Kenny and Keith Lucas
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Maybe it’s because they are twins, so they make double the impression, but in a short time it seems like the Lucas Brothers have made a big impact on comedy, whether it was their brief but memorable cameo in 22 Jump Street or the sketch show they appear on, Friends of the People. And now their animated show, Lucas Brothers Moving Company, which airs on FXX tonight at midnight, is in its second season. Vulture had Hannibal Buress, who voices the twins’ mother on the show and is currently on a stand-up tour (tickets are available on his website), interview the brothers. The comedians discuss being on the show, wrestling, and being twins.
Hannibal Buress: I’m a hard-hitting journalist, man. I’m trying to transition out of stand-up into this more.
Kenny Lucas: There’s a lot of longevity in this, man. Barbara Walters did it for like 70 years.
Keith Lucas: Yeah, you could do it forever, man, but you know stand-up: The audience changes, the media changes.
Do you ever have to fight over girls, because I feel like y’all look the same, so the same type of girls might come at y’all? Is it ever like, “Man, I wanted that one,” and then you say, “Oh well, let’s just switch up, fuck it, you can have her”?
Kenny: Yeah, it happens, but there are a lot of girls out there, so you have to move on. I think we only competed once. And it didn’t go well. We got into a fight, so then we just stopped doing that.
Keith: Yeah, we had some intense battles in college, but we realized that it was super-inefficient.
Have you met the Morris Twins, who play for the Phoenix Suns?
Kenny: Nah, we haven’t, but I’d like to.
I was just talking about them, just as twins. It’s pretty crazy to watch. Sometimes they’ll pass to each other and be on the court at the same time, but sometimes the rotation is so that one might be on court and one might be on the bench. It would probably be pretty wild if one of them is dunking and the other was sitting and watching and is like, Holy shit, I just dunked.
Keith: Yeah, we’ve got that joke that it’s sort of like watching yourself do something in 3-D. It’s pretty incredible. I would love to see myself dunk. I’ve never dunked before, but if Kenny dunked, that would be pretty awesome.
Kenny: That would be pretty great.
I read an interview that you guys are big Bret Hart fans, and you talked about not liking people that were Shawn Michaels fans.
Keith: Please don’t tell me you’re a Shawn Michaels fan.
I’m a huge Shawn Michaels fan. What do you have against Shawn Michaels and Shawn Michaels fans?
Keith: We grew up Bret Hart fans, man, and the animosity between Bret and Shawn Michaels is so real that it just carried over to the fans. And plus, man, you don’t think Shawn Michaels looks a little too arrogant? For a dude who has long hair and wore tights, he was too arrogant.
He’s arrogant, but he was also a character. He tapped into something and makes people be able to be arrogant in a way where they can’t be in their regular lives. Just like Jay Z.
Keith: I didn’t like that he danced on the side of the ring.
As a teenager, I related to him because it seemed like he kicked people in the face and would say funny stuff and get girls.
Keith: He definitely had more fun than Bret Hart. That goes without saying. Maybe it was just a dude on our block once. He was a piece of shit and a huge Shawn Michaels fan. We hated that dude, so then we just hated Shawn Michaels.
Are you all still big wrestling fans?
Kenny: We’re not as committed as we were when we were younger. We don’t cry anymore when Bret loses, but …
You guys cried?
Keith: Yeah, when Bret Hart lost to Owen Hart at WrestleMania.
How long have y’all been doing stand-up?
Keith: Since ‘09?
Are one of y’all better at it?
Kenny: No, no, probably not. We’re about the same.
Is one of y’all better at premises, or is there one particular thing that you think one of y’all is better at?
Keith: Yeah, that’s a good question.
Kenny: I do more setups, and Keith does more punches. I do more of the transitions and just trying to keep it all together.
Keith: Kenny helps with the transitions, and he allows me to improv a little bit more. He’s great at tagging, but in terms of getting to the first punch line, I generally do that.
So how’s it been with the show — do you write all of Lucas Brothers Moving Company, or are there other writers also?
Keith: We write all of the scripts, but we have a team of writers who do punching up and work the stories and outlining.
Do you all smoke weed when you write?
Kenny: Yeah, we do, sometimes. Sometimes we don’t.
Keith: We’ve been trying to cut back.
Are there any ideas or stories that you can pinpoint that definitely were weed-influenced?
Keith: We have a story where we go inside Jaleel White’s mind, to release the memory of Urkel. So that was definitely weed-induced.
Kenny: Yeah, that’s definitely one of them. We had this 420 episode, and it gets crazy at the end. I think like 80 percent …
Keith: I think 95 percent of the stories that we wrote were weed-induced. We got one where we kill Beyoncé for some reason, and I don’t think I would have made that joke if I weren’t under the influence.
Friends of the People got picked up for season two — congratulations. I just said that as a transition because it sounded like the right thing to say, but then I didn’t have a good question. No, no, no, actually, I do have a decent question. What’s one of the worst decisions that you’ve made as a duo?
Kenny: Yeah, I’ve got a good one. In 2010, we had been in New York for a year. We were super-broke and would take any job that comes [our] way. We take this job for this viral marketing company, where, for a video game, we basically had to walk around nude with a bunch of different people and pretend we were at a nude party. For a while I thought no one saw the video and we were in the clear, but then a few months ago, [comedian] Rob O’Reilly found it and said, “Is that you guys, naked in the video-game party?” I was like, “Damn it.” And we only got paid like a hundred bucks each. And now I just told Vulture, so everyone’s going to go see it. You know what, fuck it.
Oh shit, you know everybody’s going to go see that now.
Kenny: Yeah, I’m cool with it, man. I’m pretty confident, man.
I want you to know how dedicated I am to this interview: I’m about to hop in a van to go to set, and I didn’t want to get in the elevator and potentially have the interview dropped, so I’m taking the stairs down from the goddamn 14th floor, man. I am Barbara Walters.
Keith: I see journalism in your future, man. I see a second career, man. I don’t mean that sarcastically, either.
I’m talking about diversifying, and I’m trying to figure out other things in business in general — do you all have any side-business ideas?
Kenny: Yeah, I wanna do a book of photography and maybe write a book. I wanna publish something that’s not related to comedy. I haven’t figured out what my angle’s going to be.
Keith: Yeah, I wanna lecture on things unrelated to comedy. Something where I can speak about ideas and theories and not have to punctuate it with a punch line — just lecture, where people pay me to talk — like what Sarah Palin does, she just lectures. She doesn’t make a fucking point, but she gets paid. I wanna do that.
That is an interesting pressure, to have to be funny constantly. People are like, “Tell me a joke.”
Kenny: It’s unrealistic, too. I don’t know anyone who is funny 100 percent of the time.
Keith: Lil Rel.
Kenny: I mean, Lil Rel. But aside from that …
You don’t want to hear my material outside of the context of a stand-up show. Like in a real conversation, I don’t know if you want to hear me talk about cuckold porn.
Keith: Yeah, they want you to be a comedian for 24 hours. And you’re like, I’m only going to be a comedian if I’m getting paid to do it, or I’m in an environment where my comedy can actually flourish. Like I said, if you’re gonna lecture like Sarah Palin, you’re not expected to tell a joke. But when she does tell a joke, she gets laughs extra-hard. That’s the benefit of lecturing: You just talk about shitty ideas for an hour and then you sprinkle a few jokes in between. Or I feel like if I become a professor, that would be pretty cool.
Can you imagine talking for a long time without saying a joke? I can’t imagine being a professor. I would want mine to be informative and have at least a solid joke every two minutes.
Keith: Yeah, imagine if you do become a professor and you do have a solid joke every two minutes, though. You would be the best professor at the school.
Have you all seen the movie Strange Days, with Angela Bassett?
Keith: No, I haven’t. Are you an Angela Bassett aficionado?
Not a super-aficionado, but that movie is pretty wild. It came out in ‘95. It’s on Netflix.
Kenny: What is it about?
You know what, I couldn’t even tell you. I just remember the movie and enjoyed it. I think it was set in the future, with Angela Bassett as some action hero — she doesn’t have many roles like that. I don’t know why I thought about it the other day, but it’s on Netflix.
Keith: Angela Bassett had a pretty weird career, though. Was that right after the Tina Turner movie?
I don’t know. Now she’s on like American Horror Story.
Keith: She directed Whitney, too. That shitty Lifetime bio.
Kenny: Have you watched any of those Lifetime biopics?
No, I haven’t. I only get to watch them through the lens of cynical Twitter. Whitney didn’t get much. But the Aaliyah one …
Kenny: That shit got crucified.