Archer (FX) Interview: H. Jon Benjamin Discusses Changes in Season 5, Sterling Archer as a Father and More

Archer Season 5 Episode 1 White Elephant (1)

Talented voice actor H. Jon Benjamin stars as the inept super spy Stering Archer on FX’s animated comedy Archer. With the season five premiere coming up this Monday, January 13th at 10pm ET/PT, TV Equals was given the opportunity to a join a conference call with Benjamin wherein the talented comedian discussed the seismic changes ahead in season five, how Archer will react to Lana’s pregnancy and much more.

On The Show’s New Direction

Season five will see Archer heading in a new direction that begins with the death of a character who has been a part of the team since the very beginning. That one development will cause a ripple effect for the rest of the series. While Benjamin was good at keeping mum on the specifics, expect a lot of Miami Vice comparisons to crop up in season five. Still, not everything will be different– Benjamin promised the character dynamics will stay in place. When asked if he knew why the writers decided to shake up the show, Benjamin responded:

“I mean I’m not exactly sure why is the real answer, but I assume it has something to do with wanting to kind of change the environment a little bit. But, the good thing is the characters are pretty much the same dynamics. They’re the same. It’s just more confusion, more of the same confusion.”

The Episode Benjamin Is Most Excited For The Fans To See

To be fair, Benjamin has only seen one episode in it’s entirety so far and is in fact still recording for season five. However, he was still excited for the fans to see the game changing season five opening episode, “White Elephant.” “I can’t really pick the favorite except for the first one, which I think is a real—I don’t know if you’ll be shocked, but you’ll be hopefully duly surprised,” he said. “So, be prepared. I would say definitely the first episode. It’s really fun to see what happens to ISIS.”

When is Archer Set?

According to Benjamin, time in the world of Archer is “fungible.” While the early seasons seemed to parody the atmosphere of the ’60s and ’70s. This season is very much all about recreating an ’80s feel.

“But yes, I was a teenager, I think, when Miami Vice came out and that was such a huge show,” Benjamin elaborated. “So, I was excited when I heard that the whole format was sort of—but I think it’s sort of like the James Bond backdrop or landscape. It’s not necessarily—the show kind of maintains itself. It just sort of transitions into this kind of ‘80s world more so, but it’s not really a lampooning of Miami Vice, I think.”

On Lana’s Pregnancy

Archer’s partner and expert spy Lana (Aisha Tyler) has a baby on board this season, but don’t expect that to keep her from doing her job, even though Benjamin does call it “a fairly huge conflict of interest.” Meanwhile, Archer will be taking his own interest in Lana’s pregnancy. When asked if Archer would step into the role of a father figure for Lana’s child, Benjamin was certain that’s exactly what Archer would like to do…however, it’s not a job he is likely to be able to commit to due to his own extensive issues.

“I think he wants to do that, but I think his emotional issues, deep, deep emotional issues would always get in the way,” he said.

What Is The One Life Lesson Sterling Archer Needs To Learn?

Archer is devoted to self preservation, conceited and frequently announces that he is a spy. It seems the man would have plenty of issues to work through, but there is one life lesson in particular, Benjamin is certain Archer needs to learn, hard though it may be. “I think he probably needs to sort of get over these issues with his mother, but that’s hard to do. Most people can’t. I think he probably needs to cut the line with his mom and just go somewhere and write an autobiography.”

Archer Season 5 Episode 1 White Elephant (5)

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About The Author

Sabienna is a freelance writer, pop culture junkie and unabashed fangirl. She blames an early exposure to The X-Files and the Must See TV era of NBC for her twin life-long loves of sci-fi and sitcoms. She's not sure where her all-consuming love for all things British came from, but it led her to Doctor Who so she doesn't complain.