As the voice of Pam Poovey, a human resources director whose idea of mediation involves a dolphin hand puppet, and who would rather be shoveling food into her mouth than doing anything resembling work, veteran improv comedian Amber Nash is often credited with some of the best moments in FX’s hit animated comedy, Archer. This week, Amber joined us on the Drinks and Discourse podcast to discuss her experiences working on the series for the past six years.
You can keep reading to check out some of the highlights, but for the best parts of our conversation with Amber Nash, including the story of her first red carpet experience, thoughts on writing Pam’s Twitter feed, and recording the infamous gyro-humping scene, make sure you check out the full podcast via the embed below (or download here). Also, in case you missed it, check out our episode with another Archer cast member, Lucky Yates.
On performing at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta:
“I’ve been there since ’99… Being onstage in front of a live audience is my absolute, number one favorite thing to do. I still do shows every weekend… I feel like people like Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have kind of brought improv back into being not something that’s totally lame, where it’s just a dude from your college class trying to get you to come see his improv show.”
“When I went in the first time, to record the pilot… I had only seen one picture of Pam, and they told me that she was kind of the person that everybody shat on, she was the one that everyone was mean to. The voice that ended up coming out of my mouth was the voice that I use when I talk about my mom saying something to me – it’s like my mom voice. And my mom doesn’t sound anything like that! But that’s what happened, and they liked it, so I just kept doing it.”
On similarities between herself and her character:
“I definitely get to say things that I would never have thought I’d be able to say on television. I can’t believe what Archer gets away with… But I wish that I was as much of a badass as Pam. She’s the fucking coolest. I can’t say that I’m nearly as awesome as Pam is, I’m way more boring… she doesn’t give a shit! She’s not scared of anything, she doesn’t care what anybody thinks, which is something I think everybody wishes they had more of.”
On how often she finds herself saying “shitsnacks” in real life:
“Honestly, it’s never, and the reason it’s never is because I don’t want to be that douchebag that’s like, hey, I’m quoting something from this super successful show I’m on. I don’t want to be such a jerk about it, so I’ve kind of scratched that from my vocabulary, even though shitsnacks is one of the greatest phrases ever coined. I also have super cool swag that I get from FX, like cool Pam t-shirts, and I’m like, I can’t wear these. I don’t want to be a big douchebag, just quoting Pam and wearing Pam t-shirts all the time.”
On preparing for the role:
“This is so shitty, but like the first two or three seasons, I never read my scripts. I just didn’t read it until I went in to record. And then I found out that other people read their scripts and really prepared and were really serious about it, and I was like, oh shit. This is a job that I should take seriously. And then they started paying me more money, and I was like, I’d better read these fucking scripts before I go in there.”
On eating in the sound booth:
“I remember one particular episode, I went in for a session… this is when Pam ate the soy crab legs and had the allergic reaction. I was eating a ton during that, and [the producers] were like, we need something crunchy, we’ve gotta have the sound. And of course I didn’t bring anything, and we’re recording in a studio – there’s no craft services, there’s nothing special.
So they’re asking the one dude that works there, hey man, you got any snacks in the break room? So he brings out this Costco-sized jar of cheese balls, and I’m just cramming them in my mouth. My mouth’s gotta be super full, and I’ve gotta be crunching a lot. And when I get done with the recording the microphone is just covered with orange dust, and there’s greasy fingerprints all over my script. I was absolutely disgusting.”
On seeing fans cosplaying as Pam:
“The first time I ever saw a Pam, it was a man, and it was awesome. A gigantic man dressed as Pam, and I was like, that is the fucking best. But this year [at Dragon Con], there was a scheduled time for all the people that were Archer cosplaying to take a picture. So I showed up, and I got my picture taken with like 30 Pams. I was like, I’m in heaven.“
On discovering Rule 34:
“I didn’t know what that was, and somebody was like, oh my god, just Google Rule 34 Pam Poovey. And I was like, ohhh shit! So many naked Pam pictures. And did you guys see the live action Archer porn that was done? I think they called it… maybe Striker? It’s got some other name, but it’s clearly Archer, and there’s a Malory, a Pam and a Cheryl. I just saw stills from it, but Malory’s like super hot. I think she’s Asian… It’s pretty cool to be on a show that people like enough that they’re gonna make porn out of it.”
Be sure to check out the full podcast for more from Amber Nash – trust us, this is only the beginning, and there’s plenty more where this came from.
Currently in its sixth season, Archer airs on Thursday nights, exclusively on FX.
I could actually hear Pam say “It’s pretty cool to be on a show that people like enough that they’re gonna make porn out of it.”
Listen to the podcast – you can hear Amber say it, which is pretty damn close!
If you listen to the podcast, you can hear Amber say it. Which is pretty damn close!
I read that whole thing hearing Pam-voice.
Make sure you listen, too – we saved a couple of stories for the podcast that didn’t get transcribed.
Best. Day. Ever. That’s me as Pam with Amber Nash and my mini Schutzy Machine 😀
I’d bang the hell out of Pam….big girls try harder. LOL
OMG….we need a Pam zombie on the Walking Dead since Ambers a fan!!