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Skilled spy and terrible human being Sterling Archer has frequently referenced the Top Gun soundtrack tune whose performer, Kenny Loggins, recently played himself on the show's current season.
Adam Reed: ''That was a throwaway line that then got some traction and then it became a catchphrase. Kenny Loggins is on this country record we're putting out (the now available to buy Cherlene: Songs From the Series Archer) and he and his management have just been super helpful.''
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Lana's ''Man Hands''
The stunningly beautiful ISIS spy Lana is routinely mocked by her ex-lover Archer, and other co-workers, for possessing outsized extremities — although they don't actually look all that large.
Reed: ''Lana's hands are normal. I think it's one of those things where people will just decide something is odd about a person and pick on them for a nonexistent thing and then other people pick up on it.''
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Archer's Voicemail Pranks
To the enduring exasperation of his mother Malory, the H. Jon Benjamin-voiced Archer thinks it is hilarious to record the kind of voicemail messages in which it initially seems he is actually answering the phone. Someone else who thinks it's hilarious? Adam Reed.
Reed: ''I really enjoy writing those and then hearing what Jon ad-libs and turns them into. I think that's probably something that everybody is bored with, including the viewers. But I love it and I love to hear it. So I'm probably going to keep doing that until somebody makes me stop.''
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''I had something for this...''
Either this line or some variant is uttered by an Archer character when they are unable to come up with a James Bond-esque bon mot or quippy insult. (See also ''Sploosh!'' and ''Phrasing!'')
Reed: ''That probably is me not being able to think of a joke at that moment and writing, 'I will come back to this,' or something. And then getting into the VO session and being like, 'What are we doing here? Oh, right.' And then probably Jon just ad-libbing, 'I had something for this.'''
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Like Kenny Loggins, the Deliverance star has both been referenced repeatedly on the show and played himself.
Reed: ''Oh, I'm a huge fan from childhood. When I was a kid I remember seeing The Longest Yard on TV, and it's pretty risqué. The parents were off doing something else and it was just like, 'Oh my god, this is amazing!' I think I actually went to see Hooper in the theater. But I've always been just a huge fan of his, so that sort of bled over. Meeting him was like, 'Oh my god!' He showed up, he's all in black, just looks so cool. He actually signed my script. I still have it. I'm going to get it framed.''
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In the movies no action hero ever seems to get tinnitus. But in Archer they do — a lot.
Reed: ''Whatever script it first appeared in, they shot a gun in an enclosed space and I was like, 'That's really bad for you.' So we put that in there and then the president of the American Tinnitus Association e-mailed us and said, 'Thanks so much for raising awareness.' So now we put it in quite frequently. FX every year makes donations and each show picks its own charity. And Archer's charity is the American Tinnitus Association.''
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ISIS employee Brett Bunsen (who is voiced by Archer art director Neal Holman) has been shot on many occasions — usually by Archer himself — and was actually killed by an FBI agent in the premiere of the current season. Archer's elegy? ''Well, he died doing what he loved. Getting shot.''
Reed: ''We give Neal kind of a hard time, so it's fun to shoot his character, and hear him in pain. [This season] it was like, 'Oh, so that's it?' 'Yeah.'''
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Rarely does an episode of Archer pass without writer Reed (pictured above) including a reference to some — often extremely obscure — historical figure such as elevator safety device inventor Elisha Otis or, in this season's finale, 18th century political theorist Edmund Burke.
Reed: ''People like Edmund Burke! [Laughs] People are crazy about Edmund Burke! I predict a big resurgence in Edmund Burke-related merchandise this year! That's the English major [in me] trying to claw his way out and talk about things nobody else cares about.''