They say being funny and beautiful is a rare combination, and starting Thursday night, Aisha Tyler is going to remind fans just what a gift it is with her starring role on Archer ... albeit this time in animated form.

From making history as the first black woman to have a recurring role on Friends to her year and a half spent hosting TV’s Talk Soup, Aisha Tyler has made a career out of being funny, smart, and sexy all rolled into one. Archer lets her add "shocking" to the list — in the story of a himbo, male chauvinist spy who works side by side with his mother (Jessica Walter) and his ex-girlfriend Lana (Tyler), the things that come out of her mouth occasionally make Family Guy sound tame.

In between acting, voice-over work on Archer, and touring with her comedy act, Tyler also finds time to lend her talents to shows like Politically Incorrect and The Joy Behar Show, standing up for gay rights, human rights ... and pretty much whatever she damn well feels like talking about. Lana is smoking hot — and I’m just going to put out there that I think it’s fair to say some of that comes from you.
Aisha Tyler: Well, you know, the character and even the way she looked was established before they hired me. But I honestly responded to her right away, and since I’ve been with the show, her personality and her tone have evolved to be a little bit closer to me. I’m one of those people who grew up with a dad who took me to see action movies, and that is my favorite genre of film. I love action, I love spy movies, I love the Bond franchise.

It’s very tantalizing as an actor and as a comedian to be a part of a project where, as you’re doing the show, you’re going, "Are they going to let us do this? Oh, my God." The first script, from the very beginning, it felt radical. I remember reading it and laughing out loud several times. And then the character, she’s just this badass girl, and I thought, Hell yeah. It’s like my dream come true.

Well, and it doesn’t hurt that, as animated characters go, Archer’s pretty smokin’ hot.

He is pretty smokin’ hot ... I know. If only he wasn’t such a douche.

We were just talking today about how the word "douche" is back.
It’s totally back. And I’ve been using it a lot. Not a lot of women use it, but it’s one of my faves.

Now we need to credit you with bringing "douche" back.

Thank you. I’ll take it.

Is it true what you hear that working on an animated series is an actor’s dream gig?

It is, but it’s funny ... if you’re doing something like a Madagascar, it’s a dream and it pays. But doing a little animated series on FX is not the same as doing another kind of series, because the work permit is not the same. But just the joy of the process is so extraordinary. Especially for this show, it’s just pure elicitation of the funniest, most interesting way of saying something. You don’t have deal with the makeup or the wardrobe ... and, of course, I love live action ... but when you do a live action drama, you’re there at 5 a.m., it’s two or three hours in the morning of getting ready, it’s a 12- or 14-hour day for a couple hours of work. This is just surgical. You get in, get to be as funny as you possibly can for an hour or two, and then you leave.

We haven’t seen any gay characters yet.

Oh, we will. Oh, yes.

Tags: television