin, whose voice you can hear on many other animated shows, including Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers.” Benjamin had a short-lived Comedy Central show “Jon Benjamin Has A Van,” but Archer is more enjoyable if you don’t know what the voice actor looks like.
Archer (the show, not the kidney stone-suffering radio guy) is smart, funny, sexy as hell, and frequently goes way over the line. Just to give you an idea, a running gag features a hot secretary who gets off on the idea of being strangled during sex.
Archer’s first two seasons are available on DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix streaming. Catch up before you dive in. And check out the first season’s “Skytanic” episode, still the best one of the bunch so far.
(Article originally written in March for the GoRadio.com web site.)