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6 Best Shows like Archer: Animated Anarchy

Jonny_Sweet_itcher_contributorDon’t want to leave the Danger Zone? No worries – the fun doesn’t have to stop just because ‘Archer’ is on hiatus. For more animated outrageousness, check out ‘Frisky Dingo’, ‘Home Movies’ or any of these other hilarious shows like ‘Archer’. ~ Jonny Sweet

A Caricature of a Caricature

With his bowties, awful quips, and relentless philandering, James Bond is already something of a caricature, although admittedly Daniel Craig’s bloody-nosed incarnation has dragged 007 a little closer to reality in recent films. Of course, Bond never threatened Alfred with rubbing coarse sand into his eyes like Archer, but he’s still a fairly ridiculous character from which to base a spoof.
And what a spoof it is… brilliant dialogue, great characters and a recurring gag reel to be proud of, ‘Archer’ has it all. It’s little surprise, then, that it was not the first rodeo for anyone involved in its production.
If you’re in search of more TV shows like ‘Archer’, check out these recommendations below to keep the laughs coming.
‘Sealab 2021’ (70/30 Productions, 2000-2005)

‘Sealab 2021’ was the first brainchild of ‘Archer’ creator Adam Reed after he left his role of production assistant at Cartoon Network.

Reworking old stock footage from a 1970s failed cartoon, ‘Sealab 2020’, Reed and his colleagues edited the footage, added their own where necessary and completely changed the dialogue to create more ridiculous and riotous situations. The result is something simultaneously juvenile and majestic.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘Sealab 2021’ takes stock footage from old Cartoon Network episodes and gives it an irreverent comedic makeover to lower the tone to the gutter in which ‘Archer’ resides.

‘Frisky Dingo’ (70/30 Productions, 2006-2008)

Reed and his cronies were at it again in 2006, creating ‘Frisky Dingo’, another animated series focusing on the nefarious plans of wannabee super villain Killface as he battles with a debonair rip-off of Batman (who looks almost identical to Archer, by the way), a radioactive reporter, his disobedient mumbling son, and a whole host of other problems.

The show was originally to be called ‘Whisky Tango’, but due to copyright infringement issues with a band who already had that name, they opted for the similar-sounding ‘Frisky Dingo’.

Similarity Match: 90%
Out of all of the series like ‘Archer’ mentioned in this article, ‘Frisky Dingo’ perhaps bears the most resemblance due to its plot, characters, and humour.

‘The Venture Bros.’ (Titmouse, Inc., 2004-Present)

Dr Thaddeus Venture is somewhat more morally dubious than most superheroes and The Monarch is significantly more butterfly-themed than most villains. Meanwhile, Dr Venture’s sons, the ostensible heroes of the piece, are scrupulously ethical but worldly inept and naïve.

It’s a testament to the show’s longevity that it is the longest running of any of the shows similar to ‘Archer’ listed in this article.

Similarity Match: 75%
‘The Venture Bros.’ showcases once again the absurd and often foul-mouthed battle between good and evil, portrayed in hero vs villain form, just as ‘Archer’ does.

‘Dr Katz, Professional Therapist’ (Comedy Central, 1995-1999, 2002)

Moving away from the realms of super hero fantasy, this ingenious little show featured stand-up comedian Jonathan Katz playing a psychotherapist based loosely on himself. In the early episodes, the story revolves around Katz and his patients, which are played by fellow famous stand-ups who simply deliver their own material while in Katz’s office.

To break up the scenes, Katz regularly interacts with his overgrown oaf of a son, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin (the voice of Archer) and several of his friends. The animation style is intentionally awful (having been created using the dated Squigglevision technique) and the dialogue ad-libbed, but the jokes are relentless and hilarious.

Similarity Match: 70%
Though ‘Dr Katz’ doesn’t have the same themes or characters as ‘Archer’ and is perhaps a little gentler in its comedy, both share equal amounts of belly laughs.

‘Home Movies’ (Burns & Burns Productions, 1999-2004)

‘Home Movies’ again features the voice H. Jon Benjamin and the writing and directing skills of Loren Bouchard (who was producer on ‘Dr Katz’), and as normally happens when people try something for a second time, they get better at it.

‘Home Movies’ contains the same squiggly animation style, the same ad-libbed dialogue and the same crappy music. However, the characters are better developed, with both of Benjamin’s roles (Jason and Coach McGuirk) stealing every scene they are in, and the storyline is more coherent and engaging.

Though both of these last two shows might be lower-octane in their plots and less brash in their humour, they can be just as side-splitting.

Similarity Match: 70%
As he does in ‘Archer’, in ‘Home Movies’, H. Jon Benjamin voices an arrogant and uncaring asshole who you can’t help but love and laugh at.

‘Arrested Development’ (The Hurwitz Company, 2003-2006, 2014)

If you are in need of a break from animation but still hankering for more TV series like ‘Archer’, look no further than the hugely underrated cult classic, ‘Arrested Development’.

Several of the voice actors in ‘Archer’ played central roles in this charming, witty, and rewarding series, and much of the recycled humour and throwback jokes are similar to those played out in ‘Archer’, too.

Of all the series listed in this article, ‘Arrested Development’ is undoubtedly the most famous… but it also has the best repeat value as well. So if you’ve already seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it again! You’re bound to pick up on something new you didn’t catch last time.

Similarity Match: 75%
Because their humour, writing and pacing are so alike, you could almost imagine that ‘Archer’ is an animated, super hero version of ‘Arrested Development’.


Get in Touch with Your Inner Adolescent

The humour in these shows walks a tightrope between witty intellect and childish crudity… and I love it. I’m sure you do too, or you probably wouldn’t have made it this far in the article.
Now that you have, why don’t you leave some recommendations of your own beneath the line?
Sharing is caring, after all.
I′m Jonny, an English Literature graduate who decided careers and mortgages were too mundane, and travelling, film, music and books were much more enticing. I have recently made a very comfortable nest for myself in Santiago de Chile, and on itcher Mag where I regularly contribute eloquent waffle on all manner of media.
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