H. Jon Benjamin & Adam Reed on ‘Archer’

The star and creator of FX's hit animated series talk to us about Archer, the Moonraker inspired third season finale and Leprechaun... in space!

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

I began my questioning of the cast and creator of "Archer" by asking about their upcoming season three finale where Sterling Archer goes into space. I started a comedy riff that rocked the Television Critics Association. After the Archer panel, I went to follow up with H. Jon Benjamin.


Crave Online: Is taking Archer into space an homage to "Moonraker" or to the other film franchises that by part 4 go into space?

Adam Reed: Yes.

H. Jon Benjamin: What are the other film franchises that have gone to space?

Crave Online: "Leprechaun," "Hellraiser"…
H. Jon Benjamin:
Oh, stop. Stop, stop, right there. You're done.

Adam Reed: "Leprechaun" was the inspiration.

H. Jon Benjamin: "Leprechaun," how dare you, sir?

Crave Online: Adam, do you ever fantasize that you could do this show live action and still do all the crazy stuff you have animated?

Adam Reed: Yes. Yeah, I think everybody can play themselves, which would be great. I think the budget would be prohibitively high, I think. FX hasn't been as warm to the idea of actually shooting a live episode of "Archer" in space as I would like them to be.
H. Jon Benjamin: I'm sorry for coming down on you. How did Leprechaun go to space? Like what happened? Why are you laughing? I'm asking a question.

Crave Online: The gold was in space.
H. Jon Benjamin: Really? Is that 2 or was it 4? How many "Leprechauns"?
Crave Online: Six, because then he went to the hood, twice.

H. Jon Benjamin: See, now you guys are getting excited. All right?

Adam Reed: I think we have a clip.

H. Jon Benjamin: I would love to watch "Leprechaun 6" right now. No? I don't get what I want.

Crave Online: I’m glad I could give you so much material with "Leprechaun."

H. Jon Benjamin: Thank you.

Crave Online: What if I had said "Critters"?

H. Jon Benjamin: Then I would be just as upset with you. Just as upset.

Crave Online: Do you ever crack doing your recordings?

H. Jon Benjamin: You mean like psychotic break? Yes, a couple nervous breakdowns per season. No, do we laugh and stuff like that? Yeah, definitely we do. Yes, obviously some of the stuff’s very funny and Adam’s a good sport. I say that in the most demeaning way. There’s not a huge opportunity for boisterous amounts of fun. We will have the occasional laugh. I don’t like read a line and start laughing hysterically and cackling like a mad person. “Oh my God I. Can’t. Belive. You. Ha Ha Ha Ha.” No.

Crave Online: How does Sterling Archer handle zero gravity?

H. Jon Benjamin: I don’t know yet. He seemed fine the way I was doing it. I don’t remember if he was actually exposed to space. That would kill him, right?

Crave Online: How different are the Archer sessions from the "Bob’s Burgers" sessions?

H. Jon Benjamin: They’re a lot different. "Bob’s Burgers" is done with the whole cast together, or certainly variations of groups of people working together. "Archer" I do it completely alone, just like I like it.

Crave Online: What’s coming up for Bob?

H. Jon Benjamin: This season has more of the same as far as the restaurant and all that stuff. It’s a really funny second season and I understand they’re making a third. He still has a moustache, still has annoying kids. I know he gets a food truck. They try this food truck thing which doesn’t work out. Nothing really works out, just like in real life.

Crave Online: Are you doing more "Jon Benjamin Has a Van"?

H. Jon Benjamin: We are not at the moment. We wrote scripts for the second season and we’re waiting to hear soon if we do another season. I hope we do because I really loved it.

Crave Online: Where would you like to take the van?

H. Jon Benjamin: The van is kind of less prominent in the stories in season two. I realized that was a stupid thing to call the show and annoying and obnoxious and I’m sorry. But a lot of the writing of the first season, the van was the catalyst and we just stopped doing that entirely for the ones we wrote. I marry a billionaire in one episode and that spirals into kind of a new show.

Crave Online: Would you call it something else?

H. Jon Benjamin: No, I think it will stay the same. I think it will still be "Jon Benjamin Has a Van" but the van itself is not a big part of it.

Crave Online: That could just make it more meta.

H. Jon Benjamin: Has a train, right. "Jon Benjamin Has a Train" because it has a double meaning.