- Profession: Actress, comedian, author
- Age: 43
- Hometown: San Francisco
- The car: 2013 Tesla Model S
- TV series include The Talk, which airs daily on Global TV in Canada and CBS in the United States; Whose Line Is It Anyway, which airs weekly on the CW; she’s also the voice of Lana Kane on Archer, in its fourth season on Teletoon Network in Canada; season five begins in January on FX in the United States
- Provided voice work for video games, including Watch Dogs, Gears of War, Halo: Reach
- First book is called Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Postmodern Girl
- Philanthropic work with charities such as Futures Without Violence, Planned Parenthood, the American Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and the International Rescue Committee
- Reigning champ of Celebrity Jeopardy
- Performs two stand-up shows at the Royal Theatre in Toronto on Friday, Oct. 18, presented by Empire Comedy Live
- Book signing for her second book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, at The Royal Theatre ahead of her shows
Aisha Tyler is the co-host of The Talk, the host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the voice of Lana Kane on Teletoon’s hit animated series Archer.
A diverse actress with a long list of credits – including Ghost Whisperer, Friends, CSI: Miami, Boston Legal, Talk Soup, 24, Glee, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Hawaii Five-O – she is a best-selling author and a contributor to magazines such as Glamour, Oprah and Entertainment Weekly.
Tyler is also a veteran of stand-up comedy; her next performance is at the Royal Theatre in Toronto on Oct. 18. When she’s not working, she’s driving around California in a 2013 Tesla Model S.
Why did you buy an electric car?
I’ve been green for a long time. When I was growing up, we didn’t call it recycling or reusing. We called it being poor. We always had a family that drank out of old jelly jars and we used to fold up all of our wrapping paper at Christmas and reuse it for birthdays.
For my undergraduate degree, my minor was in environmental studies. I have always been an environmentalist. I wanted to have a green car. I’ve driven hybrids for about five years and then I was dreaming of getting a Fisker or a Tesla.
I was harassing my husband about it – ‘The next car I’m going to get is a Tesla or Fisker!’ That was when there were three of each available driving around like ghosts – was it real? Did I see it?
Then this year, Sharon Osbourne [a co-host on The Talk] actually showed up at work driving a Fisker. I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ I drove that for a few days. It’s a beautiful car, but as you know, Fisker was undergoing an emotional reboot. I remember I had a problem with the car and called Fisker and no one picked up the phone. Right after that, Mr. Fisker quit his own company. So I decided I’d drive both cars. I drove the Tesla and I fell in love with it. I went home and ordered it online that same day.
Was Sharon Osbourne green with envy when you showed up at work in a Tesla?
No. She’s got a Porsche light-green diesel. She’s perfectly happy with it. She’s also green. She used to have a Prius before it. No one here is jealous. Everybody has their own awesome vehicle.
What’s your favourite feature on the Model S?
This is the best car I’ve ever driven – it’s insane! It has infinity gas mileage. I get 350-400 miles on a charge. It does 0 to 60 [miles per hour] in 5.2 seconds. People are continually challenging me to races on the highway and I smoke them – well, I don’t smoke them. I just vapour them when I drive by and they’re sucked in by the vacuum created by the speed of my awesome rocket! Every time I get into the car I’m like that crazy professor from Back to the Future. I talk to it. I pat it. It’s the best car ever! It’s so much fun to drive. It’s like driving a giant, sexy bumper car.
When you think green car you think Ed Begley on a bicycle reeking of chia seeds, but it’s a luxury car that goes insanely fast.
It is outer-space quiet and doesn’t use gasoline. I’ve been dreaming my entire life of getting a pony, a race car, and meeting Tom Cruise. And now all those things have happened. It’s probably time for me to curl up in my Tesla and let the darkness take me.
Is there anything you don’t like about it?
Well, I wish it had massage seats. It’s so capacious. There’s so much space inside my belongings roll about looking for a place to settle. That’s the problem I have with the car – there’s just too much space inside it.
Do you know how it works?
No. It works on angels, tears and magic. There’s nothing under the hood. It’s pulled along on the dreams of teenage girls because there’s nothing in the front and nothing in the back.
Do you ever have range anxiety?
No. First of all, public charging is free. You’re able to charge your car for free if you’re away from home. If you go to one of the superchargers you can fill up in an hour for free. That’s insane.
What does a Tesla say about you?
That I’m a self-satisfying, environmental asshole, probably.
It says I put my money where my mouth is.
I’m very fortunate that I was able to make a grand green gesture. But I didn’t make a massive sacrifice because I drive a luxury sports car that just happens to be green. If I really wanted to make a sacrifice, I would ride my six-gear bicycle to work and eat my lunch out of a Boy Scout tin can. But I’m very lucky I can demonstratively take a step and be an example for other people. I think you need early adopters to buy this technology to make it available to the masses.
What else have you owned?
I’ve owned almost every kind of car. I’ve driven every kind of car.
I’ve driven Ferraris and Maseratis. I think they’re temperamental – they’re like the Paris Hilton of cars. I’ve owned a BMW 5-Series, 3 Lexus hybrids in a row, a Jeep Wrangler and my very first car was a little German sports car. …
I had my first job at six. I worked at a store every summer and I saved my money and then I bought a red used Opel Manta with four gears, AM radio, bare bones for $1,100. It was very cute. I felt like a juvenile, acne-riddled female James Bond when I drove it around.
Almost immediately, the starter broke and I had to go to the junk yard and dig through an Opel graveyard through the corpses of other Opels to find another starter, which I plugged in, but never attached to the driveshaft. It would roll around on the floor and the wires frayed eventually. You could essentially jump start my car. I would get in and hot wire the car to start it.
Then I put this really expensive Pioneer stereo inside the glove box and left the crappy old stereo in, which I thought was very sneaky because people would look in the car and see this shitty stereo and think there’s nothing here for me and continue on. Eventually some desperate fellow with a crowbar found my Pioneer stereo in the glove box and I was heartbroken.
Have you always been a car girl?
I’ve always been a vehicle girl. I was raised by a single dad who loved motorcycles so I grew up on huge motorcycles. I always rode on the back of a motorcycle. I’ve always loved cars.
My dad taught me to drive on a stick-shift car. His teaching method consisted of screaming at me and terrifying the crap out of me by telling me to change lanes at 70 miles per hour 'cause that was the only way I would learn! I’ve always driven stick except for this car.
I have my motorcycle license, too. I did it on a Harley! We crashed together a couple of times as a kid and my dad had a really terrible motorcycle accident when I was a teenager. He broke both legs. Since then, I’ve always been afraid to ride on the highway. But I’ve always wanted a bike. Every time I go and look at them, I think of some lady or guy putting on mascara in traffic and running me off the road.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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