Archer, the adult animated series about the adventures of confidently incompetent secret agent Sterling Archer, has eight seasons under its spy belt.
Though it’s a bit of a stretch to think that any of the cast members might have something in common with their action-oriented alter egos, many of them do have aspects of their personalities that bleed over. Sometimes, the growth of a character on the show is synonymous with the comfort the actor feels bringing them to life, especially after having played them for eight years. Each new episode brings new thrills, more cyborgs, and lots more Pam. These are just a few of the similarities between the cast members of Archer and the hilarious characters they portray.
10 AISHA TAYLOR HAS LANA-LEVEL GUN SKILLS
It’s hard to imagine that voice actors might have a lot in common with secret agents, and if their skills were related to something that clandestine, they probably couldn’t tell you about it. But in a Reddit AMA discussing Archer, Chris Parnell was asked which of his fellow castmates most resembled their characters.
While he maintained he was not very much like his character, he did explain that not only does Aisha Taylor look a lot like Lana Kane, she is also assertive, has a take-charge attitude, and knows her way around weapons handling. No doubt her real-life attributes contributed to a believable performance as one of the best secret agents in ISIS.
9 JUDY GREER ALREADY PLAYED A SECRETARY
Not only does Judy Greer bear a striking resemblance to Cheryl Tunt, secretary extraordinaire to Malory Archer at ISIS, but she also played a secretary on Arrested Development. And the similarities get more bizarre; her character (Kitty Sanchez) worked for Lucille Bluth... played by actress Jessica Walter who portrays Malory Archer.
Archer reunites several cast members from Arrested Development, including Jeffrey Tambor, who played Lucille’s husband on the show and tried to make Kitty’s life a little easier when she wasn’t being beaten down by Lucille. We can’t say the same for his role on Archer as Malory’s rival, but then again, Cheryl never gets treated with the respect she deserves.
8 AMBER NASH IS AS NO-NONSENSE AS PAM POOVEY
Pam Poovey, body positive, food positive, life positive director of HR started as so much less than what her character grew into. During a Reddit AMA, Amber Nash, voice actor of Pam, revealed just how much of herself affected the way Pam changed over time, from mousy HR director to moonlighting as a kick-butt field agent.
In real life, Nash described herself as “one of the guys”, with a dirty mouth, who likes to drive tractors and participate in anything the guys are doing, but better! She even plays a musical instrument (a flute), which only slightly influenced the fact that Pam plays one too (a guitar).
7 RON CADILLAC AND MALORY ARCHER ARE MARRIED IRL
Depending on the strength of your relationship, who wouldn’t want to go to the same job as their spouse? Even if you didn’t, it might make good acting fuel for those emotionally tough scenes. Ron Leibman (who voices Ron Cadillac) and Jessica Walter (who voices Malory) are actually married in real life just like their characters on screen.
At one time, Leibman had created, co-written and starred in a series called Kaz about a car thief turned criminal lawyer from 1978-1979. After his success, he met Jessica Walter, and the comedy duo would go on to participate in many more creative endeavors, including Archer.
6 BURT REYNOLDS IS EXACTLY LIKE BURT REYNOLDS... OR IS HE?
As Malory Archer’s boyfriend and Sterling Archer’s personal hero/mentor, Burt Reynolds is only slightly like his real-life counterpart. How is that possible? When Burt Reynolds agreed to appear on Archer, he hadn’t quite gotten the hang of the voice acting gig, and didn’t know that more is more when it comes to projecting action into your vocal performance.
He believed he had actually been somehow more restrained than he should have been, and if he could do it over again, he would come out of his shell a little more. If he’s ever asked back, Mr. Smokey and the Bandit himself said he’d turn up the Reynolds charm. Sadly, that wouldn’t be possible, as he passed away in September of 2018.
5 BABOU IS BASED ON A REAL OCELOT
Everyone’s favorite (and only) Ocelot on Archer, Babou, is actually based on a real ocelot owned by surrealist painter Salvador Dali. While technically no longer with us, Babou can still be considered a member of the cast in the sense that he is the likeness on which his animated counterpart is based and we’re fairly certain if Adam Reed could have recorded his meows, he would have.
While Dali owned several exotic pets (and was known to walk them in public, like his prized anteater), Cheryl Tunt, Babou’s owner, has buyer’s remorse over her purchase of Babou. Archer seems to get along with him, despite Babou scratching his face off any chance he gets. Cheryl doesn’t mind, since it beats him peeing in her purse.
4 AISHA LOVES THE ENVIRONMENT AS MUCH AS LANA
Aisha Tyler, the silver-tongued siren behind ace agent Lana Kane, holds a degree in political science with a minor in environmental policy, both from Dartmouth College. This mirrors Lana’s former stint as a radical environmentalist, inspired by the pursuits of her parents who are both scientists looking to improve the Earth’s conditions.
As if that weren’t enough, one of the episodes even features a young Lana entering a science fair project that features the creation of artificial sunlight, something that Aisha Tyler herself did back in grade school was the anecdote that inspired the incident.
3 JEFFREY TAMBOR AND JESSICA WALTER ALWAYS BICKER
The verbal repartee between Len Trexler and Malory Archer is one of the series’ highlights, with each boss trying to outdo the other when it comes to their respective organizations. Savvy fans may recognize the bickering of the pair from their real-life voice actors, Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter, who have been seen doing it in action.
Before Archer began, Tambor and Walter co-starred in the popular series Arrested Development where they played husband and wife. Constantly at each other’s throats, they bickered throughout the series in a way very reminiscent of how their animated characters interact together.
2 FANS SCREAM AT AISHA TAYLOR JUST LIKE ARCHER DOES LANA
One of many recurring gags on Archer involves Archer yelling Lana's name, “LAAAANAA!” much to her unending annoyance. She would prefer to ignore him altogether, but that only makes him want to do it even more. The nature of their dynamic relies on a level of flirtatious chiding that can border on death wish in his case.
In a Q & A, Lana voice actor Aisha Taylor admitted that like Lana, she has responded to fans calling the name of her famous character in the streets. She's become used to it though, and guess it as a fun way to connect with fans (making her less like Lana).
1 LUCKY YATES CONTRIBUTED SOME OF HIS MANNERISMS
Much has been said of Adam Reed’s incredibly witty script, with its effortless amalgamation of pithy banter and uncouth gags. Every member of the cast has said it’s a tight script with little room for improvisation. Including Lucky Yates, who plays Dr. Krieger on Archer, yet who somehow managed to put some of his own phrasing into it.
During a fan Q & A he was asked how he came about developing Krieger’s distinct speech pattern, which included a lot of hesitation. He said it came from some of his own hesitation at saying his jargon-heavy lines, but added that other aspects, like Krieger's phrase “Yup, yup, yup” came from his own lexicon. They also share a great love for science fiction!