While the adult comedy series has featured a number of guest voice-overs, Season 4 Episode 7 featuring renowned chef Anthony Bourdain can easily be ranked in the top 5.
The episode, titled “Live and Let Dine,” features Bourdain as fictional chef Lance Casteau. Archer’s secret agent firm (fka ISIS) is called on to provide security for Casteau’s televised hosting of the Albanian ambassador to the United States. Moonlighting as restaurant staff, ISIS is there to stop a supposed threat against the political figure, who (SPOILER ALERT!) ends up being Casteau himself via cyanide on his wine glass.
The episode’s script is truly fantastic, firstly for naming Casteau’s faux cooking show Bastard Chef and creating the acronym “ABBAB” (always be berating and belittling), both of which could be Gordon Ramsay jabs. Secondly, the writers made sure to incorporate legit traditional Albanian food such as Tavë kosi (a baked lamb and yogurt dish) and sheep’s head soup.
Casteau also hilariously insults Archer and Cyril throughout the episode, even beaming food at the duo at one point. Archer, who takes the role of sous chef, berrates Cyril and forces him to refer to him as “chef” while he scoops out the sheep eyes with a melon baller (all to Casteau’s approval). Lana begrudgingly answering the phone to turn down reservations is also hilarious considering it’s ISIS’ own Cheryl on the other end calling for a table on behalf of Mallory.
The episode comes to a close when, as previously stated, the ambassador dies while Casteau escapes in Barry’s helicopter. Why would Casteau do such a thing? Because Barry (who just wants to make ISIS look stupid) offered him $6 million which he planned to use to finance a travel cooking show “so I can insult people’s cooking all over the world” (something Bourdain kind of does in real life).
We’re not sure why, but it’s actually the little things like when Archer drops the salad bowl and it loudly rustles on the ground, Ron’s crinkling pocket crackers and Casteau’s “bumpers” (what he calls out when he thinks his jab is bumper sticker-worthy) that take the episode to a whole new level of comedy. If you haven’t seen the episode yet or need to take a trip down memory lane, Archer is currently streaming on Netflix.