Kenny and Keith Lucas have built a comedy career around the fact that they’re identical twins. And considering their scene-stealing appearance in 22 Jump Street, and back-to-back spots on the prematurely cancelled The Grinder and the phenomenal Lady Dynamite, they don’t seem to mind it all that much. In fact, the Lucas Brothers relish every opportunity to pair up and play off each other — for the enjoyment of their audiences and, most importantly, for themselves. Hence why, on more than one occasion, Keith and and Kenny take turns riling each other up in their new Netflix special, The Lucas Brothers: On Drugs.
Premiering April 18th, On Drugs is the first stand-up hour the two have ever put out. As Kenny and Keith explained to us, however, it won’t be the last. Nor are the co-creators of the former FXX series Lucas Bros. Moving Co. done with animation, as they’ve got big plans for a brand new series over at TBS. Before revealing how the new show came to be, however, the pair couldn’t help teasing their interviewer about the prospect of chatting with identical twins over the phone.
Kenny Lucas: I’ll say that I’m Keith and Keith will say that he is Kenny.
Keith Lucas: Yep. You’ll never know.
What came first, your idea for the hour or Netflix’s interest in working with you two?
Keith: I pitched the idea to Netflix, and I was thinking they wouldn’t dare pick it up, but then they picked it up and said, “Sure, make it.” I was like, “Fuck, I wasn’t expecting this.” Now I gotta come up with something.
Kenny: We went in and we kind of had a loose idea, and they thought it was decent enough. Then we reformulated it and pitched it again with the material that’s in there now.
They seem to be very relaxed when it comes to stand-up comedy. Whereas when dealing with television, comics find themselves contending with notes about cutting for time and commercials.
Keith: It was one of the most creatively satisfying experiences we’ve ever had, because usually when you’re dealing with a network, it can be a bit… What’s the word? They micromanage a little bit more. Whereas with Netflix, they give you the liberty to explore whatever creative thoughts you may have. They still give notes, sure, but the notes tend to be very great. It was one of the best creative processes I’ve ever gone through.
Kenny: We’ll see how the people react to it, but it was great for me too.
This is your first special, right?
Keith: Yeah, this is our very first one.
On Drugs isn’t a standard hour. I recognized a few older bits, but there’s also plenty of new stuff mixed with things like animation.
Kenny: I always knew I wanted to do something different. I think, subconsciously, I always wanted to do a more personal, political special. In the sense that I knew certain policies had a direct impact on our childhood. I always wanted to explore it in sort of a different way, but I didn’t want to be heavy handed. I didn’t want to preach. I just wanted to explore it, and use the special to dramatically connect the audience to one topic.
Keith: We’ve always thought we always wanted to play against the traditional form of the stand-up special. We knew that we wanted it to be slightly off-beat. Just to retain some consistency with all the other projects we’ve done. It’s very tough for us to stick to the form because there’s two of us. We’re already starting from a unique standpoint because of that. So we just pushed it a little further, to have more fun with the form and experiment.