While screening an episode of the animated spy comedy Archer at the office the other day, a couple of passing co-workers stopped and stared for a moment, then asked why I was watching cartoon porn at work.
Their confusion was understandable. Archer, returning Thursday to Teletoon for its Canadian Season 4 premiere, is one of the raunchiest - and funniest - shows on basic cable. It's James Bond meets Mad Men meets Arrested Development meets South Park, following the trials and tribulations of secret agent Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), his mother Malory (Jessica Walter) and their colleagues at ISIS, the International Secret Intelligence Service.
It's also a bit difficult to explain to people who happen to see an out-of-context snippet in which Malory's secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer) is being choked during sex by ISIS accountant Cyril (Chris Parnell) while human resources officer Pam (Amber Nash) watches. From the toilet.
"I think it's the funniest show on television, personally," says Greer, who plays the computer-illiterate, glue-sniffing, heiress-to-half-a-billion-dollars Cheryl. "It's really layered and really smart."
Greer may a bit biased, but she knows of what she speaks. She's played the unbalanced Kitty Sanchez on each season of Arrested Development (a show she shares with fellow Archer castmate Walter) and has popped up on everything from Family Guy to Modern Family to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
As Greer struggles to find a simple way to describe her show, I suggest it's like James Bond as a dysfunctional d-bag.
"Oh my God! I like that! I might have to steal that!" says Greer. "That's a really good way to describe it."
When Greer isn't voicing her unhinged yet oddly sexy animated counterpart, she's working on a couple of big upcoming movies, including the mysterious Disney film Tomorrowland, in which she'll appear alongside her The Descendants co-star George Clooney.
"My character's name is Jenny, that's all I can tell you," says Greer of Tomorrowland, which remains shrouded in a cloak of secrecy. She's more forthcoming about next year's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in which she provides the motion-captured movements of an ape named Cornelia, opposite Andy Serkis' Caesar.
"I loved it. I loved every minute of it," says Greer, even though she shot her scenes in the New Orleans summer heat in a full-body motion capture unitard covered with sensors and an uncomfortably warm battery pack. "I loved that I didn't have to go through hair and makeup. That's the best part."
A character in a mysterious movie named after an area in Disneyland and a hyper-intelligent CGI monkey both sound pretty interesting. But maybe still not as memorable as Archer's Cheryl, the only cartoon character on TV who's a vocal fan of the aforementioned erotic asphyxiation.
"I remember when I was really little and I would watch Oprah with my babysitter, they had an episode about it, and I was like, 'That's a thing? What the hell are people doing?' I don't think I really understood sex yet," says Greer.
And now? "Basically every time I go to work, I'm like, 'Ooh yeah, choke me, choke me!' I don't even think about it anymore."