The world's greatest spy? No, it's not James Bond. It's not Jason Bourne either. It is none other than Sterling Archer.
That's right: this crude, childish high-functioning alcoholic is considered to be the greatest spy in the world. However, it's not a one-man show. This animated adult comedy series is a true ensemble piece – but it is more than just the sum of its parts.
Archer (2009 - Present) has given us years of intelligent, lewd, and witty television. Over this time, we have become close to a number of great characters on the show. This list will chronicle the best characters this long running show has to offer.
7. Pam Poovey
"This is about to get weird..."
Of all the quirky characters at ISIS, Pam Poovey is the one who can truly claim to be the crudest of them all. Not only does she love Bear Claws and country music, she is extremely boisterous.
She's best as a balancing act for Cheryl, who's equally zany but perhaps a little more unhinged. Together, they're absolutely bonkers and frequently get everyone in trouble with their unwelcome hijinks.
6. Ray Gillette
Ray has the most patience out of all who work at ISIS. He also has some of the best personal style in terms of daily outfits, and he's even been seen wearing a kimono in several episodes of the show.
Some have read this as a subversion of the stereotypical hyper-masculine heroism of spy franchises, making him a truly dynamic character.
Besides being the victim of a broken spine, Ray Gillette also had the bad luck of being a patient of Dr. Krieger's—and the price he paid for that was a botched surgery and a perennially gloved hand.
He has the right amount of sass to deal with the intolerable Sterling Archer, though he's frequently outgunned by the even cattier Malory.
5. Cyril Figgis
Chris Parnell has one of the best voices in Hollywood. Though he had a great run on 30 Rock and continues to do great work on Rick and Morty, his best role remains Cyril Figgis in Archer.
He's a great agent, but he's also incessantly whiny. Everything that happens to him is the fault of someone else, but there are moments when he stands up to his tormentors (predominantly Archer himself).
He's only supposed to be an accountant, but he gets his fair share of action—and not just on the battlefield. Despite his moaning, he continues to be a hit with the ladies, making him a fun character to root for.
4. Dr. Algernop Krieger
You can only hope your doctor is never Dr. Krieger. At once mad genius and a clone of Hitler, Dr. Krieger is like the unhinged Q to Archer's incompetent Bond. In that sense, he fits right in at ISIS.
Though much of his antics are wrong—whether legally improper, scientifically disturbing, or morally heinous—his crazy experiments and fragile ego create a lot of drama for everyone at ISIS.
3. Malory Archer
Unfeeling, unkind, and impeccably dressed. There's no one quite like Malory Archer—not just in Archer, but in all of animated television.
Flawlessly voiced by the late and great Jessica Walter, Malory infused the show with poise and dignity that it would have lacked without her.
Malory was always the best at dishing out razor-edged insults, which is high praise considering how she's constantly surrounded by quick-witted tongues (such as her own son, Sterling).
Couple all of this with the fact that she's had numerous romantic flings over the course of the series and we get to see that she's a three-dimensional character with a rich backstory of thrills and espionage.
2. Lana Kane
Lana Kane should be working at a better agency. She's the most competent of them all, and ISIS doesn't deserve her. (Then again, the bar at ISIS isn't that high, given that Archer sleeps off hangovers during sniper training.)
Lana brings professionalism to her very unprofessional office. However, sometimes she lets her emotions get the best of her...
With her an on-again-off-again relationship with Archer, she brings a unique dynamism to the show. Plus, she's the most empathetic of all of the characters, along with being the fiercest.
While she often says that she will pack it all in and do something different with her life, she continues to be drawn to Archer... to our benefit.
1. Sterling Archer
Sterling Archer is undoubtedly supported by his incompetent gang of misfit coworkers, but their support exists to prop him sky high. To this day, Archer remains the best character of the show.
Firstly, he's superbly funny, even when his gags and quips come at the expense of others. The resulting humor is worth it.
Secondly, he has a wide range of knowledge that transcends jock humor. He isn't just crude, but often turns his situations into niche puns or references about history, art, or pop culture.
Lastly, despite all of his offensive quirks and disgusting habits, he's still rather endearing. Through all of his debauchery, he retains a level of decency and respect that few can muster.
In the end, Archer cares for Lana (though he rarely admits it) and he takes care of his family and coworkers (though he frequently teases them), and that's what makes him so appealing.