DANGER ZONE!

‘Archer’ EP Matt Thompson: ‘Yeah, It’s Cartoon Porn! F-ck Off!’

The executive producer of the hilarious FX animated spy series Archer dishes on that Season 6 finale, bouncing boobs, the Krieger reveal, and a candidate for Archer’s father.

04.03.15 2:30 AM ET

Archer’s sixth season has been a fantastic voyage, to say the least.

It began with the news that the FX animated spy series would be dropping the ISIS moniker in light of recent events, showing the gang’s newly minted CIA overlords casually rolling out an ISIS sign from their New York office, included a brilliant, Seinfeldian episode about nothing, featured the raciest sex scene ever, and ended with a two-part finale dubbed “Drastic Voyage,” wherein narcissistic superspy Sterling Archer and Co. were shrunken down in order to navigate the body of a dying scientist and laser-remove a blood clot.

Of course, the sixth season of Adam Reed’s zany enterprise came on the heels of Archer’s much-ballyhooed Season 5, aka Archer Vice—one that transformed the spy syndicate into a rowdy, coke-huffing drug cartel, and was met with some pushback from the show’s more vocal fans.

The Daily Beast caught up with Archer’s executive producer Matt Thompson to discuss the arc of Season 6, that racy sex scene, their most desired cameos (Daniel Craig in drag!), and much more.

This is exciting, the finale to the season—and the two-part Drastic Voyage episode.

It was interesting because Adam’s always been fascinated by this movie Fantastic Voyage despite how shitty it was, and the fact that it might be possible even though it’s so incredibly impossible makes us all laugh.

And also has a fondness for Shazam! star Michael Gray.

About a year ago, [Gray] contacted us because at some point Archer had mentioned his love of the original Shazam! ISIS Power Hour. We’ve been looking for a thing to put him in, and we thought he was hilarious. His voice was good, and he was up for anything.

We also see Krieger absolutely lose his mind and reveal that he’s not a clone of Adolf Hitler.

For him to come out and say, “I’m not a clone of Adolf Hitler!” is up for you to believe him or not, but he makes a pretty valid point there. Aren’t clones supposed to look like the guy? I’ve read Internet theories about this for a long time and we’ve never read the fact that Krieger looks absolutely nothing like Hitler. Malory had mentioned it off-hand sometime in Season 2, and for whatever reason the Boys From Brazil-Krieger thing just stuck. It was never our super intent, but we never got in the way of the rumor. It was Adam’s way of saying, “He may be a lot of things, but he’s not Hitler!”

What’s your take on Season 6 overall? The “unreboot?”

I liked it. Every season, I can always point to four-five episodes that are really outstanding. I think it looks better than it ever has, and I don’t feel we went into a slowdown. I know a lot of people online weren’t crazy about Season 5, but I was crazy about Season 5. I thought it gave everybody a new purpose, a new beginning, and a new reason to do what they do. As far as the episodes this season I loved, the “Vision Quest” episode was great. You’re watching people standing around in an elevator, and it’s interesting. How do you hold somebody’s attention for what is essentially a one-act play? The Internet makes fun of us, saying, “Hey, another car chase!” Yeah! We’re livening things up! But that episode was all about the characters. I loved Edie’s wedding—and really anytime Barry is around. “The Kanes” is great because we got to do the Bullitt car chase, and we like to put Lana in situations where she’s not the wet blanket. Plus, Archer tries to have sex with her mom. And in “Pocket Listing,” every character had their moment of insanity, and the payoff of six seasons of Archer, and then you have Archer and Lana having sex.

It’s a pretty racy sex scene!

Us getting away with the amount of sex we got away with in that episode where Archer is having sex with Lana from behind, and Lana’s breasts are jiggling all over, was great. I read a comment online that said, “OK, now Archer is basically cartoon porn,” and I thought, “Yeah! It’s cartoon porn! Fuck off! It’s great!” I hope it’s cartoon porn. If you can get away with it, do it.

ARCHER: Episode 5, Season 6 "Vision Quest" (Airing Thursday, February 5, 10:00 PM e/p) The gang gets to work early so they can spend some quality time together. Pictured: (L-R) Dr. Krieger (voice of Lucky Yates), Lana Kane (voice of Aisha Tyler), Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin), Pam Poovey (voice of Amber Nash), Cheryl Tunt (voice of Judy Greer), Ray Gillette (voice of Adam Reed), Cyril Figgis (voice of Chris Parnell). CR: FX

FX

The big news before the season was the show’s decision to remove ISIS from the equation entirely. Now that you’ve had time to reflect on it, how batshit surreal was all that for you?

You know, for us, it ended up being pretty painless for the show, and organic. It felt like we had to do something when we were in the middle of it, but once the change was made, we worked for the CIA, and we rolled that logo out, it wasn’t an issue anymore. Nobody really ever talked about the fact that they worked for ISIS anyway, and nobody really remembered what the initials stood for until there was a terrorist organization that shared the name. In a lot of movies, your team works for this shadowy organization called something vague like “The Company,” so for us, ISIS was just our version of “The Company.”

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In incorporating the CIA more into the show, did you and Adam speak to any spooks?

No, we didn’t. Me and Adam have some contacts here and there on a tertiary level and they say that they enjoy the show and find it amusing, but it’s not really about actual spycraft. Adam is just an avid reader.

I’ve heard there have been talks of making an Archer film.

There has been. Every year, Adam becomes warmer to it. I see it as an eventual conversation that’s probably coming in the next couple of years because it feels like it’s reaching that point where you’re either gonna do it, or you’re not gonna do it. I see it as a much greater possibility today because Adam and I have become more relaxed about what this show does, and where it will go in the future.

I still think we need Liza Minnelli as Malory’s nemesis Trudy Beakman.

That would be great. That character has spoken one sentence in the series, and it was Adam’s mom. But she would be great at it. I would love it for her and Jessica to face off once again.

Archer is pretty great at cameos. Who else is on the wish list?

Carrie Brownstein was so awesome in the finale, and now we’ve completed the Portlandia round-up because it’s our favorite comedy show on television right now. I keep a small list of people that I’m still trying to find a place for! There are two people I can think of, personally. Right now, the funniest human on the planet is Nick Kroll, so I’m sure Adam would want him. But for the Archer universe, I’d want Daniel Craig in drag somehow. I want him to go completely against type and not as the uber-masculine man. And I’d be very interested to have Thomas Magnum on the show. The love of Archer for all things Magnum, P.I.—and my and Adam’s love as well—is so big. I wouldn’t mind bringing the conversation back about who Archer’s father is and… it’s someone who can grow a powerful mustache, we already know that, so maybe it’s Tom Selleck. 

Is Ray dead? When we last see him he’s basically a rotting carcass covered in flies.

He’s all messed up! But no, he’s not dead. Spoiler alert: Ray ain’t dead.

What’s next?

We don’t know! Every year as the season ends, Adam walks across a foreign country thinking about what he wants to do next. As you and I are speaking, Adam is walking through the South of France for 30 days. We have some ideas, but we haven’t necessarily decided exactly what we’re going to do yet—despite the final scene this season. For us, we wanted to leave it open-ended to decide if we want to go rogue again.