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July 28, 2014

5 Reasons 'Archer' Is the Funniest New Comedy on TV

by Sharon Knolle, posted Jan 28th 2010 12:45PM
After Austin Powers, Maxwell Smart and who knows how many other take-offs on James Bond, do we really need another spy spoof? If you're talking 'Archer,' FX's hilarious new animated series, then yes, yes we do.

Picture it as 'Mad Men,' if the opening graphics were the whole show, and it wasn't about Sterling Cooper, New York ad agency, but Sterling Archer, ISIS intelligence agent. And if it were a whole lot sillier. And more crass.

Or maybe it's more like old-school Hanna-Barbera adventure series 'Jonny Quest,' but with actual swear words and zero life lessons.

Here are five excellent reasons why you should be tuning in ...After Austin Powers, Maxwell Smart and who knows how many other take-offs on James Bond, do we really need another spy spoof? If you're talking 'Archer,' FX's hilarious new animated series, then yes, yes we do.

Picture it as 'Mad Men,' if the opening graphics were the whole show, and it wasn't about Sterling Cooper, New York ad agency, but Sterling Archer, ISIS intelligence agent. And if it were a whole lot sillier. And more crass.

Or maybe it's more like old-school Hanna-Barbera adventure series 'Jonny Quest,' but with actual swear words and zero life lessons.

Here are five excellent reasons why you should be tuning in to 'Archer,' this season's funniest new comedy from creator Adam Reed, ('Space Ghost: Coast to Coast') and voice talents from 'Family Guy,' 'Saturday Night Live' and 'Arrested Development.'

1. Archer: The lead character (H. Jon Benjamin, aka Carl on 'Family Guy') is your average drink-swilling, womanizing super spy who runs up outrageous expense accounts. "Lying, is, like, 80 percent of what I do," he informs his dweeby romantic rival, Cyril Figgus. In the episode, 'Training Day,' Archer takes Cyril under his wing, teaching him important things like when to use an underwear gun and how to spot multiple threats while tangoing with a call girl. His "Miss Moneypenny" is secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer), who's legally changed her name to Carol because that's what Archer keeps calling her.



2. Lana Kane: As voiced by Aisha Tyler, Lana is Archer's bitter ex, a super-shapely, spear-gun-toting hottie who's got a thing for interracial porn and switchblade interrogations of coworkers. She's Lara Croft meets Foxy Brown. During the 'Mole Hunt,' episode, can you blame us for flashing back to the real Tyler's stint on '24' as yet another CTU mole? Frankly, she's a lot more fun here as badass Lana.

Watch our video Q&A with Aisha Tyler



3. The dialogue: Would James Bond ever dismiss karate as "the Dane Cook of martial arts?" (ISIS agents use the much trendier Krav Maga.) Or would he urge a colleague, "Shoot, bitch! Democracy's at stake!" Well, since Bond works for Her Royal Highness and not Uncle Sam, probably not. We also doubt he'd debate the proper use of irony or carry weapons that "go off, for, like, no reason."

4. The most Freudian mother-son relationship since 'The Sopranos': Archer's mother, Malory (voiced by 'Arrested Development's equally messed-up matriarch, Jessica Walter), was a single mother working Black Ops, whose idea of a Christmas greeting was sending her son a note that said, "Tehran is free. Merry Xmas." Now she's an alcoholic ball-buster who loves seeing him fail. And did Tony Soprano ever say, "If you ever mention my mother's loins, or their frothiness to me again, I don't know what I'll do."

5. Did we mention it's a cartoon rated TV-MA? With the full LSV? Meaning each episode's got enough bad language, sex and violence to keep Ned Flanders in a censoring tizzy for months. And enough political incorrectness to trump its '60s influences. Plus ISIS's ridiculously low-tech gadgetry makes 'Get Smart's' CONTROL look like NASA. It's that kind of modern (and yet so retro) take on an incredibly dated concept that keeps us laughing.


Watch clips of 'Archer' at SlashControl

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animatedchris

Jack Benny? RED SKELTON? The last 50 or 60 years of television have sucked that badly for you?

May 27 2010 at 3:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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