H. Jon Benjamin took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us before the premiere of the third season of Archer tonight at 10 on FX.
The star of Archer, Bob’s Burgers, and Jon Benjamin Has a Van talked about doing his multiple voices, live acting, and what’s coming in the future. Talking about things like serious voice acting and improvisation. So click through to see what he had so say, also there might be a spoiler, but really it’s more like a teaser.
Read on my friends.
Jon doesn’t really do voices, he has his own and uses that to portray different characters. Bob and Archer have the same voice but are completely different with their inflections and vocal cadences. So I asked him about the amount of yelling and if he wanted a quite script.
“I would love to in parentheses …. Just once. It is, and I have to say, like I recently, whenever I finish—it’s not grueling or anything, but my vocal cords don’t recover for like a day after an Archer session. So they owe me. And it’s not like I’m at war, but it’s hard on the throat. But, yes, I would like to do … someday.”
Continuing with his voice acting he talked about serious voice acting and doing the lines for the more dramatic parts in the series.
“It’s always odd when you have to like cry or something—like for real, when he was like, whatever—your woman dies or something and you’re crying. It’s so easy to do a … but it’s weird to—like I’d always be was that terrible? It’s not like a movie, I guess, where everybody’s standing around and people are watching and you really got to do it. There’s something odd—very false about just standing in front of a microphone. So hopefully the cries are believable. I actually cry. I actually cried a couple of times.”
Going into the future of Archer, he talked about what he wanted to see Adam Reed write into the story and about returning to the style of the second season and focusing on the characters and missions. Also I got him to reveal that they’re going to space in the upcoming season.
“There is so much, obviously, like spy world stuff to explore and I’m sure he hasn’t gotten to all the possibilities yet. I guess I would want him to sing more, maybe. Maybe start a band, like a really bad blues band or something. You know like Jim Belushi style.
“I think it does get crazier—not crazier, but there are definitely moments of pure craziness, as there always is, I guess, in the show. But I think, he returns back to his regular life, so he doesn’t go off the rails completely. The show gets back to what it did in the second season which is focus on all the characters who work for the spy agency and stuff like that. So he doesn’t have any more like crazy flights of—but they go to space. They get to go to space, but I think that was part of the mission, so it’s not like he was just like I’m going to go to space and take off.”
Talking about improvising on Archer and Bob’s Burgers he said:
“There is not a lot of room. The scripts are tightly written and he[Adam Reed] encourages sometimes on occasion, he’ll be like do you want to add anything, and I’ll say no. So it’s not the same kind of production as Bob’s Burgers, which is a lot improvising all the time, but the scripts don’t really require it.”
His live action show Jon Benjamin Has a Van ended it’s first season last year and hasn’t been picked up yet for a second season. He wants to keep it going though.
“I liked doing it a lot. But, you know, voice work right now is predominantly what I do. But it took a year to make that show, and it was a lot of work, but I enjoyed it, so I would probably like to do more stuff on camera, but with this …, it doesn’t bode well.
“We wrote half of the second season of the van show, and we’re waiting to hear. But I’ve heard nobody watched it. That doesn’t seem like it’s encouraging, but I hope we can do more of them. And the scripts we wrote are, I think, sublimely funny.”
There have been some more serious point in Archer‘s run of episodes. The show has done long arcs with complex story lines and one shot episodes that are fast and funny. When asked if he had a favorite:
“I think it’s very successful when they try and do more longer arcs, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a detriment when they don’t. The television I watch is probably more story—more narratives. But I don’t know— Adam Reed is so good at crafting narrative threads that run throughout everything that like it’s kind of always a combination of one-offs and I guess it’s like any sort of really good sitcom where you start to love all the characters. He does such a good job keeping it vibrant. I’m sorry I said that—keeping it vibrant. I never wanted to use that. I never wanted to say those three words, but I think like when Archer got cancer and this sort of first of three-parter—those were really fun to do.”
Here’s a bonus little clip for you.