by Jenna Mullins | Mon., Jan. 13, 2014 3:34 PM
Archer is one of the best comedies on television. We don't want to argue with you, it just is. If you want a longer explanation as to why you are sorely missing out if you're not watching it, just check out our love letter to the animated FX series.
This time around in season five, Archer is shaking things up. We won't reveal any spoilers, but it's safe to say that you'll find out very quickly in tonight's premiere how this season will be different than the last four. We've seen a couple of episodes from season five, and rest assured that while the formula of the series is changing a bit, Archer is still as funny as ever.
So in honor of Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) and Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) and the rest of the ISIS crew returning after a way-too-long hiatus, we want to talk about one of the many things that this shows does better than most: running gags. Here are our top picks:
1. Do You Want Ants? It started as a throwaway line, but the subject of ants pop up quite frequently on Archer. And don't you dare drop any food-related items on the ISIS carpet! Because that's how you get ants!
2. Dr. Krieger's Experiments: His dad was a Nazi scientist. He has a virtual girlfriend and a pimped-out van. He's a genius. He's an idiot. He's supposedly a Hitler clone. The character of Doctor Algernop Krieger (not actually a doctor) has a lot of crazy qualities, but it's his weird experiments that make him a favorite of ours. Here are just a few of the experiments he's dabbled in: created his own breast milk, built a half-man/half-pig creature named Pigley, engineered a Chokebot for Cheryl, and resurrected Archer's dead fiancée, Katya, and made her into a cyborg.
3. Danger Zone: If you happened to see Archer's Top Gun montage floating around the Internet, you should know that it's part of a running gag on the show. Archer first made reference to going straight into the danger zone in the third episode of the first season, and we've heard those two words quite often ever since. Even Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston slipped one in when he lent his voice in season three. It's also part of another running joke on the show concerning Archer and Lana, which brings us to…
4. Lana. Lana? Lana! Archer loves to scream Lana's name until she yells back "what?!" And even though Archer is clamoring for Lana's attention like he'll explode if she doesn't acknowledge him immediately, the reason behind him screaming her name is usually the least important thing ever. For example, yelling Lana's name so he could joyously proclaim that Cheryl's pet ocelot Babou remembers him.
5. Brett the Bullet Magnet: Brett Buckley, an ISIS employee, has been shot no fewer than eight times throughout the series. Is anyone ever concerned about his survival? Nope. Mostly they're concerned about Brett not answering the phone or bleeding on the carpet.
6. Archer's Voicemail: You know those voicemails where the person pretends to be answering but then says "Got you! Leave a message!" Those are awful. Well, Archer takes that gag to the 100th degree with very, very elaborate voicemail hoaxes. Usually his mother is the one on the receiving end. Leave it!
7. Phrasing: The term "phrasing" is basically like The Office's "that's what she said" for Archer. Any time someone says something that sounds sexual or could be taken as a sexual innuendo, Archer has to throw out a "phrasing!" Sometimes he uses it as a warning, especially when his mother is getting too descriptive with her sexual experiences. Have you been missing Archer's use of "phrasing?" Well, you'll be intrigued to know that season five has a very interesting phrasing situation.
8. "You're Not My Supervisor!" Cheryl yells this quite often, especially when someone tries to get her to do her job. By the by, who is her supervisor?
9. Archer's Treatment of Woodhouse: It's not so much a running gag as it is just a fact of his life, but Archer treats his personal servant like absolute crap. It's not that he hates Woodhouse, the sweet, old, mild-mannered man who helped raise him; it's just that he thinks Woodhouse is beneath him. No matter what Woodhouse does (cooks him a birthday breakfast, caters to his every need), Archer is never pleased. And his punishments are always swift and ridiculous. How would you like it if someone made you eat an entire bowl of spider webs? Nope. Nightmare.
So, watch Archer tonight. Or catch up on the past episodes by watching Archer on Netflix streaming. Or watch tonight and then catch up. Or catch up and then watch the season five premiere. The options are endless, as long as you end up watching Archer because you will be so grateful to us.