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Archer Season 6 [Mild Spoilers]: Another year, and another season of FX’s show Archer has come and gone. While Season Six suffers from a tiny dip in overall quality, it places a lot more emphasis on witty conversations and established callback / running jokes than previous seasons. Also, admirably, the show hasn’t began to lean on entire ‘homage’ / ‘parody’ plots yet – keeping all episodes as original stories (other than the finalé). Some of the old favourites re-appear Conway Stern, “Mr” Slater, Barry Dylan (and Other Barry), Katya (Slutya Slutzakova), and Agent Hawley. Unfortunately, Woodhouse is still missing, after the voice actor died. The season sees some interesting episodes like one centered on a Japanese Stragglers (The Holdout) & a [now fairly standard] bottle episode (Stuck in a lift). They also visit locations like Brazil, Wales, Area 51, San Francisco, Wisconsin, and an Eiger-esque mountain. Overall, another top season that’s already proved to be a good watch, and re-watch!

Below is another list of running gags that make watching Archer an absolute treat… (1st List. 2nd List.)

Doctor Algernop krieger Van Rush Vanispheres, Caress of Krieger, VAN, Van By Night, Exit Van Left

Krieger’s Vans: through the seasons ‘Doctor’ Algernop Krieger (who’s first name was legally changed to Doctor) has owned a bunch of modified 1978 GM G-Series vans, which include upgraded “illegal-ass window tint”, chain steering wheels, projectors for his Hentai girlfriend, and each one has its own custom RUSH (the band) inspired paint job. Due to the questionable modifications, the vans are referred to as “Rolling probable cause” and “S.S. Date Rape”. These are also the main motivation behind Krieger’s illicit activities.

Namechecking & People References: This is one of the best riffs in the show, and includes everyone from Tron, Alan Turing, DB Cooper, and Norman Bates, through to bizarrely specific people like Frederick Andress (Watermelon Breeder), Elisha Otis (Elevator brake inventor), Thomas Corwin Mendenhall (Metric System), Cypher (The gayest X-man), Karl Landsteiner (Blood Groups), and even William Safire (lexicographer). It makes you want to stop the show just to Google the name. Here’s an entire page of Archer references – LINK

Archer Read a Fricking Coffee Table book for once in your life

“Read a book!”: (sticking with references) for being one of the world’s top spies Archer is particularly well-read. From Lord of the Rings and Wolverine through to heavier texts like Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare and Orwell. This often leads to colleagues missing references and jokes – like those above – and Archer shouting “Read a fricking [coffee table] book!” – LINK

Ray gillette Eye Patch Camo Paint Camoflage Turtleneck Tactleneck

Ray’s continual limb-loss & paralysis: since initially faking paralysis in S3 Ray has been constantly breaking bones and being healed by Kreiger’s robotics skills. He now sports bionic legs, and a black bionic arm (potentially Conway’s), and is – unsurprisingly – left re-re-re-paralysed in a wheelbarrow at the end of Season 6. BONUS: Ray also LOVES wearing commando paint whenever he can get away with it.

Cyril Figgis suppressing fire Wooden Stick Gun Unicorn Astronaut

Cyril’s Gun Handling: the only person in ISIS you don’t want on your side in a gunfight is Comptroller and Accountant Cyril Figgis, who can’t be trusted with any firearm. He’s accidentally shot colleagues & interrogation witnesses, and regularly empties entire clips of ammo with his eyes closed in battle – whilst shouting – SUPPRESSING FIRE… only to hit nothing but air. He’s so dangerous with a firearm that he’s even given a wooden gun-shaped stick in one episode. He did however once manage to get several rounds into a small computer. Thank god for small miracles, right?

Archer Counting Bullets: despite having severe tinnitus (you cruel mistress!) Archer’s is able to count bullets on-the-fly, including multiple automatic weapons. He’s also able to identify the make and model of a gun (and blender) from hearing it over a phone.

Malory Dutchess Archer Insult Quote Listenign to Raps Shooting The Jobs

Malory insulting Ray: although everyone insults everyone continuously, and Malory is particularly racist and homophobic – her swipes at Ray are easily the most brutal and scathing. Like upon being told he can walk again “You mean mince?”, commenting his “excellent legwork”, and continually calling him ‘Ms‘ and ‘Missy‘ instead of ‘Mr’…. It helps that Jessica Walter’s bitter voice acting is perfect for this.

Ray Gillette: To reiterate! I am paralyzed!
Cyril Figgis: Well join a support group.
Malory Archer: For who? Cripple, gay, hillbilly spies? There’s a niche…

Signs/Posters: ISIS and the show in general have some fantastic posters/signs/warnings on the walls. Kreiger’s lab has a huge  ‘Clean or Die’ poster, even though there are animals, radiation and everything else in there. ISIS Armory employee Rodney (Season 4) has a bunch of bureaucratic notices, championed by “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.“. Others are used for continuity or callbacks like the Native American themed ‘Red Beer’, the poster for the movie ‘Disavowed’ from a previous season. The ISIS mainframe has a restricted sign on the door, despite being open most of the time.

Archer Drinking Finger Hold On Glugging Gulp Chug

Drinking/Chugging finger: as you can see from this YouTube clip, pretty much everyone in the show enjoys a big stiff drink (phrasing boom!), and when anyone else tries to ruin that special moment they’re usually met with an abrupt single finger to the face. It’s not exclusively for drinking either, as  has also been used for smoking.

Classic Mother / Archer / Her / Him: if you claim to watch a lot of Archer, and don’t use the phrase ‘Classic [insert acquantance]’… hand over your ISIS I.D. badge because you’re not watching enough Archer. This rule equally applies to yuuuuuuuup, noooooooope, Boom… phrasing, and shut up.

Archer Pocket Listing Maid Outfit Uniform Lana Kane Cheryl Tunt Pam Poovey french maid

Vocabulary: Where Archer truly rises above other comedy shows is in its tight and dense writing, which is absolutely laden with playful syntax and language. So much so that episodes like the confined Vision Quest are more entertaining than those with nudity, explosions, sex, action and guest stars. Season Six is an absolute goldmine for this – covering everything on the full spectrum of wordplay.

Slater: You’ll be given a cursory explanation at the CIA laboratory in New Mexico.
Lana: Why?
Slater: Well, I assume they needed a large building in a remote location with plenty of parking, and real estate is a lot cheaper out in the desert.

Pam: No! The solution to every problem isn’t throwing freakin’ acid on it.
Krieger: Unless the problem is a solution with an overly alkaline pH balance.

Lana: Have you at least babyproofed this place?
Archer: I don’t think a baby can hurt anything.

Lucky Yates Ray Gillette Face Krieger Voice

FINAL BONUS: The voice actor for Kreiger (Lucky Yates) is also the face of Ray! MIND BLOWING INTERVIEW CLIP.

FIRST LIST OF RUNNING GAGS

SECOND LIST OF RUNNING GAGS

*Drops mic on stage*

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Archer is one of those great shows where the more you watch, and re-watch it, the more you appreciate and pick up on the obscure and flat moments that you didn’t ‘get’ first time round. Here’s another list of even more recurring jokes that you’ll find in TVs greatest adult cartoon.

Kenny Loggins Archer KLOG Danger ZoneKenny Loggins / Danger Zone – this fan favourite appears time and time again; mostly when a perilous mission is being described, or Lana’s feelings for Archer surface. Going beyond bad (and country) renditions of the 80s pop classic, it comes to a head in an episode where ‘K-LOG’ is the central storyline, but it all becomes a bit self-indulgent. Personal favourite. “I will hire Kenny Loggins to come here and play an acoustic set, while I slap some sense in to you”.

Archer Phrasing BoomBoom… Phrasing – essentially the “that’s what she said”, of the show. Every time someone says anything that has even a fraction of innuendo (pretty much every second line) someone will inevitably shout phrasing – BOOM! Dropped in Season Five, as it was getting a bit too obvious when they were appearing. Favourite: Other Barry calling Phrasing on Barry “So tell Archer I’m coming for him, phrasing, boom, and both Barrys out! “

Archer Smut re-heat a chilliSmut – it’s far raunchier than most cartoons, and the cast doesn’t hold back with the x-rated running gags. There’s everything from inappropriate boners (favourite: “I love that I have an erection, that didn’t involve homeless people” – Kreiger), to arousal descriptions (favourite: “I swear to god you could drown a toddler in my panties right now” – Pam) and even the blackest of taboo, as Archer gets a stiffy at the thought of his dead mother – it’s wrong on soooooo many levels. Cheryl/Carol is also a one woman choke-fetish gag factory.

Archer Tinitus MAP MOP mahp finger ear rip rileyTinnitus – every time there’s an explosion, or a grenade / gun goes off next to someone’s ear the aftermath is undoubtedly peppered with the affected character poking their ear(s) and shouting “Maaahhh” “Mahp”. Favourite: when Archer tries to bazooka the ISIS Armory Requisitions officer Rodney – it doesn’t end well.

Archer Woodhouse Ants Itchy Heroin Addict Spiders Webs Sandpaper Boil an egg cold turkeyWoodhouse – Archer’s long-suffering live-in man-servant is a great minor-character. For no reason whatsoever he is a heroin addict, WWII hero (arguably the original rampager) that collected Nazi scalps – he is also absolutely bursting with gay innuendo and British stereotypes. This is best displayed in the Tontine episode (“The Double Deuce”). Favourite, when Woodhouse learns what his fellow soldier naming his aeroplane “Choke and Stroke” really meant.

Archer Brett Buckley Bunsen Bloodmobil Ricochet Magic Bullet Blood Friendly FireBret Bunsen/Buckley – being a spy agency, every so often a gun will go off in the ISIS offices, and unfortunately mild-mannered clerk Brett usually ends up with a slug in him. Last count I did was six times – although I’m sure it’s probably higher. Season Five opens with Bret’s funeral – “he died doing what he loved – getting shot”. He also got the nickname “Mr Bloodmobile” because he lost so much blood, without ever bleeding out.

Archer Lana Kane Sterling Animal Farm Novella Allegorical BookGrammar Nazi / Literary References ­– for a racy, adult style comedy one of the best, and most subtle, recurring jokes is that Archer is a complete book-and-grammar pedant;
– to whom,
– can’t or won’t
– literally and figuratively
– Irony lessons

Favourite: on being told that Animal Farm is a book “No, it’s not Lana. It’s an allegorical novella about Stalinism by George Orwell, and spoiler alert, it sucks”

Archer I can't hear you giant throbbing erection awesomeness me punching you in the faceCouldn’t hear you – even when you can clearly hear someone, it’s not uncommon for agents to bait each other by saying I Couldn’t hear you over the sound of… “… my giant throbbing erection”, “… me breaking your nose”, “… how awesome I am”, Favourite, the one time someone says “I can’t hear you over the sound of.. I genuinely couldn’t hear you” was so unexpected that I snorted.

Archer_WooWoooooooh! – any time Archer partakes in some high-adrenaline activity (or enters the Danger Zone) he will end up running into enemy fire laughing or shouting Wooooh.. Favourite: “he broke both of Wu’s arms; while shouting Wooo!”

LINK TO THE FIRST NINE BRILLIANT RUNNING JOKES!

And for anyone that doesn’t like Archer…. THIS

Archer Logo - Sterling Malory Archer, H. Jon Benjamin, Lana Kane, Aisha Tyler, Malory Archer, Jessica Walter, comptroller, Cheryl Tunt, Judy Greer, Cyril Figgis, Chris Parnell, Pam PooveyFor those that don’t yet know about this piece of TV gold, Archer is a smart, fantastically written, genuinely funny and raunchy animated adult comedy. It follows the world’s deadliest secret agent, Sterling Archer – a James Bond parody – at his mother’s spy agency ISIS. The show has the advantage of combining two great genres: mixing the world of ‘spy parody’ with ‘workplace comedy’ – and trust me when I say that fans of either genre should be watching this.

Like any other comedy worth it’s salt, there’s a long list of running gags and references that hardened fans will pick up, adding a much deeper appreciation. Here are my favourite gags:

Archer 01 - Cyril Hello1) Cyril’s welcome: Every time the ISIS sex-addict accountant-turned-field-agent Cyril is caught in a compromising situation he lets out the most innocent and child-like ‘Helloooo’. He even gets to say “Olllaaaaaa” when he gets caught in a Mexican quandary.

Archer 02 - Lana Kane YUP NOPE2) Lana’s Yep / Nope: The pronunciation (and frequency) of these two words uttered by Lana are so infectious that they will soon creep in to your everyday vocabulary. By the time season 3 rolls round it’s a full on catchphrase. It’s never a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with her, but an attitude laden YUUUUUUP or NOOOOOOPE.

Archer 03 - Krieger - I'm not a SERIAL Killer

I’m not a serial killer…

3) Krieger: there are too many standout krieger moments to warrant picking one out – his elaborately pimped out vans are ridiculous, he has a manga girlfriend who’s beamed from a projector, and so many grim and sinister ‘scientific’ projects that are always going wrong – he is easily the darkest aspect of the show.

Archer 04 - Do you want ants? Because thats how you get ants - may as well start an ant farm4) Do you want ants? Every time a piece of food is dropped on the ISIS carpet someone makes a remark about getting ants. It starts as a throwaway line, but is mentioned frequently enough to beome an in joke. It’s so ridiculous and out-of-place that it gets you every time – “We might as well just start an ant farm”

Archer 05 - Lana's man yetti shovel scoop cricket bat hands Lana Kane5) Lana’s Hands: Poor Lana. Despite being one of the hottest cartoon ladies ever drawn (is that OK to say?) everyone comments on her man / shovel / yeti / monster / cricket bat hands. Any time she touches someone these are likely to be brought up – even though they look completely normal. Poor Lana, although she doesn’t help herself by using them to death-grip her colleagues.

Archer 06 - Barry Bionic Barry Other Barry6) Archer / Barry rivalry: the relationship between Archer and his nemesis Barry, from ISIS competition ODIN, is so twisted and bitter that it has to be laughed at. Archer has dropped Barry from a great height (twice) and broken up his engagement, to which (Bionic and / or Other) Barry has returned the favours.

Archer 07 - Malory Archer7) Malory Archer: aside from the fact that not even she knows who archers father is (could be one of five men) Malory appears to have slept with almost every male character, from ex-colleagues through to Burt Reynolds. She’s also the, most stubborn, alcoholic and least PC character, continually spouting the most risqué and offence-courting dialogue.

Archer 08 - Passwords Guest8) Passwords: working in IT, this is particularly funny to me because it’s so close to the truth, yet played for laughs in the show. Every password to every database and ‘mainframe’ computer in the whole of ISIS is ‘GUEST’.

Archer 09 - Phone Elaborate Voicemail Prank Ringtone Mullato Butts

BOOM! Birthday Voicemail!

9) Archer’s Phone: a double-header: firstly, he has the most elaborate voicemail pranks you could imagine, some spanning +30 seconds, and usually aimed at his mother. He also has a completely awesome, but totally unexpected ringtone (Mulatto Butts) going off at the most inappropriate moments of his covert operations.

Archer Banner Poster TV ShowOf course, there are dozens of other jokes and smaller characters that keep re-appearing. Archer’s childhood flashbacks, and his obsessions with rampages, Lacrosse, turtlenecks/tactlenecks, significant historical names, and cars. Pam “Shit Snacks” Poovey as the shockingly incompetent, badass and blabermouth HR manager. Cheryl / Carol “You’re not my supervisor!” Tunt as the glue-eating choke fetish secretary. Archer’s life-long live-in male servant Woodhouse, and all of his innuendo & heroin. The ever disabled / able ‘Gay’ Ray Gillett. Brett “gunshot wound” Buckley, ODIN Boss Len Trexler, Nikolai Jakov (Khhheeaadd ov Kay Gee Bee) and so forth. Put all of these individual elements together and you have an unmissable comedy show.