We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Aisha Tyler of "Archer" on
It was so nice to speak with Aisha, who's so very kind
and funny! What an amazing woman. Make sure you watch all of
FX NETWORK: Archer
February 18, 2015/3:00 p.m. PST
Kristy Silvernail, FX Networks / Senior Manager, Media
Aisha Tyler, Archer / “Lane Kane”
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by
and welcome to the Archer conference call. At this time all
lines are in a listen-only mode. We will be conducting a
question and answer session. (Operator instructions.) As a
reminder this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to your host,
Miss Kristy Silvernail. Please go ahead.
Kristy: Good afternoon, and welcome to the Archer conference
call with series star Aisha Tyler, who voices the role of
“Agent Lana Kane.” I’d like to thank all of you for joining
us today and remind you that this call is for print purposes
only. No audio may be used. As a reminder, Archer is
currently airing its sixth season on Thursday nights at 10
p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX.
With that said, let’s go ahead and take the first question.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have a question from
Jasmine Alyce with Fanbolt.com. Your line is open, please go
Jasmine: Hi, Aisha. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Aisha: No problem. Thanks for coming on the call.
Jasmine: No problem at all. We know that an episode is coming
up where we finally get to meet “Lana’s” parents. Is there
anything that you can tease about that a little bit?
Aisha: Well, if it hasn’t already been in print we got some
pretty amazing, well I didn’t do anything I just showed up,
but we got some pretty amazing actors to play my parents,
CCH Pounder, who you guys know from a million things,
including The Shield and, gosh, she’s on something fantastic
right now that’s not in my head and Keith David. I think
we’re going to find out a little bit more about “Lana’s”
background and kind of see her as a child and see her
formative years. This is going to be really fun. And also
find out that her parents may not entirely approve of her
line of work, so it should be interesting.
As you know, a baby often smooths over all family
differences, so I think that baby is going to
[indiscernible] kind of either conflict and/or resolution
between Lana and her parents. And I think we get to meet
“Archer,” too, which of course is going to be a good show.
Moderator: Our next question is from Suzanne Lanoue with the
TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne: Good morning.
Aisha: Hi, there.
Suzanne: Hi. I was wondering you’re so busy all the time. I
just see you everywhere. How do you manage both your time
and your energy and do you think “Lana” is the same way or
would she go, geez, calm down?
Aisha: I’ll answer the second part first. I actually
strangely think “Lana” is very much like me. She’s just
dedicated to excellence. She really wants to do a good job.
Whenever they go on a mission, she’s always read the mission
dossier, she’s always packed the proper equipment, she’s
always got her go bag. I think she just wants to be
excellent in everything she does and so in that way I think
we’re probably very much alike. I don’t get to carry around
double holster automatic weapons in my daily life, but in
that way I think we’re pretty similar.
How do I manage my time? Well, let me just say first of all
that I realized probably in the last 18 months that I’m
probably a clinical workaholic. That’s not entirely an
enviable way to live your life. I’m really only happy when
I’m punishingly busy and it’s less about me being kind of
work slutty and saying yes to everything and just needing to
be constantly kind of mentally occupied.
I love being engaged and I feel like the harder I push
myself the better work I do. So, the way I manage my time is
that I’m an obsessive list maker and I get a lot of
satisfaction in crossing things off of my list. I don’t
sleep very much and I work seven days a week. But I had a
[indiscernible] in my Podcast once say how do you get
everything done and I said, well, I get up in the morning
and I start doing stuff until I’m exhausted and drop to bed
and then in the morning I get up and start doing stuff
I really don’t have some kind of elegant system or
algorithmic workflow. I just am constantly executing and
sometimes well, sometimes not so well, but I do believe in
the power of industry. I come from a working class family
and a dad who worked very hard and I just believe in the
power of hard work. So, there’s where that comes from I
Moderator: Next question is from Terry Terrones, Colorado
Springs. Please go ahead.
Terry: Hi, Aisha. Thanks for doing this call today.
Aisha: No problem, thank you.
Terry: I had a non-Archer question for you. I’m sure you’ve
heard that Jon Stewart is going to be leaving The Daily Show
and while you are, obviously, very busy I wrote up a list of
five people who would be great replacements and you have a
lot of experience in a wide variety of different mediums.
You were actually tops on my list. Would that be something
you’d ever entertain, taking over on The Daily Show?
Aisha: Well, first of all, thank you. That’s really
flattering. I really appreciate it. And Jon is, we’re
friendly and I think he’s an incredible guy and has left
some massive, like honking shoes to fill for whoever takes
that seat over. Even though, actually Craig Kilborn hosted
that show for a little bit, really Jon elevated it to such
an extraordinary level and whoever follows him I think has
got their work cut out for them.
There’s been a lot of buzz online about me taking over that
and it’s insanely flattering and very gratifying. I have
three series on the air right now, so there’s a logistical
barrier to me taking that job in that I am contractually
obligated to three other series, Archer, The Talk and Whose
Line Is It Anyway?
So, that said, it’s really flattering to be thought of in
that way and if I was ever in a position to take that job, I
would, of course, entertain it because it’s such an
influential, just a seminal show. It’s been so instrumental
in helping people develop a deeper and, what’s the right
word, a deeper and more robust sense of skepticism about
American politics, but also I think it’s [indiscernible].
So, that show would both be an honor to host and, obviously,
a big responsibility. At this point in my life I don’t even
have time to pee. I literally just save up all my pee and go
on Saturday afternoons, which is, by the way, incredibly
Moderator: And the next question is from Sean Mulvihill with
Fanboy Nation.com. Please go ahead.
Sean: Hi, there, love the show. I’m just wondering since in
the scope of Archer you’ve got a bunch of eccentrics and
incompetents and “Lana” is basically, as you said earlier,
the focused one. Do you ever want the writers, though, to
just give you something that’s insane to match everybody
Aisha: I think the insanity is nigh on Archer for “Lana.”
That’s about all I can tell you, but she’s about to enter a
world of reckless pain for in a few episodes, so I think
that will be very fun. And I did kind of beg for this
storyline, so I’m really excited to see it coming to
I think that “Lana” is really, she’s like a lot of
professional people and especially, probably, a lot of
professional women, but men as well. Actually I have a lot
of guy friends that are like this, too, who are incredibly
effective in their professional lives and just ape-sh**
bananas in their personal lives.
She doesn’t have a really well, I would say, personal life.
She doesn’t make great decisions about the guys she’s dated
and I don’t think she’s a bad decision-maker. I think it’s
just more that she’s drawn to danger and to recklessness in
her personal life because she has to be so buttoned up
professionally in her work life, otherwise she might get
shot to death.
Yes, she is kind of the straight man in a lot of ways, but
she has to be somewhat nuts to have dated Archer and then
also to have absconded with his sperm and made a baby with
his genetic material. So, she’s not entirely sewn tightly.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question is from
the line of Al Mannarino with Pop-Break. Please go ahead.
Al: Hi, Aisha, thank you for joining the conference call.
Aisha: Oh, it’s a pleasure.
Al: Now, watching H. Jon Benjamin and yourself interacting
with each other at last year’s New York Comic-Con was
basically a live version of Archer. Did your relationship
with him and the rest of the cast take a long time to
develop or was it something that happened very early on?
Aisha: You know, I want you to ask the first part of that
question again because somebody was driving in front of me
and I wanted to murder them with my bare hands.
Al: Well, that’s a classic “Lana” right there.
Aisha: That really is. Say it one more time, sorry about
Al: Yes, absolutely. Watching H. Jon Benjamin and yourself
interacting with each other at last year’s New York
Comic-Con was basically a live version of Archer. Did your
relationship with him and the rest of the cast take a long
time to develop or is it something that happened early on?
Aisha: That’s such a good question. First of all, for those
of you who don’t know, we never record together as a cast.
We never see each other when we’re working on the show.
Three of us, Chris Parnell and Judy [Greer]and I are in LA,
and Lucky and Amber in Atlanta, and Jon and Jessica are in
We never interacted with each other. We never saw each other
and Jon and I met right off the bat, I think maybe after we
recorded Season 1 at TCA, Television Critics Association’s
winter event, but we really didn’t know each other. It
wasn’t that the relationship was frosty; it wasn’t. We
didn’t really have a chance to get to know each other until
we started making more personal appearances as a cast.
I think that the first time that we really got to hang out
together as a cast might have been when we did a performance
at Eugene Mirman’s Comedy Festival in Brooklyn, and this was
maybe in Season 2 or 3, but what’s been lovely is – and we
got to hang out at Comic-Con Season 2, which was also great,
that might have been the first time we all got to spend time
together – what’s been really lovely is that because we
don’t spend that much time together as a cast, when we do
get together it’s just a kind of kitten pile in a basket of
affection for each other.
We don’t get a lot of time together. It’s always very
precious, everybody gets very drunk. There’s a lot of
hugging. It’s really, really a fun group of people that are
incredibly smart and talented and Jon and I have developed a
king of strange “Lana” and “Archer” ghost banter that has
evolved over the season. I love his company and I think he’s
one of the funniest people that I know and we also just
somehow have found a way to improv up these really weird
One year at New York Comic-Con week just got in this really
prolonged argument. I know what it was about and it was just
like a totally fake argument and I think we really alarmed
the woman who was interviewing us. I think they’re pretty
incredible. Every once in a while we do Archer Live! where
we’re all performing together on stage and that’s just a
bourbon soaked like love fest and always immediately goes
off the rails.
It did take us a while. It wasn’t work. It was just that we
didn’t have a lot of face time as a cast and now we’re
always begging to spend time together and they’re all pretty
superlative people and as funny as their characters on the
show only without all of the alcoholism and the nudity.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have a question from
John Schwarz with Bubbleblabber.com. Please go ahead.
John: Hi, Aisha, how are you doing this fine evening?
Aisha: I’m doing great. How are you?
John: I’m doing well. Thanks for taking the call. A question
I wanted to ask you was one that I actually posed to Matt
[Thompson]. I’m interested to hear your answer. I felt that
your vocal range for this season has just been stellar. In
seasons past you’ve always shown the stern and the somewhat
sarcastic parts of “Lana’s” personality and with the baby
you’ve definitely brought on way more of a motherly, softer
personality and it’s interesting to see you kind of walk
that thin line between the Lana that goes nuts over
Sterling, but at the same time is a mother and is
remembering that she has someone to care for.
Was that a challenge for you to kind of figure that out for
“Lana?” Did you have to do some personal research to be
like, okay, this is how I would tackle these kind of themes
even though I really maybe have never seen this dynamic of
Aisha: This is a really nice question and a lovely
compliment, so thank you. I actually think that the
softening of “Lana” started to come at the end of Season, I
want to say Season 4, but I might be wrong because I’m
sitting in my car and my brain doesn’t work, when we did the
Sealab episode and “Archer” sacrificed himself for “Lana.”
I think Adam [Reed] started to write more emotional material
for “Lana.” She wasn’t always pissed at “Archer.” And
because she wasn’t always angry at him or angry at the
situation I just had more to play with and more to do.
What’s been nice is as the relationships on the show have
evolved and they’ve deepened and they’ve become more
complex, we have more to do.
And I think in a first or a second season of any show you’re
just trying to fire as many bullets as you can at a target
as possible because we’re a comedy and we’re a half-hour
comedy and we’re a cartoon, it’s just about dropping bombs,
dropping 22 minutes of bombs. But as the show has evolved
and people love the characters and they love the
relationships we’ve been able to add more complexity to
So, I really feel like the moment where “Lana” got softened
was when she realized that “Archer” was willing to die for
her at the end of that Sealab two-parter and that would have
been, that was in Season 3. And then in Season 4 she decides
to have a baby and then in Season 5 she’s pregnant, so I
just had more to do. I didn’t have to do any research.
Luckily I’ve been acting for a very long time and the nice
thing about Archer is that there’s nothing to do but the
emotional work because there’s no props and no wardrobe and
no make-up and no marks to hit, so it’s just about your
interior life and trying to think and feel the things that
your character thinks and feels.
Again, even though it’s a comedy and sometimes we’re working
at peak intensity, I always try to really work on “Lana’s”
interior life and how she truly feels about her job, how she
truly feels about her co-workers and how she really feels
about “Archer,” which is that this is someone who she
ultimately loves and loathes and who I think she has a lot
of compassion for, she’s the only one that probably sees his
soft side and remember when he had cancer and she was really
there for him. They’re bonded in a way that we don’t always
give them credit for.
I think they really love each other. I’m always trying to
play that truth even if the comedy is extreme, so it was
just a joy. I do remember when we did the stuff where “Lana”
got to tell “Archer” about “A.J.,” that was at the end of
Season 5, that was really fun to play and we did it a few
times because the guys wanted it to be really, really tender
and I think I did have to do a little bit of work to get to
that really, really tender place. She had never been quite
that soft and lovely towards “Archer.”
It’s fun; it’s just fun to have a variety instead of just
always screaming “Archer.” If somebody did a mash-up or an
[indiscernible] remix of me saying “Archer,” it would
probably be 97 minutes long. I’ve yelled at the guy so many
times, so it’s nice to have the diversity of emotional range
Moderator: Next question is from Orrin Konheim with TV
Fanatics. Please go ahead.
Orrin: Hi, Aisha, how are you doing?
Aisha: Good, how are you?
Orrin: First of all, I listed you guys as the number one
program on my Top 10 list last year for Archer Vice. I think
that got me in with the PR person.
Aisha: Excellent, well thank you very much.
Orrin: So, number one all the way. I have one Archer and one
non-Archer question if that’s okay? My Archer question is in
what form do you see the show and how surprised are you when
you see it and, specifically, when do you watch it? Because
I imagine that you probably don’t specifically envision the
animation in your head when it happens.
Aisha: Well, I know the show really well now. I don’t know
that I’m thinking about how it’s going to look when I’m
doing the lines, but I love the show and I know Adam and
Matt and we talk a lot when we’re recording my parts about
how is this going to look just because it helps me figure
out how to play some stuff.
I’m always delighted at the complexity of the animation. I
think Archer is a show you can watch several times and
you’ll see a lot of stuff in like secondary and deep
focusing that you didn’t see right off the bat. There’s a
lot of detail in the show, it’s pretty elegant. But I
typically watch the show, I DVR the show during the season
and I watch it like everybody else does on my television
set, sometimes on the day, but I have a pretty crazy
schedule so sometimes later in the week or when I’m eating
dinner on the weekends.
Yes, I just consume it like most Americans consume it, which
is half-drunk in my sweat pants on the couch. I loved it and
this season the episode with “Conway Stern” came back and he
and “Archer” had that big fight, we were working really hard
on getting that waltz that I hummed down and it was so fun
to see how that eventually played out with me dancing
through the room as they were trying to kill each other and
making that pot of tea and then hitting him with the kettle.
That was all stuff I knew was going to happen, but it looked
even better than it did in my head.
Orrin: My non-Archer question is you’re on Whose Line Is It
Anyway? and I think a lot of us grew up on that show in the
90s and the 2000s, but is it a real struggle to kind of
promote that and get the word out that you’re on, that it’s
there? It’s certainly not as high profile as it was back
when it started.
Aisha: It’s on a different network, obviously. It was on ABC
and now it’s on CW and also between when it was on ABC and
now the viewing landscape has become much more fragmented.
There are more networks and more shows. That being said, it
was the highest rated show that CW had debuted in three
years when it premiered and it’s a huge hit for them.
So, it hasn’t been hard to promote it at all because it’s
doing really well and every season they’ve ordered more
episodes. I think they ordered like 18 or 19 the first
season and 22 the second season and this season we’re at 26.
So, it’s doing very well for them. We’re all really proud of
it and it wins its time slot, so for them it’s a very big
hit. I don’t kind of lament, I don’t really think about it
that way because it’s been a hit for CW and it’s been
Of course, it would be great to have more fans of the show
find it, but I think they will as time goes by and the show
is working very well for CW so in that way I’m just super,
super happy because it’s getting great numbers for them, so
I think it’s only going to grow from here.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) We have a follow-up from
the line of Al Mannarino with Pop-Break. Please go ahead.
Al: Hi, again. This is a non-Archer related question, which I
know you’re probably sick of, but Friends just celebrated
its 20th anniversary last year and you had a very memorable
arc towards the end of the show. Do you have a favorite
moment from your time on the show?
Aisha: Oh yes, let’s see. It was an amazing experience. It’s
rare to be a guest on a show that’s that big. I mean it was
the biggest show on TV when I got to be on it and I was a
fan before I got the job, so I knew exactly how special it
was and how lucky I was. This might be in the bloopers, but
there were a lot of really great moments, but I think the
one that I love is when I’m actually breaking up with “Ross”
and I’m about to kiss Greg Kinnear and there’s just this
moment when David Schwimmer is standing between us and he
says, “This is making me a little uncomfortable.”
And the way he said that is so funny that we did that
probably 30 times before we were able to not laugh. It was
just the funniest, weirdest. They were all so incredible on
that show and I learned so much from all of them, but David
Schwimmer had this thing with these line readings that was
just, he could just tweak a line and make it so funny just
with inflection and tone and he’s standing right between us
and we’re staring at each other’s eyes and he’s saying,
“This is making me a little uncomfortable.”
We just could barely, we never really made it through the
scene properly and you can probably see us laugh a little
bit even in the scene that made it into the show. But the
whole thing was incredible. The cast was incredibly kind to
me. Guest stars had had a history of cracking up on that
show because it was the biggest show on TV and everybody on
it was so good at what they did that a lot of people would
come on and get intimidated and kind of fall apart.
They were really, really kind about making me feel welcome
and just letting me know that I could ask any question or
ask for help if I needed it and it was just an extraordinary
time and I’m still really good friends with a couple of the
cast members and really great to say it.
Moderator: We have a question from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse
Magazine. Please go ahead.
Sheldon: Thanks so much for doing the call. I was just
wondering we’ve had an episode where “Lana” has needed
someone to babysit “A.J.” and “Archer” is about to meet
“Lana’s” parents, so “A.J.” has certainly altered the show’s
dynamic to some extent, so I was just wondering if you could
tease how “A.J.” is going to impact the rest of the season?
Aisha: I think what’s interesting about “A.J.” coming into
the show is she’s altered in a lot of ways the dynamic, not
just between “Archer” and “Lana,” but between “Lana” and
“Malory” and “Malory” is a pretty conniving self-involved
person and now she has a new thing to connive over, so that,
obviously, has changed the dynamic.
What I love about the fact that “Lana” had a kid is that
she’s now dealing with the same things that all working
women and, honestly, working parents deal with, which is
trying to find reliable daycare, dealing with it when you
don’t have a babysitter and you’ve got to go to work, trying
to manage your personal life and your professional life,
trying to find quality downtime. This is stuff that almost
everybody who watches the show can relate to on some level.
What’s so fun about the show is finding the balance between
the ordinary and the extreme because Archer is really just
an office comedy. It’s just an office comedy. Barney Miller
or Cheers or any of those kinds of comedies where you’re in
this contained space and everybody is related and you become
this kind of weird Frankenstein-y family.
Her problems are the problems of most Americans and I think
that’s what’s so funny about it and the only difference
between them and her is that her co-workers are all
alcoholic malfeasing sexual deviants who have had
unprotected sex with almost everybody else they’ve worked
with and occasionally fire weapons at each other. She’s just
a working mom, but when she was pregnant she still had to go
to work and then you get this great scene where she’s
running through a field of live ordnance and active gunfire
saying, “Sorry baby, sorry baby, sorry baby.”
I think that she’s added a new level or a new layer of
comedy to the show, which feels both very relatable to most
Americans and also very extreme because everybody is always
on the verge of being shot to death. It’s always fun to have
a baby around when you might be shot to death. This is a
cartoon baby, so nobody worry about the baby. The baby is
fine; the baby is made out of ink.
Kristy: Great answer, Aisha. All right, well, I don’t show
any more questions in queue, so we can end on that note for
the day. Thank you, again, to everybody for joining us and,
especially, Aisha, we greatly appreciate you taking the time
to speak with us. As a reminder, Archer airs Thursday nights
at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX. Thanks so much
and have a great day.
Aisha: Thanks, guys.
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes your
conference for today. Thank you for your participation and
for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 3/11/15