So how was it to chat with her? Well, think of how delightful you assume a conversation with Aisha Tyler would be, now multiply that by a hundred, and then you’re kind of getting close. We kicked things off discussing where Archer and her career intersect with web culture and then transitioned into some quick-fire questions for pop culture enthusiasts. The interview has been edited for length.
First off, I just want to say congrats on the success of your podcast (Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler). Is that something you’ve wanted to do for a while? Or did you just wake up one morning thinking, “Man, I think I would be awesome at podcasting”?
I had wanted to do it for a while, it was just a question of finding a window. I’m super lucky that I am so busy, but it was just about finding time to get it established and the opportunity presented itself at Comic-Con last year. Having a lot people who would be perfect for the show all in one spot I was able to kind of do a lot of interviews right at the beginning to give the show the running start that it needed.
It was also finding what was the show going to be. Not just wanting to do “a podcast,” but really wanting to figure out what my show was going to be and want I wanted to do with it. Because there are a lot of people with podcasts out there and if you’re not doing something that feels different, that feels kind of personal, there’s really no point. I just wanted to make a little podcast to see if I liked it and I LOVED it. I’m just super stoked that people are responding too it so well.
I’m sure you’re aware of the internet’s obsession with Archer. Quoting lines, sharing media. Is web response something you guys actively discuss when making the show?
Oh, no. I don’t think we think at all about how people are going to respond on the internet. I think we try to just make the funniest show we can. Maybe in the deep recesses of (show creator Adam Reed)’s mind he’s thinking about web response. As it’s evolved it has kind of developed its own lexicon because we have developed our own way of relating to each other, and because it’s an office comedy. Like any office, things tend to recur. I think in the end with comedy you’re just trying to be funny. That’s all you think about.
Have you seen any of the Lana Kane fan appreciation out there? Images, videos, lots of cosplay.
I’ve seen some of the cosplayers, yeah. There were a bunch of them at the con last year. That was super fun. I haven’t particularly been following it that closely, but it’s great. I’ve seen some fan art. It’s probably best not to look at a lot of your own fan art. You’re eventually going to stick your hand in something that you don’t like. But it’s great. I’m thrilled people love her so much. I love her. I think she’s awesome. I’m so glad that people like her.
We’re big fans of the “Yup & Nope” YouTube compilation.
Yeah. All the mashups, those are great.
Is there an Archer line or joke or reference you get more than others, in person or on Twitter? Something people just repeat all the time?
You know, I think the ones that recur — after “Yup,” which is obviously the #1 thing I get — that aren’t mine like “sh*t snacks” and “that’s how you get ants” come up quite a bit. Obviously, “Danger Zone” is a big one. That’s probably #2 after “Yup.” People just can’t get enough of throwing around “Danger Zone!”
I wasn’t sure if anyone had the balls to bring up the “veal cutlet” line to you.
Just the other day someone tweeted that her mother yelled that out the door to get a telemarketer to go away. That her “vulva is as smooth as veal cutlet” and apparently it was very effective.
Does Adam Reed clue you guys into all the obscure references or do you have to figure those out for yourself?
For a long time I didn’t know what the Johnny Bench reference was. I knew who Johnny Bench was but we were having a hard time figuring out exactly what that meant. I remember asking Adam and he was like, “I don’t really know what it means either.”
So sometimes these references are just thrown into the show because they make Adam laugh or they make one of us laugh. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes they’re more layered. If you ask him he’ll tell you. He’s never like, “No, I want it to stay a mystery.” That doesn’t happen. We’re like, “Who is this guy?” or “What does this mean?” and he’ll tell us off the bat.
Do you have a favorite running gag?
Hmm…that’s a really good question. I don’t know. We have such a different relationship to the show than the fans do in the sense that when we’re laying everything down we’re not seeing it happen. We’re just doing the lines. So I personally am just super focused on making the lines as funny as they can be. I’m not thinking as to how everything is going to be executed in the end. I’m more like, “How can I make this particular line hilarious?”
I will say that when I watch the show I always love when Pam and Cheryl and Ray Gillette are sitting in the kitchen, in the break room, and Pam is always eating out of a crock pot. And Ray always has a really expensive bento box that looks like it’s a seventy dollar lunch that he’s eating. I don’t know why but those are the details I look at. They’re in like the sh*ttiest office kitchen and there’s a crappy vending machine behind them and Ray is eating sushi and Pam is eating Dinty Moore beef stew out of a crock pot. I always really like that.