The Lucas Brothers, lords of the underground

An interview with the U.S. comics ahead of their JFL shows and fresh round of TV and movie projects.

It’s been five beautiful years since identical twins the Lucas Brothers first captured the world’s attention with their roles in the 2014 summer blockbuster 22 Jump Street. The same year, the pair appeared in Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch showcase at Just for Laughs. This freshman class of sorts sees the coveted publication predicting some of the industry’s best next in line.

“Everything is just a blur,” explains Kenny (who is older than his brother Keith by a matter of minutes) of the duo’s past half-decade. “I’m enjoying the moment, I feel like I’ve grown tremendously as a comedian.”

Sincetheir early JFL outings, the Lucas Brothers have been nothing short of plentiful with their creative endeavours. While the boys have not experienced skyrocketing levels of fame like fellow 10 Comics alumni like Amy Schumer or Tiffany Haddish, Keith and Kenny asserted themselves as subcultural kings via their beloved animated stoner series Lucas Bros. Moving Co.

“[The show] was bizarre because if people love the show, they really loved the show,” says Keith of Moving Co.’s cult status. “There were no fair-weather fans. They would watch it over and over again. It’s a beautiful thing because we were trying to tap into that very specific group of people, and I feel like we reached them.”

Fans who have been longing for Lucas Brothers-fronted content won’t have to wait much longer. Keith and Kenny have two new series in the pipeline: a return to animation with Disney involved and a live-action legal comedy.

“We’re in law school and trying to uncover whether or not our father committed the crime. And then we get involved in high-level corruption — it gets surreal,” says Kenny of the latter series. “That show, we’re in the process of developing with the guys who directed Game Night (John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein). It’s been a fun process.”

As if two television projects weren’t enough, the twosome is also teaming up with Judd Apatow for a film that they will write and star in. 

“We just closed the deal maybe yesterday. Universal greenlit the script that we’ve been writing,” Kenny proudly reveals. Like many Apatow-backed films, the story takes plenty of inspiration from real-life events. 

“We’re drawing a lot from our biography, our childhood. It’s a story that involves our father, some development with him in reality that is part of the script. It’s a very personal story but I believe it’s very funny,” divulges Keith.

Their father, of course, went to jail for 15 years when the two were in their adolescent years. Such a predicament has been a strong source of inspiration for some of Keith and Kenny’s bits, turning a source of pain and confusion into laughter.

This month, the Lucas Brothers return to Just for Laughs for the fourth time, with hopes that their performances will help them iron out the kinks for their forthcoming stand-up special.

“We’ve completed about 80 per cent of it, we still have to work out some of the jokes and figure out the overall story that we want to tell,” says Kenny. “I know where we wanted to shoot it. We’ve been touring vigorously to get the material tight. At this point we feel comfortable doing an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes.”

The two identify Montreal crowds as “honest” compared to other markets. With so much comedy seen here in such few days, we only laugh when we mean it. ■

The Lucas Bros: Hood Disease will be at Newspeak (1403 Ste-Elisabeth) from July 2327, 10 p.m. each night, $23.75