Adam Reed Talks the “Smilthy” Good Fun of Archer
DS: You mentioned you lost Chris to Justified. After your show that’s number two on my list.
AR: It’s a great show. Graham Yost, I don’t understand how he does it. FX, when they decided to make more Archer episodes, I was breathing into a paper bag. They said to me, “We’re going to have you talk to Graham. He runs six shows, so we don’t know why you are freaking out over one.” He is the nicest guy. He said, “Yeah I don’t know, I just work pretty hard, but it’s a fun job so I don’t sweat it.” I just bombard him with questions. But he is a brilliant guy and that’s a great show.
DS: Any changes in your production pipeline or your process, how you put the new episodes together?
AR: We haven’t really changed anything. We’ve added a few more people, but whether it’s the perfect way to make cartoons or not, I don’t know about that. We know how to do it this way and that’s the way we do it.
DS: And it has worked well for you. You’re not being graded on elegance but on results.
AR: Yeah it works, and we are not going to break it by trying to fix it.
DS: You had some really great guest stars this past season and some interesting story arcs. The season started out with The Heart of Archness episodes with Patrick Warburton. You had the arc of course with Burt Reynolds. I know you are a fan of Mr. Reynolds. I watched all his films when I was growing up. He was one of the biggest actions stars when I was a kid.
AR: The biggest. I think it was either five or seven years in a row he was the number one box-office man.
DS: What was it like working with him? Was it as much fun as you imagined it would be?
AR: We normally do our recordings over the phone because we are in Atlanta, and our talent is in LA or New York or filming a movie somewhere. But for Burt, Matt Thompson and I actually flew down to Florida to meet him. [We were] Just giddy. I had his big hardcover autobiography and I was like, “Would you mind signing this please?” Just total gushing fanboy. He was super, super cool and funny and adlibbed a bunch. Matt and I just kept looking at each other with just our mouths hanging open and our eyes wide, “We’re actually here, recording Burt Reynolds!”
DS: I bet it was a hoot. You know, his little trademark laugh was really great. It was a really funny story arc. Are there any guests or special story arcs for next season that you can share?
AR: Yes. We have Tim Olyphant, speaking of Justified and cool dark haired guys. He’s in an episode. He plays an old spy colleague of Archer’s who shows back up. We’ve talked about Sheryl’s billionaire brother. We’ll see him for the first time this season. He’s going to be played by Eugene Mirman. Kristen Schaal will be playing his girlfriend. In the Bob’s Burgers family, actually, in the season premier, I don’t know if crossover is the right word, but yeah, I guess maybe Bob’s Burgers Crossover is the phrase that I am looking. That starts out our season.
DS: It will be interesting how those two would crossover.
AR: We are doing another epic two-part season finale and the guest star in those two episodes will be played by a guy named John Hamm. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him.
DS: Don’t think I have.
AR: Speaking of other handsome dark haired guys.
DS: But of course.
AR: We’re just inundated with handsome dudes this year.
DS: Do actors approach you, or an agent contacts you saying so and so would love to be on an episode? Or do you approach actors based on the specifics of a given story?
AR: I would say it happens more that we go bother somebody. Maybe in John Hamm’s case, we've been bothering him for a couple of years, needless to say. But sometime we do have somebody's agent get in touch with us and say oh, you know, so and so would love to do a voice if there is every an opportunity. It’s really neat, you know, to realize that these people actually watch the show, which is always startling.
DS: Well I would imagine that somebody would have to be hip to the show to want to be on it. You’d have to like the show.
AR: It’s for people that have cool kids.
DS: Right, right.
AR: They are like, “Dad, you should be on this show.”