It's no conspiracy that I don't own any Archer characters. And I don't believe in any of the crazy things Mallory says. That's just Mallory being Mallory. Looking for fame and fortune by any means necessary.
This started when I was watching Liquid Lunch again and saw a certain billboard. The madness just kind of sprung up from that.
That Fickle Mistress Fame
"Well there it is," Ray pointed to the billboard from where he stood on the street. He was standing with Lana on the sidewalk.
"That's Cherlene all right," Lana remarked as she looked up at the faded billboard. "Damn, can you believe it's been over two years since that whole country music thing started?"
"I know," Ray nodded. "And that sign already looks like it's a hundred. And there's two more of 'em across town. All faded and looking like they're about to fall apart."
"You think Cheryl remembers anything from that time?" Lana asked.
"Lana the woman has sniffed so much glue and eaten so many drugged up gummy bears she doesn't remember her name half the time," Ray gave her a look.
"Well it doesn't help that Archer calls her Carol," Lana pointed out. "And now Mallory is slipping into that habit too."
"That's true," Ray shrugged. "And then she goes and changes it again for a day or so."
"Kind of makes you think doesn't it?" Lana asked. "One day she's the hottest act in country music. The next she's barely a footnote in music history. Which she doesn't even remember."
"Fame is a fickle bitch of a mistress," Ray admitted. "Maybe it's just as well Cheryl doesn't remember?"
"Why is that?"
"Think about it," Ray said. "Some people get a taste of fame and fortune and they end up living their lives in the past. Trying to recapture the one time in their life they think they were culturally relevant. And even worse, resorting to desperate measures to reclaim it."
"I can't imagine anyone living like that," Lana said.
"Oh yes you can," Ray gave her a look. "Think for a minute."
"Oh dear God…" Lana realized Ray was right.
Back at the Figgis Agency…
"You heard me," Mallory spoke on the phone. "I slept with JFK and want to tell my story."
"Yeah, yeah you and every other woman from Washington DC I talk to," Alan Shapiro groaned as he sat on the other side of the phone. "And a quarter of actresses from this town."
"Look I used to be a spy for fifty years!" Mallory said. "Longer actually. Some years are kind of fuzzy due to hanging out at a lot of jazz clubs. Trust me, once this all gets out people will be clamoring for my name and with your help we will make millions!"
"Who are you again?" Shapiro asked. "I keep forgetting who's who in that cast of characters over there at F-Troop Agency."
"It's Mallory Archer!" Mallory shouted. "Sterling's mother!"
"Oh the old cranky alcoholic," Shapiro realized.
"I'm giving you a money making opportunity of a lifetime!" Mallory said.
"You do know I'm a divorce attorney right?" Shapiro asked. "Not an agent."
"So? You probably know a few agents! A few producers to get me an in!" Mallory protested. "I mean you hang around with that has been Veronica Deane…"
"Who most people know her name," Shapiro said sharply. "While you…"
"Are a fountain of information and stories that could make you millions!" Mallory spoke up. "I know things and conspiracies you wouldn't believe."
"You're right I don't," Shapiro groaned. "How did you get my number?"
"I've probably got a dozen worth of books in my past," Mallory said. "The title of my first book is Secrets and Silk: The Mallory Archer story. Although the Kennedy thing could be a separate book in itself."
"Seriously how did you get my number?" Shapiro asked. "Because this is my private line not my work number. And it's definitely not the one I gave the head of your agency."
"Did I or did I not just say a few minutes ago that I was a spy for over fifty years?" Mallory asked him. "I did my research."
"I did a little research on you as well," Shapiro spoke up. "I have a friend in the State Department that's told me some very interesting stories about you and your agents. For lack of a better word…"
"So we stir up a little controversy?" Mallory shrugged. "That always sells books!"
"And I don't suppose you have any proof that you were with President Kennedy," Shapiro sighed. "Like pictures?"
"If I did you think I would have lived this long?" Mallory asked. "How about a threesome with me, President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe?"
"Did that really happen?" Shapiro was stunned.
"Well it definitely was a Kennedy in that hot tub and a blonde actress," Mallory said. "It could have been."
"Okay it's going to sound like I'm hanging up…" Shapiro groaned.
"Wait a minute, I've got another angle!" Mallory added.
"Another angle?" Shapiro moaned. "This I have to hear."
"Conspiracy theories are all the rage," Mallory said. "How about I write a book about how the CIA and the White House were involved with Marilyn Monroe's death? But with a twist! The White House was trying to save Marylyn because the president was planning to divorce his wife and marry her. Because focus groups preferred her as the first lady!"
"And I'm guessing none of this has any proof am I right?" Shapiro groaned.
"Who needs proof? This is a conspiracy theory book!" Mallory barked. "There's always a market to milk those tiny toons for a quick buck!"
"So you have no problem smearing the names of the former First Family, Marilyn Monroe and the CIA just to get your fifteen minutes of fame?"
"Don't forget the money," Mallory pointed out.
"Of course," Shapiro groaned. "There it is!"
"And who's smearing Marilyn Monroe?" Mallory snapped. "She's the victim here! And if I spin it right so would Kennedy…"
"Why don't you just say you know about the Kennedy Assassination while you're at it?" Shapiro asked sarcastically.
"No, the market there is way too saturated," Mallory told him. "I'm trying to go for a more unique angle here."
"That's an interesting choice of words," Shapiro groaned. "And just for laughs who would be the mastermind behind this plot? Not the First Lady?"
"Of course not! She was kept in the dark," Mallory said. "It was the CIA and Big Oil. Unless Pharmaceuticals sells better…"
"Okay definitely hanging up now…" Shapiro groaned.
"Before you do, think about this…" Mallory told him. "Do you really think people want to admit that Marilyn Monroe actually committed suicide? If a woman that beautiful and famous and rich couldn't handle being herself then what does it say about their own lives? We're actually doing the public a favor by distorting the truth and replacing it with fantasy! It's what the people need to make their own lives less horrible! We're just giving them what they want!"
"How can you justify that?" Shapiro asked.
"Remind me again what town you live in Shapiro?" Mallory asked acidly. "And what your clients normally do for a living?"
"Uh…" Shapiro blinked.
"Exactly," Mallory said. "So do you want a first draft by Monday or…?"
"No!" Shapiro snapped. "Look I admit I've done some pretty shady and whacked out things as a lawyer to the stars but this is too crazy even for me!"
"Fine!" Mallory groaned. "We'll make it a Sci Fi thing! Like a Star War without the hairy creatures bellowing incoherently. Unless we write a Henry Kissinger like character in…"
"Can I talk to your alcoholic blackmailing asshole of a son for a moment please?" Shapiro groaned. "Because he seems to be the one with the working piece of sanity at the moment."
"I can see a whole series," Mallory went on. "Then I could go on television! Oh maybe my own television show?"
"Seriously," Shapiro sighed. "I'd like to talk to your son…"
"It could be called Archer!" Mallory went on.
"Isn't that what people call your son?" Shapiro asked.
"Oh like anyone would do a TV show based on his life?" Mallory sniffed.
"Can you just please put your son on for a bit?" Shapiro asked.
"I've got it Mother," Archer's voice was on.
"Sterling! You're interrupting a private call!" Mallory snapped.
"Not really," Archer sighed. "You put it on intercom again. Everyone in the office can hear you."
"But I pressed pound star pound!" Mallory snapped.
"It's just pound star," Archer corrected.
"No it's not!" Mallory bristled.
"Yes it is," Archer said.
"No, it's not!"
"Yes it is!"
"No, it's not!"
"YES IT IS MS. ARCHER!" Shapiro shouted. "I can hear the feedback on this end! Now can I just please talk to your son in private?"
"You don't have to be so snippy," Mallory sniffed. "Fine! But think about what I said."
"Oh I will…" Shapiro sighed. "Is she off?"
"Yeah and I just made it private so…" Archer said sounding clearer.
"God what is wrong with your mother?" Shapiro asked.
"Where do I begin?" Archer groaned. "But I heard everything and seriously Shapiro. Sorry about that."
"Can you at least stop her from calling me?" Shapiro groaned.
"I'm still trying to figure out how to stop her from calling me," Archer said. "That's half the reason I do answering machine gags."
"And the other half?"
"It's funny as hell," Archer admitted. "But I'll see what I can do. I'll try to distract her with something else. Because telling her not to do something doesn't work.
"The woman is so exhausting," Shapiro groaned. "All these cockamamie tales and made up ideas that would get her sued for slander! Even the dead would come back to life just to sue your mother! That's how bad her ideas are!"
"You should hear her fake story about her weekend with Jimmy Hoffa," Archer remarked. "That one's a lulu."
"So let me get this straight," Shapiro groaned. "You're the sane rational member of your family?"
"I know," Archer sighed. "Sometimes I can't believe it either."