Matt Thompson and Neal Holman have been making television together since the early aughts, when they first worked on Cartoon Network's Sealab 2021, part of the line-up that would lead to the creation of Adult Swim. Now, they collaborate on FX's Archer, the bonkers send-up of '60s spy shows created by Adam Reed (co-creator of Frisky Dingo). Thompson serves as executive producer, and Holman's the art director.

"Neal and I have been making TV shows together for 10 years now," Thompson says. "Every year we say, 'Next year is the year we do it the right way.' And it never works out."

Thompson's talking about planning and execution. For fans and critics, Archer has always worked out the right way. In its fourth season, the show is smarter, funnier, and more eye-catching than any other animated program on TV.

Let Thompson and Holman tell it, things could be smoother. To get a better perspective on the creation of the show—the two-part finale of the fourth season especially—Thompson and Holman let Complex glimpse the behind-the-scenes action. This is how Archer is made.

As told to Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)

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