Comedy Duo the Lucas Brothers Pull Double Duty

The Lucas Bros.
The Lucas Bros.

Twin NYC comedians Kenny and Keith Lucas are all about the slow burn. Their low-key, deadpan give and take has been featured on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Arrested Development, 22 Jump Street, and Comedy Central Web series The Super Late Morning Show ("The morning show for people who wake up at noon"), and their animated Fox series, Lucas Bros. Moving Co., in which the two voice Greenpoint-based van movers, returns for a second season this fall. Not content to work on one show at a time, October 28 sees the premiere of TruTV's Friends of the People. The pair sat down with us at this summer's Just for Laughs Montreal comedy festival to discuss the ensemble-sketch series.

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Kenny: The best way to describe it is as a sketch show, but I would say it has more, like, vignettes. Some man-on-the-street bits. It's really unique. It includes a lot of our friends from the New York underground comedy scene: Kevin Barnett, Jermaine Fowler, Lil' Rel, Jen Bartels, and Josh Rabinowitz.

Keith: Bobcat Goldthwait, he directed some of it. But also Neil Punsalan [The Pete Holmes Show], he's the show-runner. It's a sketch show, but it's more of a comedy collective, where we do different things within the format. Think, like, a 1960s factory where a bunch of people come together and just do a lot of different weird things.

It's like the Warhol studio of comedy.

Keith: I would say it's really experimental and different, and not like anything I've seen on TV before.

Goldthwait's been doing a lot of directing in L.A. How did he come on board in New York?

Kenny: We were looking for another director, and we had a list of names. Bobcat, everyone just related with him and loved his work. We reached out to him and he read the script, and he said he wanted to do it. He was psyched to do it.

Keith: Yeah, he was just very excited about the project. He directed Chappelle as well; we were all kind of influenced by Chappelle's Show. Bringing Bobcat added to that, came full circle.

Why TruTV, of all places?

Keith: We initially pitched to a couple of places. Comedy Central picked up the pilot and it got passed over. We thought it was dead in the water, but TruTV saw promise in the project and let us reshoot the pilot, then they picked it up for 10 episodes.

Kenny: And also TruTV is going in a different direction. They're trying to do more scripted stuff, and they're giving us a ton of creative freedom. More so than, I think, any other network would do. So I'm pretty happy about the placement.

Keith: To me, it doesn't really matter what channel it's on. It really matters on the product. And again, TruTV's going to promote it, and they're going to give us all the resources we need to make the show as good as possible.

Any particular first sketches people should keep an eye out for?

Kenny: There's an "Untold History of Hollywood," which is basically a Family Matters sketch. It's awesome. You can check it out on YouTube. And then there's "Squabblin' & Quarrelin'." That's like a parody of PTI, you know, Pardon the Interruption, with the two guys screaming at each other over sports. But it's us being laid-back and not really arguing with each other. We're just sort of agreeing. So there's a different spin on it.

What else is coming up on the horizon?

Keith: We're currently preparing a tour right now. We're hoping to go with Pete Davidson, and we have a DJ. We're going to tour colleges, rock venues, sort of how the Comedians of Comedy toured. We kind of want to structure it like that. We might try to get Ron Funches in there, too. So just bring a bunch of our friends on board and tour the cartoon, tour the sketches. We're going to do it all so it's not going to be straight stand-up. We're going to have sketches, our cartoon and everything. We're going to hopefully show street art from Bushwick, have that flanking the sides. We can use projectors.

Kenny: We're working on our cartoon as well. Lucas Bros. Moving Co. is heading into its second season, and we've got a bunch of people on it. Broad City, they're featured on it. Jerrod [Carmichael], we've got some Workaholics, Hannibal [Buress]. It's going to be a killer season.

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