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Comic-Con 2011: Animated Or Live, Archer Is Always Vulgar and Always Awesome

The majority of Archer's amazing voice cast joined creator Adam Reed for their panel at Comic-Con 2011.

The FX show's Q&A, moderated by AV Club editor Todd Van Der Werff, was proceeded by a screening of the first new episode of season three, entitled "Heart of Archness". The premiere is part of a three-episode mini-arc airing in September. There's some spoiler-y details to the plot of the episode, but here are the important things to know:

  • It centers around the attempted rescue of a main character from a remote island
  • It features a major cameo from voice-acting demigod Patrick Warburton and comic goldmine David Cross
  • Um, it's still Archer

Considering all of the above, clearly the new episode is amazing. It's everything you could want from the Archer premier, and the remaining two-thirds of the mini-arc sound very promising.

When the lights went up, Van Der Werff introduced Reed, Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer), Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane), Chris Parnell (Cyril Figgis), Judy Greer (Cheryl) and Amber Nash (Pam). After a small handful of questions, they went to the floor and took questions from the fans.

The first thing that was evident during the panel is how much the cast and Reed enjoy working together, as they were frequently bantering or riffing on each other's answers. The second noticeable detail was that Jon Benjamin can never be overexposed. With two animated shows, both with Comic-Con panels this weekend (Bob's Burgers comes up tomorrow), and his own sketch show on Comedy Central, you might think the man is spread too thin. Rather, he just seems to be a font of neverending comedy, as he comanded this room from the minute his name was announced. He let everyone have it - from Van Der Werff to Parnell to the fans asking questions. I might have wanted to hear more from supporting players like Greer and Nash, but with Reed and Benjamin driving the panel, it was one of the most entertaining experiences of the Con so far.

Some highlights from the Q&A:

  • Ideas batted around for season three locations include "space" and Morocco, not necessarily in that order.
  • This season will feature an episode that delves into the backstory of gay ISIS agent Ray Gilette (voiced by Reed)
  • Reed has considered a feature-length production of Archer, but he says it's up to FX executives. In the context of this question, he was also asked about a live-action series, but it wasn't clear if his answer covered both.
  • Reed's tongue-in-cheek goal for Season Three is to be "almost as good as Season Two."
  • He has never had to receive notes from the cast about offensive lines. In fact, none of the cast could think of a time when they were uncomfortable spouting the series' trademark absurdist filth.  However, he DOES have to occasionally explain Jessica Walter's lines (for example, "chum guzzler") to her before she records.
  • Whore Island is based on Amelia Island, Florida (not really)
  • One person actually got a question in about Reed's previous series, Frisky Dingo (a personal favorite of mine). Reed said season three of FD would have featured Killface back on his home planet struggling to adjust as the heir to the throne (think Henry V), with Xander playing second fiddle.

Posted in: Television