Sterling Archer is the world’s greatest secret agent as well as a devastatingly handsome jet-setter, model-banger, and day-drinking enthusiast. And now I’m a noir detective living in the 1940s. Sorry, are you confused because I switched to first person? Well, get over it, because I’m about to give you some invaluable life advice on how to get through this decade—or any decade, for that matter—like a true gentleman.
1. Real men confide in their barber
Putting your feet up and airing your grievances as an endearingly old Spanish man lathers your face with a brush made of the finest silver-tipped badger hair is, in a word, therapeutic. Take comfort in knowing whatever you say to him will go to his grave since barbers are just like priests (sans the sexual repression and obnoxious Latin references). Good luck getting any information out of my barber, Adolfo, whose name literally translates to “noble wolf.”
2. Real men keep a spare shirt in the glove box
Stains happen to everyone. If you’re a spy, your white button-downs are constantly being soaked, splattered, and smeared with barrel-aged bourbon, blood, and lipstick. And if you’re a normal civilian, it’s probably, I don’t know, pomegranate seeds? In any case, carry an extra shirt around for when those happy accidents do occur. Sometimes I’ll even use a spare shirt to shine my car because, for whatever reason, a $400 dress shirt works significantly better than an old dish towel.
3. Real men know when to leave the party
The next time you’re at a party, scope out the most important person in the room—which, depending on the crowd, could be anyone ranging from Winston Churchill to your older cousin, Dewey, a civil engineer with a severe case of Asperger’s. Take note of this person, because once he leaves, so should you. Why? Because you never want to overstay, but you also want to show your host that your presence was not merely a social obligation. This rule goes out the window for barbecues, since we all know barbecues are just anarchy drenched in ketchup.
4. Real men dress sensibly
A bespoke suit with pleated pants and two-toned Oxford shoes is all you need. Don’t wear a zoot suit unless you want to look like a cartoon wolf. And so help me God, if I see you with some tacky mountain landscape or a pinup girl painted on your necktie, I will grab said tie like a leash and make you drink from the dirtiest bodega toilet bowl I can find.
5. Real men plan their dates
My perfect date night in Los Angeles starts at the Derby with a steak rare enough to still have a pulse, followed by some light foreplay in my Super Deluxe before stepping into the Formosa Cafe for drinks and witty banter with Frank Sinatra. Update: Mr. Sinatra and I are no longer on good terms. The last time I saw him, I punched him in the mouth and he stole my date. All of this could’ve been avoided, of course, if I had planned somewhere for us to go after my eighth martini.
6. Real men keep it clean
I once knew a hardened man who was sent to Alcatraz for tax evasion. Once he got to prison, he was said to have started acting “a little loopy”: drooling, grinning stupidly, playing the banjo, etc. When he was finally released, he lived out his final days at an estate in Miami, where he would sit by a kiddie pool with a fishing net, hoping to catch fish that didn’t exist. That man’s name was Al Capone, and it turns out he had untreated syphilis for 38 years. So, kids, what’s the point of this terrifying story? It’s to show you how important penicillin is because…yikes.
7. Real men read the morning paper
It’s essential for a learned man to stay up-to-date on politics and current events. Besides, nothing beats having your loyal companion drop a newspaper at your feet every morning and giving him a pat on the head (after all, valets do need positive reinforcement). This routine is irrelevant when you’re too hungover to get out of bed. If this is the case, yell at your valet to bring you and your female companion mimosas until you both start to feel human again. Then have sex, rinse, and repeat.
8. Real men eat a full, balanced breakfast
A big breakfast is important if you want to feel fueled throughout the day. I like to go to a greasy spoon by my place, where I always expect to be waited on by Val, an old and husky waitress who sounds like Groucho Marx if he killed Lucky Strikes instead of jokes, God love her. My typical order is three eggs over easy with bacon, black coffee, and a side of unwanted sexual advances.
9. Real men keep their cool in traffic
Yes, we’re all sweating onto our leather seats in our worsted wool suits and fedoras in Los Angeles traffic, but blaring the horn isn’t going to make us get to work any quicker. In fact, it’s just going to piss people off—people with guns in their backseat pockets and a penchant for correcting horn-happy ninnies.
10. Real men don’t need a gymnasium
I know this may seem unfair to you readers at home, but men like myself don’t need to go to the gymnasium. My life is the gymnasium. I scale walls and engage in hand-to-hand combat and burn the same amount of calories in one afternoon of lovemaking as an Alaskan husky competing in the Iditarod. I could have a lobster roll with truffle butter five days a week, but I don’t because I’m a dynamic man and my lunch preferences reflect that. Come to think of it, maybe you should join a gymnasium since you’re probably…I wanna say…a dentist?
Real men also buy this book
This beauty, The Art of Archer (amazon.com, $16.), is a 240-page tome featuring the never-before-seen written pitch for the series, interviews with the cast and crew, concept designs, paintings, and some tasteful nudes…sigh…and some tasteless nudes, because, well, Pam.
Archer airs on FXX Wednesdays at 10 p.m. E.S.T.