Rev up your engines! Archer is heading into the Danger Zone on Monday's episode.
When the gang decides to throw Lana (Aisha Tyler) a baby shower, Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) decides that he's going to get her the best gift imaginable: a private performance by Kenny Loggins, who makes a cameo in the episode — in cartoon form, of course.
"I'm a total badass in this episode and it's fun," Loggins told reporters on a conference call last week. "Archer's been referring to 'Danger Zone' for a quite a while ... So I think they just finally went, 'Well, we've gone so far with this joke, we have to take it all the way.'"
And take it all the way they do. When Archer and Pam (Amber Nash) encounter the legendary singer (who's now going by "K-Log"), they discover he's more narcissistic and jaded than they would have hoped. "I laughed out loud," Loggins said of his reaction to his egotistical alter ego. "I thought, this is great. ... I was hoping that they'd take it out of the norm, and they sure did."
Though Loggins did all of his voice work for "Baby Shower" over the phone and never met any of the show's other cast members in person, he did have a hand in creating the animated representation of himself. "There were about four different versions of me as a cartoon that they had wanted to run by me to see which one I liked the best, and the one that they used is sort of a composite of three different versions of K-Log," he explains. "They wanted a '80s version, and every shell that they sent me was a variation of the '80s Kenny Loggins because they just felt that would be the most recognizable, and I have to agree."
Regarding the final drawing, Loggins adds: "I thought I looked a little bit like a terrorist. I kept saying, 'Can we push it a little bit more towards the way I actually looked?' And they said, 'Well, we think it is.' And I went, 'OK, well let's work with that then.'"
Loggins said he's been a huge fan of the FX cartoon for years, ever since his oldest son introduced him to it. ("I was surprised when they decided to go into the cocaine business," he says of the current season.) And it was his son who spearheaded Loggins' cameo in the first place.
"He's been writing letters to the Archer team at FX now for a couple years, saying, 'When are you going to put my dad on the show?'" Loggins said.
Monday's episode also features Loggins and "Cherlene" (the country singer alter ego of Cheryl) performing a country version of "Danger Zone" — the quality of which was surprising even to Loggins himself. "I didn't believe that they could turn 'Danger Zone' into a country song, which makes it even funnier," he says. "That's the last song of my repertoire that you'd expect to be turned into a country song." (Though Judy Greer voices Cheryl, singer Jessy Lynn Martens handles Cherlene's vocal work.)
The cover version is available on Cherlene's self-titled debut album, which was released on iTunes this week. But will Loggins fans ever get to hear the country rendition at one of his shows? "You never know," he teases. "Stranger things have happened. I could see me doing a duet with her. It'd be interesting to do an animated version of Cherlene singing her part and I would play the video and sing live with that."
Archer airs Mondays at 10/9c on FX.