As expected, the Archer panel was hilarious. Once again, I would have loved to recap the FX spy spoof panel but alas, here we are. For those new to the series - first, start watching and second - here's a brief synopsis: the animated series follows the exploits of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and its immoral, outrageous and ridiculous cast of characters. Headed by Sterling Archer, a play on the James Bond super spy, the show also features a few fellow agents as well as the rest of a typical office staff.
Well, typical in titles (HR, receptionist, accountant, scientist) but certainly not typical in characterization. The ensemble is full of equally depraved and disgusting individuals and almost the entire excellent voice cast was on hand (and extremely funny) for the panel. Moderated by TV Guide's Damian Holbrook, in attendance for the event were H. Jon Benjamin (Archer), Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane), Chris Parnell (Cyril Figgis) and Amber Nash (Pam Poovey) as well as series creator Adam Reed (who also voices Ray).
Starting at 5:00 p.m., FX introduced a clip made specifically for Comic-Con featuring a special message from everyone's favorite super-spy Sterling Archer. The footage had Archer strapped to a hang-glider about to jump into the Grand Canyon and every time he tried to reveal a spoiler (Jakov, Barry, his biological father) from the upcoming season, his voice was drowned out by the forceful winds. He started the message by making fun of the crowd of nerds, offering tips on how they (we) might be able to finally lose their virginities before being joined by his spirit animal (a bald eagle) and proclaiming us 'the wind beneath his wings.' Of course, when he then takes the jump, he plunges instead of glides. I guess we're shitty wind.
The special message from Sterling was immediately followed by a screening of an episode from Season 4 called "Coyote Lovely." I have no intention of spoiling the very funny, beautifully animated story of Archer and a infamous Mexican 'Coyote' which is what they call people who smuggle illegal immigrants into the US. Surprisingly, there is a lot of non-subtitled Español but the words were pretty basic, not to mention the 'body' language, so that even someone who doesn't speak a lick can still get the jokes. Did I mention that the 'Coyote' ISIS is hunting happens to be drop dead gorgeous, enough for Archer to drop any concerns for the mission or his fellow agents.
All of your favorite ISIS characters make an appearance in the episode save for Ray. I hope he's okay! You know, minus the paralysis. After the screening, the panel started with the announcement that Archer will return in January (I can't wait that long!) for a 13-episode fourth season not to mention the mod thanking the crowd for their exquisite taste in television. Well played. Reed began by offering a few tidbits of what we might see in the coming year including a possible trip under the sea which, in the spy world, is a must setting. Of course, Reed's more than familiar being under animated water because of his work on Sealab 2021 (with Matt Thompson).
He also let it slip that Mallory is getting married to man named Ron Cadillac (voiced by Jessica Walters real life husband Ron Liebman, famous for his work in Norma Rae and Friends. It seems pretty obvious that Archer won't act too grown up about his mother's new marriage after all, he's no Burt Reynolds. At this point, Benjamin struggles with a few answers which causes Tyler to share the fact that "Jon doesn't watch the show." Don't worry, Benjamin soon recovers and has the whole room in stitches, not to mention his fellow panelists.
The cast is asked about the how they get such great energy and rapport between the characters when the recording of the actors is all done separately (usually with Reed filling in for the absentees during the readings) and the answer is simple: cocaine. Tyler quickly adds, "So true." But for Parnell, it's just a job, he's not there to have a good time. You can see the direction this panel is heading but with so many comics on stage it's hard to keep them from cracking wise incessantly. And I'm sure not complaining. They also make fun of Reed, saying how they're never sure whether he's laughing at their delivery or his own 'genius' words coming out of their mouths.
Disregarding the instructions on the back of their name placards - there may be young children in the audience, please don't be obscene - the panel is asked so quote a few of their favorite lines from the series and, not surprisingly, they all belong to Nash's Pam. Chupacabra for dicks, drown a toddler in my panties, cook in my cooch, and so one. When it's Reed's turn, he simply says "those were good." And here's where Benjamin tore the roof off the place answering how he prepares his voice for the character... eats a bowl of cum. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place especially when he followed up by saying since he's Jewish, he doesn't eat it on Saturdays. It was ridiculous. Reed was dying.
And we haven't even gotten to the audience questions yet! Some delicious tidbits from the Q&A include a mom showing off her daughter's Archer drinking game (every time so and so says this, drink) causing Benjamin to suggest writing an episode that would make her die of alcohol poisoning. Another fan asks if we should expect a cameo from Kenny Loggins (Danger Zone!) and Reed exclaims yes, but only because he doesn't want it to look like he stole the kids great idea. Reed also addresses the rumor that his process consists of him locking himself in a room with a bottle of booze until the episodes start pouring out of him by saying it's hard to describe the very solitary endeavour. Benjamin adds, 'yeah, and there's no room.'
Finally, the ensemble are asked who they would like to see play them in a live-action adaptation of Archer and the responses don't disappoint. Nash would like John Goodman to play Pam. Parnell opts for Alexander Skarsgaard even though the entire crowd was shouting 'you.' Tyler said she'd 'cut a bitch' if anyone tried to take the role of Lana from her and, shockingly, Benjamin is the only one to offer a non-joke answer going with Mad Men's Jon Hamm. That would be perfect. Reed's answer, he simply wants to be played by the guy who created Alf. His name is Paul Fusco. We can all dream big.