The gang from the animated comedy/spy series Archer came to New York Comic Con 2018, and they didn't come empty handed, bringing a sneak peek at their latest, ever shifting iteration: Archer 1999. They're going to space, which is not a surprise if you watched last season. There's gonna be aliens, spaceships, cryosleep, the whole shebang.
The panel included executive producer Matt Thompson, and castmembers H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer), Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane), Amber Nash (Pam), Chris Parnell (Cyril), and Lucky Yates (Krieger). First off, we saw the opening ten minutes of the new season, which is strangely fitting. There doesn't seem to a be a limit on what genres Archer can pull from, and the characters seem to be able to shift into any kind of variation. Pam, for instance, is a giant rock monster now.
Now that Archer is a captain, Benjamin got a few captain questions during the panel. First: Kirk or Picard? To which Benjamin qualified with, "What, to f**k?" Whether it was for that or not, he answered Picard. He also chose Captain Kangaroo over Captain Morgan.
Lana and Archer are divorced in this version. As such, Tyler said that she loved being able to scream at Benjamin all the time. She told everyone that she had just yelled at Benjamin backstage, reminding him to flush. They then talked about Arby's, and not only because Benjamin now does ads for them.
It was then that Jessica Walter (Mallory Archer) entered, and received a standing ovation. Apparently traffic held her up, but the crowd was just overjoyed to see her. Mallory was a "small ball of energy" for most of the 10 minutes we saw, and Jessica talked about what playing a ball of energy was like.
"She's just Mallory, she's Mallory inside the ball, and she's Malory outside. She's got balls," she said. Tyler remarked that it had taken 10 seasons for them to ruin Jessica Walter with such talk, though we'd argue that Jessica Walter can't be ruined.
Did Parnell receive any Nazi fanmail after playing one last season? According to him, "Not as much as I usually get." He prefers playing "the guy who gets farted on" to his Nazi character — Archer cropdusts Cyril in his cryosleep in the first minute of footage.
What can we expect from rock monster Pam? "We find out that the creature that Pam is, when they're aroused in a sexual manner, they get a boner that apparently you can smell if you're in the room with them," Nash said. Tyler chimed in that a rock monster's boner is actually called a "stoner," and Yates said that it was also the name of a band he used to be in.
Speaking of Yates, he actually is an android this season, much like the android Bishop, whose name constantly gets thrown around on the show. There was some talk about Krieger's boner, but Thompson affirmed that "he's a Ken." Somehow, the panel agreed that Krieger would find a way despite this. Thompson also added that Archer nemesis Barry would be back, and will also be (once again) a full-on robot. On the subject of characters returning, Thompson also said that the long-running human bullet magnet, Brett, would be returning. Walter said that she would like Ron Cadillac to return, most likely because he was played by her real-life husband, Ron Leibman.
Nash said that she got some "harsh" for her cocaine-addled version of Pam from Archer Vice, but she still enjoyed playing that iteration. She also said that she liked playing "Poovey" from Archer Dreamland. Then Tyler made another Arby's joke, and Benjamin said that the Arby's panel would be following next. Just to be clear, there was no Arby's panel.
One of the fans brought up the recent passing of Burt Reynolds, who was a hero of Sterling Archer and actually popped up as himself on the show. Thompson remarked on how gracious Reynolds was, and said that he wanted Thompson and company to roast him more — he encouraged more jokes at his expense. The same went for Anthony Bourdain (also recently passed) who was also on the show. Tyler mentioned that she was friendly with Bourdain, and that the episode that Bourdain appeared in was a love letter to him. "He was a great person, and l literally want to be Tony Bourdain when I grow up," she said.
Will Mallory ever face off against her nemesis, Trudy Beekman? Walter asked if we've ever actually seen Trudy, and apparently we've only seen the back of her. Thompson chimed in and said that they definitely need more of Mallory shooting people, and Walter agreed, noting that she loved it when Mallory goes around "as you people say, kicking ass." She didn't remark further on the ongoing joke of Trudy Beekman, but she did mention that turtlenecks "make her crazy" in real life.
Do they have any favorite running gags, on a show that is almost entirely made up of them? Thompson remarked on a new version of "phrasing" that is going to be coming back, and everyone agreed. We also learned there's going to be a lot of putting "space" in front of other words this season, which they all laughed about.
Though they like going through so many different genres, Thompson did say that he hopes to go back to being a normal spy show at some point. Tyler is partial to Archer Vice (calling it "the coke season") however, and Benjamin said that he is as well.
Is Archer still in a coma? Thompson responded, "Yes. No." That's all we got there, and we also didn't learn whether or not this would be the last season of the show. Nash still has hope for "a big '80s wedding" between Pam and Archer to end the series, with Pam carrying Archer off into the sunset to the strains of the old Hulk TV theme. Walter didn't agree with this, remarking, "I never want it to end."
Archer 1999 will enter the (space) danger zone in 2019.
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