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"Hello, Sterling. Your mother doesn't know I'm here."
—Archer's father[src]

A continuing mystery on the show is the identity of Sterling Archer's real father. Whoever provides the voice of Archer's real father is unknown.


Season 1[]

"Dial M for Mother"[]

Sterling Archer is shocked whenever Nikolai Jakov refers to him as "son", as he had been told his entire life that his real father was John Fitzgerald Archer, a fighter ace pilot who was known as Blackjack Archer and he was killed in action. Malory then admits the tale was actually a lie and revealed possible candidates.

Season 4[]

"Once Bitten"[]

"Thank you mister, but, who are you?"
"Sterling... I'm your real father."
Sterling Archer and his biological father[src]

The identity of Sterling's father was almost revealed when a dying Archer, who was bitten by a venomous snake, had flashbacks of his past and remembered a man who came and gave him a stuffed alligator on his birthday. The man then reveals that he is Sterling Archer's real father by saying "Sterling... I'm your real father", which shocks Archer before he has woken up with the anti-venom, but he forgot who his father was or what he looked like after he regains consciousness.

Season 14[]

Archer: Into the Cold[]

While pleading for his life, Slater reveals he knows the true identity of Archer's father, after running some of Archer's DNA through the CIA databanks but deleted it to have leverage. Upon hearing, Archer was shocked and appeared to save Slater from a drop from a dam, despite his terroristic actions. However, Archer decides it's best he doesn't want to know and accepted his coworkers as family, before letting Slater drop.


"I hope you like alligators."
"I do!"
—Archer's father and Archer[src]

Not much is known about Archer's father as he hasn't yet been fully introduced. From what has been shown, is that he appears to have cared for his son as he was considerate enough to visit him and give him a stuffed animal as a birthday present. Archer's father may have some unexplained reason for not being in his son's life to raise him.


  • Unnamed secret agent: Malory Archer murdered Savio Mascalzoni, citing that he had gunned down a "beautiful young man with blue eyes, full lips and thick black hair" who opposed Savio's fascist regime. There's a possibility this is the same man Archer saw in his hallucination.[1]
  • Nikolai Jakov: The deceased former head of the KGB and an ex-lover of Malory. Despite being enemies in the public eye, Nikolai and Malory had a secret relationship, which ended when she disappeared for nine months, hinting this was the time Malory became pregnant. Nikolai was not made aware of this fact until many years later,[2] when she accidentally let the information slip. This drove Jakov to abduct Sterling after he came to Russia to investigate his father's identity and have him take a paternity test, threatening to kill Archer should the result be negative. However, Boris sabotaged the DNA sample and once again left the identity in question.[3] Jakov was killed by Barry Dylan, leaving his candidacy in deeper limbo.[4]
  • Savio Mascalzoni: Few clues lead to the prime minister of Italy being Archer's father. Primarily, the length of his affair with Malory checks out. Archer's love for all things Italian and his hair also lead to Mascalzoni, but Malory's resentment towards the Italian leader brings his candidacy into question.
  • Len Trexler: Head of ODIN and another ex-lover of Malory. Trexler was more or less simply a name drop, but he has had sexual history with Malory. Trexler hasn't been seen since Season 2,[5] and further irrelevance to the story points towards also not being the father, despite no confirmation.
  • Buck Henry: Sterling was afflicted with snake venom and in the hallucination, as Sterling wakes up he remembers someone who claims to be his real father. He was the only one to give Sterling a birthday present when Malory and Woodhouse were not around. Sterling wakes up and says "Buck Henry, I know who my real father is" then he forgets straight away because Cyril distracted him.
  • J. Edgar Hoover: When ISIS headquarters are raided in "White Elephant", Malory manages to free the ISIS employees after making a very important phone call to someone who Agent Holly states there would be "no need to bother" again. Obviously, the man Malory called is very powerful, and someone such as the director of the FBI would have such power. Archer's father being J. Edgar Hoover can fit the show's shifty timeline, and the pattern of the primary candidates being enemies of ISIS.
  • A president of the United States, most likely John F. Kennedy: Some fans[6] speculate that the man Malory called in "White Elephant" is the president of the United States, and that she was able to use the fact that he is the father of an illegitimate child as blackmail for calling in a favor (and the fact that Archer's father is so high-ranking explains why Malory was never able to reveal the true identity of his father, and also fits the image Archer saw in his dream). If Archer's father were truly a president, it is arguable that he would be President John F. Kennedy, who was known to have frequent affairs.[7] This would also be fitting, since there are numerous similarties between President Kennedy and the person Archer believed to be his father until "Dial M for Mother", in particular the name.

Debunked Candidates[]

  • Buddy Rich: American jazz drummer. Only mentioned once as being a possibility. However, despite him being one of Malory's main lovers whom she suspected as Sterling's father, she believes he's least likely to be his father.[8]
  • Rip Riley: Rip had a brief sexual history with Malory, but then admits in the same episode that he was unable to meet her needs, implying that he could not have been a father to Archer. His affair also appears to have begun after Archer's birth when Rip states that Archer couldn't be his son unless he was 15.[9]


  • Notably, Archer's father's voice has no trace of a non-American accent and therefore does not bear any resemblance to the voices of Nikolai Jakov or Len Trexler.
  • It's unknown if the vision in Once Bitten was a hallucination or a real memory, since it claims that Sterling Archer love alligators, while in reality they are his greatest fear (Forgot to mention that Archer said he did used to like alligators as a child). Upon growing up and learning that they've lived through the KT extinction, could've changed his mind about liking alligators. Instead, he is now scared of them.
  • All of the men rumored to be Archer's father are dead (with the exception of Rip Riley and Len Trexler).
  • The more prominent candidates for Archer's father (Savio Mascalzoni, Nikolai Jakov, Len and J. Edgar Hoover) are all enemies of ISIS due to their allegiance to (as well as leadership of) rivaling agencies or countries: Savio Mascalzoni's fascist regime was opposed by Malory, Nikolai Jakov was head of ISIS's long-time enemy KGB, Len was head of ISIS long-time competitor ODIN and J. Edgar Hoover was head of the FBI, which raided ISIS and led to their take-down in "White Elephant".
  • In the original "Duchess" pitch, included in The Art of Archer book, Nikolai Jakov was written as confirmed as Archer's father. However it's unknown when this was changed to the current ambiguity.


Appearances for Archer's Father