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This Week’s Obscure Archer References Decoded: Tentacle Porn and Tinnitus

Continuing our ongoing Archer series, executive producer Matt Thompson gives Vulture the down-low on each episode's inside jokes and obscure references. In last night's installment, "Vicious Coupling," Katya called her former fiancé in to help rescue Barry from outer space. Here, Thompson tells us all about their thoughtful takes on tentacle porn and  fake beer.

Tentacle Porn
The title of Krieger's tentacle-porn movies are a direct reference to The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, an erotic woodcutting from Japan circa 1800. It depicts an octopus going down on a naked lady. It has since evolved into a thriving industry of dirty movies where women are taken advantage of by tentacle-limbed creatures. Google it. Good God. Adam chose this fetish for Krieger in an attempt to make him even creepier. At this point, I really don't know how he could be any weirder. And no, there is no one here into tentacle porn. 

If you look closely at all of the different tentacle-porn images from the episode, there is a character arc happening within the covers: 

  • VHS cover 1: The Fisherman's Wife stands on a dock, waving at (presumably) her husband as naughty tentacles creep up from the sea below.
  • VHS cover 2: A tentacle is draped around the Wife's neck, and she's ... smiling.
  • Comic Cover 1: The Wife frolics with the tentacles, wielding a new scepter and wearing a tiara. 
  • Comic Cover 2: The Wife uses the scepter and tiara, commanding the tentacles to attack her husband. 
  • Comic Cover 3: The power has corrupted the Wife, turning her into a mindless tentacle monster.  

Glengoolie Blue 
I really like the names of our fictitious liquors. It's tough to create a name as good as something like Duff Beer. But Adam is really great with naming things (Cyril Figgis is my all time favorite character name). He always eschews the quick gag to go with something that sounds just real enough. We also have Mr. Potato Red Vodka, Schutzermeister (our take on Jagermeister), Old Buncombe Bourbon (Buncombe is the county surrounding Asheville, N.C., where Adam is from), McSurley's Irish Creme, Mobay beer, RIF beer (mountain region in Spain that Adam has hiked), and Red beer.  The Red beer's logo is an American Indian in full headdress and we are waiting to get in trouble on that. I probably should not mention it. But I like it.  

Tinnitus
Archer used to think he was deaf. Turns out he had tinnitus. A little while back we were contacted by the American Tinnitus Association, and they are very pleased with Archer talking about his affliction. We have donated merchandise for their charity auctions. If you like Archer, give them a dollar.

Fort Kickass 
When Malory and Lana are trapped in the vault, some of the boxes have the words FORT KICK ASS written on them in black marker. That's a holdover from the season one episode "Skorpio" in which Krieger built "Fort KickAss" out of a bunch of these boxes.

Excelsior 
When Krieger's Hologram bride is holding up a centerfold of Neil deGrasse Tyson, on the back of the magazine is an ad for Excelsior. You'll remember that's the nonrigid airship — blimp — from the season-one episode "Skytanic."

Photos: FX; FX; FX; FX; FX; FX