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Why The Cast Of Archer Sounds So Familiar

Animation is often at its best when it's made for adult viewers, and FX's "Archer" ticks all the grown-up boxes. The hit show follows a dysfunctional intelligence agency fronted by the super-suave spy Sterling Archer. Created by Adam Reed, "Archer" is stacked with Easter eggs and pop culture references. From the cast being based on real people to its distinct use of phrasing, there's plenty to love above this hilarious and addictive workplace comedy.

Cited by some fans of animated comedy as their favorite ever show, it's no surprise that we've already seen 13 seasons of "Archer." Lots of notable names have graced the show's cast list in that time, from one-off guests to actors that stuck around for the long haul. Though some of them are no longer with us, their legacies live on. Think you know who's behind the animation? Here's why the cast of "Archer" sound so familiar.

H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer)

The main character in "Archer," Sterling Archer is considered to be the world's deadliest spy. Known for being sex-crazed, hypocritical, and insensitive, his trademark style has been enjoyed by fans since the show began in 2009. The man behind his instantly recognizable voice is H. Jon Benjamin, who is renowned for his voice-over and narration roles across both animated and live TV. If you think Archer sounds a little like a much-loved cartoon patriarch, then you'd be right, as Benjamin also serves as the voice for Bob Belcher in "Bob's Burgers."

Aside from his roles in "Archer" and "Bob's Burgers," Benjamin has also done animated shows such as "Central Park," "My Butt Hazza Fever," and "Family Guy." Though he typically acts behind the camera rather than in front of it, Benjamin had a role in "Star Trek: Short Treks," in which he portrayed the mad scientist Edward Larkin, and he also popped up in Aziz Ansari's Netflix series "Master of None." Video game fans are likely to recognize him as well, as he has given his voice to the "Destiny" franchise.

Judy Greer (Cheryl Tunt)

Described as prattling and crazy by those she works with, Cheryl Tunt is the secretary for Malory Archer who can't help but ooze oddness. Defined by her frequent chaotic outbursts, it's difficult to tell whether the many stories surrounding Cheryl's life are true or works of fiction. The voice behind the chaos belongs to Judy Greer, who matches H. Jon Benjamin's appearance rate at 135 episodes. Greer is a star of both the big and small screen, widely known for her roles in "13 Going on 30," and, more recently, "Halloween Kills." Receiving her first acting credit in 1997, Greer has appeared in some of the biggest franchises in the business, with roles in the likes of "Jurassic World" and "Ant-Man."

Not only a regular in Hollywood feature films, Greer is also no stranger to television. She was in the Paramount miniseries "The Thing About Pam" in 2022, and Greer has racked up credits in classic TV shows including "My Name Is Earl," "ER," and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Cheryl Tunt isn't the only time Greer has dipped her toe into voice acting, either: She has voiced minor characters in "Family Guy," "BoJack Horseman," and "American Dad," to name but a few. She also served as the English dub actor for the character Yuki in the Studio Ghibli film "The Cat Returns."

Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane)

Every great spy needs a love interest, and Lana Kane in "Archer" serves as exactly that. Causing friction at her job because of her leftist views, Lana is known for being strong-willed — even when her job extends to babysitting Archer. Pouring sarcasm into the role of Lana is Aisha Tyler, who has been on the "Archer" team since the show's pilot episode in 2009. The actor has been a long-standing face on "Criminal Minds" in the role of Dr. Tara Lewis, and you may have also seen her in "Ghost Whisperer," in which she played assistant district attorney-turned-antique store worker Andrea Marino.

Tyler is also regarded as a comedian, with frequent turns on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" under her belt. She's had plenty of comedic turns on the small screen, too. She's well known for her stint in "Friends," in which she portrayed paleontology professor Charlie Wheeler, and she has guested on programs like "Glee" and "Two and a Half Men." Tyler is also a familiar figure from the "Santa Clause" film franchise, taking on the role of Mother Nature in the second and third sequels. She's no stranger to video games, either: Tyler can be heard in "Halo: Reach" and "Watch Dogs."

Adam Reed (Ray Gillette)

The only openly gay ISIS agent, Ray Gillette is one of the more optimistic and good-natured characters in "Archer." He often goes out of his way to assist his friends and colleagues, although he quite understandably despises Archer having been paralyzed by him. Ray is voiced by none other than the show's creator Adam Reed, who is known for his writing, acting, and producing credits. Not only is he the creative genius behind "Archer," but he also engineered the shows "Frisky Dingo" and "Sealab 2021." Additionally, Reed was the driving force behind the video game "Balls of Glory," which features characters from "Family Guy" and "American Dad."

In addition to his writing chops, Reed has acting credits for almost all of the programs he has created. Alongside his 112 episodes of "Archer," his voice can also be found in animated hits like "Robot Chicken" and "That Crook'd 'Sipp." He has also done some live-action TV, serving as an executive producer on "Carole Baskin's Cage Fight" — as a tale of revenge and carefully-chosen words, perhaps the world of "Tiger King" is more similar to "Archer" than it looks.

Jessica Walter (Malory Archer)

Before she passed away peacefully in her sleep during the Season 12 finale, Malory Archer was the character that everyone loved to hate. Sterling Archer's mother and the head of ISIS, she was known for her callous attitude, alcoholic tendencies, and promiscuous activity. Malory was voiced by the late Jessica Walter, who was arguably best known for her role as Lucille Bluth in "Arrested Development," a character she played from 2003 to 2019. A veteran with over 160 credits to her name, Walter also plied her trade in shows like "Columbo," "The Big Bang Theory," "NCIS," "90210," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

In terms of feature films, Walter was best known for her turn as psychotic fangirl Evelyn Draper in 1971's "Play Misty for Me," Clint Eastwood's directorial debut. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, though she didn't win. She did, however, scoop an Emmy Award a few years later, winning outstanding lead actress in a limited series for playing Amy Prentiss in the 1974 police drama of the same name. When it comes to voice roles, she was famous for playing Malory, but she also gave her distinctive tones to everything from "The Magic School Bus" and "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated" to 2022's "Harley Quinn," in which she played Granny Goodness.

Walter died in her sleep in March, 2021. She was 80.

Amber Nash (Pam Poovey)

Those who work in H.R. are arguably the anchor point for what makes the world go round, so it's no surprise that Pam Poovey is considered to be a main character in "Archer." Often seen with a dolphin puppet in her hand, Pam is known for being largely inappropriate and gossiping about co-workers using their personal information. Poovey is voiced by Amber Nash, who has been with the show since its inception in 2009. Alongside her role in "Archer," Nash is known for her work in "Mr. Robot" and "America: The Motion Picture."

Nash previously worked with "Archer" creator Adam Reed on "Frisky Dingo," with her role as Valerie in that show being her first credited TV part. She is also known for her improvisational comedy — in fact, that's what led her to Pam. "I got a degree in psychology and I was counseling kids, and I was like, 'I need an outlet of some kind,' so I started taking improv classes and I fell in love with it," she told PIX11. "That's how I ended up doing voice work because that's how I met the guys who make 'Archer.'"

Chris Parnell (Cyril Figgis)

Former ISIS field agent Cyril Figgis is a key member of the "Archer" team, particularly because he's the easiest target for Archer's gags. A timid guy who lacks confidence, Cyril sticks out like a sore thumb, though he's notably the only character that shows any real development. Figgis is voiced by Chris Parnell, who has been with "Archer" since the beginning. When he's not trying to make Cyril seem more confident than he is, Parnell is best known for voicing wet-blanket dad Jerry Smith in "Rick & Morty." Clearly, when it comes to voice roles, Parnell has a type.

When he's not lending his voice to other hit animated shows like "Family Guy" and "American Dad," Parnell is appearing in comedies like "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," "Anchorman," and "21 Jump Street." Little ones might know him better as the voice of Mr. Peabody in "The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show," while parents may remember Parnell as the obnoxious toy store clerk in the '90s Christmas movie "Jingle All The Way." Additionally, he has acting credits in some of the biggest sitcoms of all time, including "Friends" and "Seinfeld."

Ron Leibman (Ron Cadillac)

A woman as powerful and fearsome as Malory Archer needs a husband to match. Introduced in Season 4 of "Archer," Ron Cadillac is the catalyst for Archer suddenly becoming Bob Belcher from "Bob's Burgers." Coming across as sweet in a way that's both a strength and a weakness, Ron's sketchy past doesn't distract him from being able to handle Archer with ease. Sharing the first name of his character, Ron Leibman is the voice behind Cadillac — and he was also the real-life partner of Jessica Walter.

Before his passing in 2019, Leibman was a familiar face on shows including "Law & Order" and "Kaz," for which he won an Emmy. He perfected the role of TV doctor over the course of his long career, with multiple episode stints as medical men on the likes of "Friends" (in which he played Dr. Leonard Green, the father of Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green) and "The Sopranos" (in which he played Dr. Lior Plepler, who treated Tony Soprano after he was shot by his uncle Junior Soprano). He didn't do a lot of voice acting, but he did lend his voice to "Rugrats" and "Fish Police," a Hanna-Barbera series based on the comic of the same name.

Keegan-Michael Key (Detective Diedrich)

Detective Diedrich is a recurring character with a very famous face behind him. Also known as "Rim Shot," Diedrich is one half of an extremely incompetent police duo that works for the LAPD. He's played by Keegan-Michael Key, who is known for his work with Jordan Peele. On top of co-starring in a successful sketch show together, the friends and collaborators have bounced off each other in feature films, such as the comedy "Keanu." But where else have you seen him?

Just like his castmate Chris Parnell, Key starred in the 2022 live action film "Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers," playing Bjornson the Cheesemonger. Prior to that, he appeared in the comedy caper "Let's Be Cops" with Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., and he was also in the George Clooney-led flop "Tomorrowland." When it comes to voice acting, Key has plied his trade in some of the biggest animated shows out there, including "Rick & Morty" and "The Simpsons." He was also the voice of Honest John in Disney's live-action "Pinocchio" in 2022.

George Coe (Arthur Woodhouse)

All protagonists that have an unfiltered, villainous streak need a poor, unsuspecting character to take it out on. For Sterling Archer, the victim is Arthur Woodhouse, his elderly and long-suffering valet. Raising Sterling since he was a boy, Woodhouse was eventually written out in 2015, dying from a suspected heroin overdose. The move came as a result of the real-life passing of his voice actor George Coe, who had been with "Archer" since the early days. Woodhouse is not the only voice role Coe was known for, having given his voice to TV shows such as "The Legend of Korra," "Celebrity Deathmatch," and "Camp Candy."

Though Coe's last role was in "Archer," he landed some pretty big swings throughout his 50-year career. Alongside acting credits in "Kramer vs. Kramer," "The Stepford Wives," and "The Golden Girls," Coe appeared in household shows such as "Saturday Night Live" (he was one of the original cast members), "Law & Order," and "Murder, She Wrote." He wasn't a stranger to video game voice overs, either, having worked on the likes of "Star Wars: The Old Republic," "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," and "Guild Wars 2."

Jeffrey Tambor (Len Trexler)

The head of ODIN and the possible father of Sterling Archer, fans might get the feeling that they have seen Len Trexler somewhere before. Alongside resembling Gerry from "Totally Spies!," the polo enthusiast who frequently professes his love for Malory also looks slightly like his real-life counterpart, Jeffrey Tambor. Tambor is best-known for his role as George Bluth Sr. in "Arrested Development," which he played from 2003 to 2019. "Archer" was the second time he played the love interest of Malory Archer's voice actor Jessica Walter, with her famously starring opposite him as wife Lucille Bluth in the beloved sitcom. Viewers may also know Tambor from feature films like "The Hangover" and "The Invention of Lying."

Tambor gained critical acclaim for his role in the groundbreaking series "Transparent," winning two Emmy Awards for his turn as late transitioner Maura Pfefferman. He was removed from the show ahead of the final season after numerous people involved in the production came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and Amazon parted ways with him, tainting the legacy of the show in eyes of many. During a visit to Gilbert Gottfried's satellite radio show "Amazing Colossal" (via the Independent) in 2020, the actor apologized for his actions. "There were instances where my interaction with these lovely people could have been mistaken way other, way other than how I intended, and I have profoundly apologized, and I apologize now if I made anyone, anyone feel vulnerable, and I'm sorry it ended the way it did." He had previously apologized during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, telling the outlet that "lines got blurred" on set.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Kayvan Novak (Fabian Kingsworth)

Some actors have a gift for turning their voices into something unrecognizable, and Kayvan Novak is famed for his ability to do just that. He's appeared in 12 episodes of "Archer" to date as the former head of the IIA Fabian Kingsworth, taking up a huge chunk of Archer's headspace during his coma. Fabian is considered to be a conglomerate spy, formerly admiring Archer before it all went wrong. Before Novak graced "Archer," he was best known for his comedy spoof shows "Fonejacker" and "Facejacker," morphing into different roles to play pranks on unassuming members of the public.

Since the British funnyman hit the big time, he's most likely to be recognized for playing the vampire Nandor the Relentless in the TV adaptation of "What We Do in the Shadows," though he has also been in plenty of films. After a hilarious (and surprisingly moving) turn in the terrorist comedy "Four Lions," he started snapping up roles in more mainstream projects, such as "Paddington," "Men in Black: International," and Disney's live-action "Cruella."

Alison Pill (Alessia)

When a show has been on the air for over a decade, there needs to be some new kids on the block. Since 2022, one of the fresh faces featured on "Archer" is Alessia, a Swiss super spy. With strong queer overtones to the character and her relationship with Pam, not only does Alessia bring more representation to the show, but she also brings actor Alison Pill into the "Archer" fold. "Archer" is her most recent acting credit at the time of this writing, but Pill has had a bunch of memorable roles over the years.

Pill is arguably best known for her role as Ivy Mayfair-Richards in "American Horror Story," starring in the 2017 "Cult" season. However, she's also been in the likes of "The Newsroom," "Star Trek: Picard," and "The Family." She has also branched out into the world of podcasting in recent years, taking on the role of Lindsay Whittle in the radio drama "The Rubber Room."

When it comes to feature films, she's also got plenty of experience. Comedy fans will have seen her in the ice hockey comedy "Goon" and the romcom "Dan in Real Life," and she has also plied her trade in more serious fare like the Sean Penn-led biopic "Milk." Her most famous film is undoubtedly "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," in which she played Kim Pine, the drummer in Scott's (Michael Cera) band.

Wendell Pierce (Verl)

"Archer" is known for its memorable one-off characters, and the role of Verl is one of the best. Playing the piano for the Dreamland House Band, Verl makes his one and only appearance in Season 8. The voice behind the smooth music is Wendell Pierce, who is a veteran of both the stage and screen. Known for stand-out roles in "Suits," "Chicago P.D.," and "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan," it's safe to say that Pierce has a face that many will instantly recognize.

Along with the aforementioned shows, Pierce has plied his trade in the likes of "The Odd Couple" and "Ray Donovan." Films such as "Money Pit," "Selma," "Horrible Bosses," and "Malcolm X" have also been blessed by his presence, but it's the critically acclaimed detective show "The Wire" that he's best known for. He played the character Bunk Moreland, a veteran Baltimore homicide detective. Getting to be a part of such a monumental show was "a real honor," he told Black Film & TV. "You always hope to do something that's impactful."