You haven’t lived until you’ve seen the hilarious cast of Archer do a live reading of an episode. Especially when that live reading takes place at San Diego Comic-Con, on a boat, at sunset, with an open bar, and with the script of one of the funniest episodes of all time. Turns out the only thing funnier and more entertaining than watching an episode of Archer is watching the cast drunkenly perform one live.
We got this treatment in regard to season six’s “Vision Quest.”And when I say drunkenly, I really mean it. Aisha Tyler, who voices crack agent Lana Kane, brought a bottle of Makers Mark onstage and poured everyone generous cups. Judy Greer, the hilarious Cheryl/Carol/Cherlene, was chugging (literally) an IPA. It definitely helped set the mood from the start.
If you don’t remember “Vision Quest,” it’s the one where everyone (except Mallory) gets stuck inside the elevator and everything devolves into chaos after Pam pees on the floor and uses her skirt to sop up the mess (and of course, she wasn’t wearing underwear…). You remember it now, right? Now just picture the cast reading the script underneath a giant screen that shows episodic photos as they read along. And at one point, the screen just shows a giant photo of Pam’s butt. It was truly a thing of beauty.
But wait, it gets better! The live reading, which was the first one in over two years, was joined by surprise guest, Mr. Robot star Christian Slater (who plays arguably one of the greatest Archer recurring characters ever, aptly named “Slater”), who read the stage directions throughout the performance. Not only was he constantly having to wrangle the cast into staying focused, but he also couldn’t help but lose it and crack up after every joke or every ad lib the cast members spewed out nonstop. A giggling Christian Slater is the best Christian Slater.
And while it seemed like Jessica Walter, who kills it as Mallory Archer on the show, wasn’t going to make it to the live reading, she ended up making a fashionably late entrance right before her first line. And the crowd. Went. Wild! It’s not a true Archer event until Mallory shows up.
After the live reading, the event turned into a mini-Q&A where the cast and showrunner Adam Reed revealed some hilarious and surprising facts about the series, like how all the actors on the show were Reed’s first choices for their respective characters, and how they hired models who looked like all the actors to design the look of the characters. When asked what character they’d like to play instead of their own, nearly everyone said Pam, but H. Jon Benjamin and Walter want to swap roles with each other. Plus, the audience got to vote on whether or not Archer should bring back wee baby Seamus. Reed doesn’t want to, but the vote was decidedly “Yes!” Who knows whether or not he’ll actually live up to his promise, though. He seemed very against it.
In a rare moment of seriousness, Reed led the entire boat into a round of applause for George Coe, the recently deceased actor who voiced Archer’s butler Woodhouse throughout series. Turns out, Reed didn’t write in anything to explain Woodhouse’s sudden absence from the show because he just couldn’t wrap his head around it. But as it’s been a year and a half since Coe passed away, Reed is finally able to confront those feelings, so next season will focus on the loss of Woodhouse.
And since this was a Comic-Con event, at one point, the entire cast yelled at the audience to stop recording the show and just enjoy it in the moment, as about 15 people were standing and holding their phones in the air. But they weren’t recording the live reading… as it turns out, there was a Pokémon onstage. Comic-Con, never change.