Twins Keith and Kenny Lucas, who perform stand-up comedy together as the Lucas Bros., have made a name for themselves through their unique comedy style and format. The twins are set to perform at Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Lounge next week, and they recently spoke with the Technique about their writing process, their 2017 Netflix special “On Drugs,” and their upcoming Atlanta shows.
Technique: You guys had a Fox show, “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” a few years ago. What was your process like when you were creating that show, and do you think your process has changed since then?
Kenny: Well, that was really early in our career, and it was a new medium that we had never really explored, so it was all kind of experimental, and new and fun and different, and I think it really helped us to get closer to understanding what our overall comedic POV is. We’re still trying to understand what our overall comedic POV is, but it was a good start, it was fun. I would say that we weren’t as refined as writers and we weren’t as refined as actors.
Keith: I think we’ve become much better at all of those things, but the show was a process that I greatly appreciated.
Technique: You guys also released a Netflix comedy special called “On Drugs” back in 2017. What was the process of making that like, and how did Netflix approach you guys, or how did that conversation start?
Keith: Great question. You know, the process of developing “On Drugs” was an eight year process. That’s when we first started stand-up, and, I mean, it was really just a collection of all of our jokes that we had come up with over those eight years. Then we tried to piece together a theme that connected a lot of the jokes and, uh, we presented it to Netflix. We told them that we had a version of an hour that we wanted to make, but that was ten months before we actually filmed it. But we told them the idea and they bought it. They bought it on the idea and then we filmed it like a year later.
Technique: For people unfamiliar with your style of comedy, what would you define as your style, or your defining characteristic, besides the fact that you’re twins?
Kenny: I would say that our style is, I mean it dabbles in surrealism and the nature of absurdity. We like to discuss stuff like philosophy and our drug usage and growing up poor, and we try to keep it somewhat nonsensical, but like grounded in a sense. We like to juxtapose real shit with super silly stuff, so I feel like its a mixture of a lot of things.
Keith: Yeah, I’d say stylistically, you know, unlike many other comedians who don’t have a twin or a partner, we like to play off of each other a lot, so that’s something we’ve worked into our style. Sometimes it seems like it’s just the two of us talking on stage. But yeah, I would say that we like to talk about serious things and serious issues, but in like a light way. But sometimes, you know, you can’t make light of certain things, so there are some things we can’t talk about, but we try to use comedy to talk about serious things.
Technique: So, without spoiling anything, what kinds of themes are you guys exploring in your upcoming show here?
Kenny: So, in our next hour we continue exploring some of the themes we explored in “On Drugs,” but it’s a bit more cohesive and more personal. We try to unpack, you know, how we sort of developed our PTSD and how that sort of transitioned into drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and the chase for fame and fortune and sex and all that crap. I feel like a lot of that’s all just tangled in together and it’s all related to your childhood, so we try to go all the way back to when we were born and then work our way up through all the way up until the hollywood years to understand why we wanted to be famous and all that. We study a lot of philosophy and one of the big philosophers that we like, Albert Camus, asks the question “Is life worth living?”
Keith: Yeah, Camus would, uh, he would say that the most important philosophical question is deciding whether life is worth living, and we’re sort of exploring that. Like, if that’s the biggest philosophical inquiry, then we have that, so we spend a whole hour deciding whether life is worth living, and we look back at our past to see if, uh, the traumatic event impacted us to the point where life isn’t worth living. It’s like uh, we’re trying to present an argument for, and against, suicide.
Technique: So, is it kind of a conversational thing, where you’re playing off of each other, kind of having a philosophical conversation with each other?
Kenny: Yeah, it’s a dialectic between myself and Keith, but also we talk to the audience and we use the audience a lot and it sort of, if it works out perfectly it becomes a conversation between us and the audience and also between ourselves where we’re just like hashing out whether or not life is worth living, and whether or not it’s okay to commit suicide. Obviously, you know, we believe that it’s not, and life is worth living, but we try to work through it to show the logic to how we go there, to the conclusion. We try to show that.
Technique: So if you like to engage the audience, what’s your favorite type of environment for a comedy club? Do you like it more cozy?
Keith: That’s a good question. I sort of do prefer a more intimate setting, one where I can look the audience in the eyes and sort of have a personal connection. I prefer that, but as a comedian, you gotta be prepared. I try to treat them all the same way, you know, but with the smaller, the more intimate venues, I tend to be more comfortable.
Kenny: I couldn’t imagine having to perform at, like, Madison Square Garden, you know. I don’t know what style of comedy I would have to adopt in order to make that number of people laugh. You know, it’s totally antithetical to the style that we’ve cultivated.
Technique: So you’re coming to Atlanta next week, is this going to be your first time doing stand up in Atlanta?
Kenny: Nope, we’ve done standup in Atlanta once this year, we did the 1AM show, and we’ve also done a few other venues before. We’ve done a couple shows at Variety Playhouse before.
The Lucas Bros. will be performing for four nights at the Laughing Skull Lounge in Midtown from March 14 to March 17.