If you’re familiar with the comedic work of the Lucas Brothers, then you probably already know why it’s perfect that their new Netflix special is being released just two days before the annual stoner holiday of 4/20.
“Make sure you smoke weed before you watch it,” Keith Lucas says. “It’s going to be way better and way funnier after you smoke weed.”
But no matter how high you are while watching the aptly titled On Drugs, there’s a level of comedy in the Lucas Brothers’ stand-up that works regardless of mind-altering substances. As any fan of their animated series Lucas Bros. Moving Co. can attest, L.A.’s latest Brooklyn comedy imports know how to get a laugh out of even the most sober crowds.
Considering that the twins are best known for their animated shorts and a memorable scene in 22 Jump Street, Kenny and Keith’s stand-up may not be exactly what folks expect. Sure, it may not look or feel exactly the same as their previous projects, but their comedy is essentially the ideas and jokes behind everything else they’ve done.
“The special is very much consistent with what we’ve been doing over the last couple of years in terms of themes, tones and the embrace of surreality and absurdism,” Kenny says. “The break is that it’s stand-up, so it translates a little differently.”
“Stand-up is what we started off doing,” Keith says. “When we started doing animation, it was this new experience that we didn’t even anticipate getting involved with. With stand-up, we had this mission of doing an hour and doing late-night. It feels like we’re going on this journey that we’ve already started, not a deviation.”
As far as their stand-up goes, the brothers’ special confirms that they’re as synced up onstage as they are when creating their other content. On Drugs flows as smoothly and hilariously as any solo hour on Netflix, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the twins have been working together creatively for more or less their entire lives. At the same time, teaming up for a live stand-up show is a little different from being able to take turns writing episodes for a TV series.
“With the stand-up act, we have to collaborate consistently,” Keith says. “With animation, we can go off on our own and write our own scripts. With stand-up, we constantly have to work together, which makes it a bit more collaborative. Stand-up is a lonely endeavor for most people. You travel alone, you perform alone, and I’ve seen people get mentally frustrated because of it. I’ve never really worked alone, but I feel like working together gives us somewhat of an advantage when coming up with material. We always have each other to bounce our ideas off of, and even when I’m not coming up with anything, I know some ideas in his mind are percolating. It seems like it always makes us more productive.”
“We just always have someone to talk things out with,” Kenny adds. “We have someone to debrief with on any major professional event or any major personal event. It’s someone to keep you balanced.”
Going forward, the world should expect to see a lot more of the Lucas Brothers. From movies to full-length animated TV shows, there’s still plenty left on their agenda. For now, the Brooklyn natives are still finding their groove in the L.A. comedy world. That’s not to say they don’t like their new hometown; it’s just not exactly what they’re used to after launching their careers in the Big Apple.
“I think there are pockets in L.A. that have an explosive cultural scene, but you have to seek it out,” Keith says. “In New York, it’s been raised as being the cultural capital of the world. L.A. is still cultivating that image, so there might be more room for growth if you want to make projections into the future.”
“From a professional creative standpoint, I feel like there are more opportunities to get up for stand-up” in New York, Kenny says. “There’s more of an opportunity to hone your act and make your jokes a lot tighter. I don’t want to say it’s a purer scene, but it’s less inundated with the pressures of Hollywood. I think that allows for a bit more creativity. But in L.A., the weather’s better, the weed’s better and, I don’t want to say the women are better, but one could make that argument.”