Let’s lay out the Adam Reed facts. He loves gin in the summer, bourbon in the winter. He used to get lit at work while creating shows for Cartoon Network. He doesn’t think Ray Gillette, who he voices on Archer, is on the same level as his fellow voice actors. That whole ISIS thing bummed him out.
One of the most popular Adam Reed anecdotes is about his creation of Archer which involves a canceled show (Frisky Dingo), a long walk across Spain, a notebook full of ideas, the desire to talk to a beautiful woman, a set of James Bond paperbacks, and how to make a cartoon spy a bastard without making him as rapey as Bond is in the books.
Thanks to a Reddit AMA, we learned many things about the Adam Reed life story. He’s got a lot of fears: sharks, cancer, brown recluses, locked-in syndrome, to name a few. He’s also got some great advice for new writers. Write until you’re sick of it and then you know you’re doing it enough.
One of the best Adam Reed stories is how he rolled off a European flight to Atlanta with a massive beard and landed at his sister’s place of work at Turner Broadcasting, reeking of booze. Somehow, he landed a gig which really pissed his sister off because she had to work very hard to get an internship there.
Who is Adam Reed? Part Ray, part Archer, part Killface, part Dr. Virjay? Maybe none. Maybe all. Let’s take a little trip and gather up some Adam Reed trivia before the KGB gets here.
Reed graduated from University of North Carolina and initially ended up at Cartoon Network after his sister got him a job there in a very random way. He had been traveling around Europe doing odd jobs until his money ran out. He decided to head home and flew to Atlanta, where his sister worked at Turner Broadcasting. He figured he could bum a ride back to their hometown of Asheville.
Reed told Adweek, “And I showed up at her work unannounced with this ridiculous beard and backpack, and she was like, ‘Wow. We got to get you out of the lobby,’ and right then her boss walked by and said, ‘Who is this bearded person?
And she said, ‘Sorry. It's my brother.’
And then he's like, ‘OK, you want a job?
And I thought he wanted me to paint his house or something. So I got a job as a PA there, which sort of pissed her off because she'd spent like two years trying to get an internship there and finally had a job and I just walked in, drunk, off the flight and was offered a job. Although not a very high-paying one.”
Reed wasn’t interested in putting the current terrorist threat in the show. He and Matt Thompson went for a decidedly old school set of enemies, the KGB.
Reed cheekily explained to A.V. Club, “I get enough of that on the news, so I didn’t want to deal with fundamentalists or any sort of thing like that. I just wanted to keep it as lighthearted as the Cold War was, which obviously it was a fun time for everybody.”
When he first started at Cartoon Network, Reed worked in the marketing department. One of his assignments was to watch every episode of The Flintstones and take notes for a Flintstones home video. There are 164 episodes, BTW.
The Flintstones gig gave him the opportunity to take a writing test where Reed ended up creating content for on-air spots. He met fellow merrymaker Matt Thompson and the two of them created High Noon Toons, a three hour programming block featuring two cowboy puppets. The pair were frequently inebriated while working on the show and were reprimanded after they lit a prop set on fire.