For someone so funny and gorgeous and completely human, Aisha Tyler is an unstoppable, indefatigable, Terminator-style machine.
How Tyler is best known depends on which products of her one-woman entertainment factory you might consume. Some remember her as Charlie Wheeler on Friends, some see her daily on the CBS gabfest The Talk, some know her as Drew Carey's replacement on the CW's recently revived Whose Line Is it Anyway?, some love her for her work in and around video games, or her stand-up comedy, or her podcast, or her books ...
Good lord. Does she ever have time to sleep? Or eat? Or poop?
"Just barely any of those," says Tyler with a laugh so genuinely eargasmic that one wishes it could be bottled and distributed to happiness-starved regions of the world. "I'm like a camel and I save up my defecation for the weekend."
Right now, many know Tyler best as the voice of agent Lana Kane on Archer, the FX animated spy comedy that recently kicked off its fourth season on Teletoon in Canada.
Although it's an odd mix of James Bond, Mad Men, Arrested Development and South Park, Tyler explains why the show has gone from cult hit to just plain ol' hit: "It's a workplace comedy. And even though all the characters are extreme and they're spies and they've killed people and they're all drunk and they're incredibly sexually unscrupulous, it's a dynamic everybody recognizes."
And despite the raunch and the absurdity and the frequent they-did-NOT-just-say-that-on-TV moments, it's a smart show.
"The show doesn't underestimate its audience or speak down to its audience," says Tyler. "As edgy and rowdy and bawdy as the show is, it's incredibly literate, it's incredibly smart, and it doesn't assume that the audience won't get the references."
Which means sometimes Lana might be showing a rare moment of vulnerability as she tries to reconcile her feelings for fellow agent and former flame Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), while other times she might be telling current flame Cyril (Chris Parnell) to go to the adult video store and buy ... well, we can't really print the rest, although it did include the word "slappiest."
In fact, she says she and series creator Adam Reed to have a sincere etymological discussion about whether "slappin'-est" or "slappiest" was the funnier term.
"And I just thought, 'God, I'm home.' "
Whether or not she's ever literally home is debatable. Tyler admits that she works seven days a week, although she recently took a vacation in which she tried (not entirely successfully) to unplug from the grid. Right now her insanely busy schedule includes shooting Season 5 of Archer, which will air day-and-date on Teletoon when it premieres in the U.S. next year.
"I really anguish over the idea that there's something I want to do and that I'm capable of doing that I'm not doing. That's a constant interior monologue," she says.
"But I also feel like the kind of person who is energized by being busy. Like being busy makes me effective. If I don't have a lot to do, I kind of power down like a robot."