One of the weirdest experiences of my life occurred on Wednesday afternoon, when I heard Kenny Loggins, the same Kenny Loggins who used to sing me to sleep with “Return to Pooh Corner,” say the word “badass.” Archer has that kind of FOUL-MOUTHED influence on people, I guess, even the most soft-spoken of humble rockers. After fifty-four episodes, and hundreds of danger zones, Loggins will finally lend his voice to an episode of the FX animated comedy, set to air next Monday, March 3rd. I had the chance to speak to him yesterday about his love of Archer, ringtones, and, of course, Top Gun and Caddyshack.
When did you first become aware of Archer and its fascination with “Danger Zone”?
That would be the first season. I have five kids, my oldest is 33, so I’ve been aware of Archer since then. My kids and I love it. My three oldest watch it religiously.
Can you talk a little bit about your character?
He’s very badass, an arrogant rock star with a bodyguard. Somebody’s after me, and I think Archer works for him. We fight a lot.
So pretty much the bizarro K-Logs [note: I did not call him K-Logs]?
Exactly. What else would you expect from Archer?
Was this your first time doing voice work, for television or otherwise?
Yeah, first time doing voice work for anything. I loved it, and I hope I get to do it some more. Y’know, it was easier than I expected. I wasn’t sure how to do it, because I’ve never done it, and I wasn’t sure if you try to lock up to preexisting images or whether they animate what you do. I was on [a phone line] with the writer and the director, so we did everything live, but I was in the studio. We just went off the script. I was really hoping, and I think I would have done a somewhat better job had I been able to play off the dialogue before me, but it wasn’t all assembled. It turns out almost everyone in the cast does the dialogue separately, but you can’t tell when you watch the show, as if they were right there in the room with each other. But they have everyone do three or four different readings of each line, and then they piece it together in post-production.
Have you a noticed a younger generation of fans checking out your music because of Archer?
I don’t think it’s hurt, but I haven’t noticed. This episode may help that happen. I’m planning on using some of the footage [from the episode] during my live show, because I know my older audience is not as aware of Archer…I think because I have young kids and younger friends, I find Archer to be hilarious. I jumped at the chance when they invited me. My oldest boy has been writing letters to the writers for two years saying, “When are you going to hire my dad?” He’s just so stoked.
Which of your albums would you recommend newer listeners check out first, if they’re only familiar with your soundtrack work?
It depends on what they’re after. If they’re into the “Danger Zone” type stuff, Columbia did a CD of my rock ‘n’ roll from the 1970s and 1980s. It’s called The Rock ‘N’ Roll Years, and it’s all my favorite rock stuff. An overview of the whole career would be The Essential Kenny Loggins. That’s if you want to drop in on everything, from the ballads to the rockers, though not as big of a cross section of rockers — I think they have “Footloose” and “Danger Zone” and “Don’t Fight It,” the Steve Perry duet. I like the rock years for the younger audience because they like “Footloose,” they like “Danger Zone,” they like “I’m Alright,” and they want to see what else I’ve got in that vein.
When you wrote “I’m Alright” for Caddyshack, how much contact did you have with Harold Ramis?
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any contact with Harold Ramis. I did it with [executive producer] Jon Peters. I went and saw a screening, and wrote to the screening.
Now to the most important question: when was the last time you saw Top Gun?
Let’s just say years ago. Though I think it’s time to bring it out, because some of my kids haven’t seen it all.
If you could sing the theme song to any TV show, which show would it be?
*after thinking about it for a minute* The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.
Perfect answer. Along the same lines, one of the best recurring gags on Archer is Sterling’s ringtone. What song would you want as your ringtone, if you don’t have one already?
I find songs as ringtones to be really annoying.
How would you feel about hearing, say, “Danger Zone” as someone’s ringtone?
My girlfriend has “Footloose” as her ringtone. *laughs*
(Loggins eventually said he’d pick “Afternoon Delight,” but the “Footloose” anecdote is a perfect ending.)