Continuing our ongoing Archer series, executive producer Matt Thompson gives Vulture the low-down on each episode’s origin stories and obscure references. In last night’s installment, “Coyote Lovely,” Archer goes to the border to track down a notorious coyote. Here, Thompson tells us all about recruiting more of his FX friends to do voice work and the hidden hat-tip to Fandango.
When we usually make a movie reference, it’s like saying, “Hey! In case you missed this, it was good. Heaven Can Wait? That was good!” But I’m not sure anyone remembers Fandango; that’s the problem. I don’t think a ton of people saw it. It was good, not great, and for whatever reason, it stuck with Adam. I haven’t seen it in years, but now we all know where the bottle of Dom is buried, right? Look, we’re selling to men 18 to 34, and I’m just assuming the demographics of people who saw and remember Fandango, well, it may not be a significant portion of our audience.
When the sheriffs crash into a wall, if you look quickly, it says “More Fence Coming Soon!” which is obviously a joke about the government running out of money to build a border. They crashed into the one little tiny place where they started building. It’s not a joke that hasn’t been done 20,000 times, and that’s why you only see it for, like, twenty frames.
The Veterinarian and the Sheriff
Getting Dayton Callie (Sons of Anarchy) and Nick Searcy (Justified) came from a couple nights of FX-sponsored drinking. Back when Archer was just getting started, I was at the Santa Monica Pier for one of these FX press tour events, and I see Dayton Callie. Because I’m a very, very big Deadwood fan, I went up to him and said, “Hey, you’re awesome,” and he went, “Great. You wanna sit down and have a beer?” He was so cool. All these other actors brought their agents and publicists and he was just there by himself, like, “I’m just here. Got me some free food. Gonna have a beer.” Then he asked, “Who’s your friend?” “Uh, this gorgeously well-dressed, six-foot, slender black woman? This is Aisha Tyler.” Then I didn’t get to talk to him anymore. But I got to sit with him and Aisha, having all this food on a stick at a network party.
So then one year ago, [Archer creator] Adam Reed and Nick and Dayton got to drinking at the FX upfront party, which is not like an I can’t wait to go to this party kind of party. I think these three guys bonded over that. They’re all Southerners and they all identify with the same sensibility, which is “They told me to be here. I’m here. I’m going to be drinking in the corner. Good-bye.” They got to talking, and apparently Nick and Dayton are old school friends. They hadn’t done anything together, and Adam wanted to fix that.
“Coyote Lovely” was actually the first episode we did for the season. Adam wrote it while he was taking a break from writing the Bob’s Burger crossover episode. It was designed sort of as a bottle episode, so hopefully if something happened to one of the characters later on, this wouldn’t hurt us down the road. And in fact there is one thing in there that winds up hurting us continuity-wise, but I’m not telling what it is. Whaaat? Somebody I’m sure will figure it out and call me on it.*
*You heard the man. Leave your guesses in the comments below.