The Lucas Brothers on TV Heaven, Stoner Comedy and 4/20

Sexpot Comedy is celebrating 4/20 with a standup showcase at the Oriental Theater packed fuller than a gravity bong. Aaron Urist, David Gborie, Billy Wayne Davis, Noah Gardenswartz and Ester Steinberg will join newly minted Sexpot host David Rodriguez in an embarrassment of comedic riches. And then there are headliners Keith and Kenneth Lucas, who display a mellow absurdism on stage that's a perfect fit for the Denver-based brand. 

The identical twins have appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Arrested Development and 22 Jump Street, and they co-created and voiced the FXX animated series Lucas Bros. Moving Co. In advance of their trip here, we caught up with the Lucas Brothers to discuss their impressions of Denver, stoner comedy, and their shows that have gone on to TV heaven. 

Westword: What's the status of Friends of the People?

Keith Lucas: Friends of the People is in TV heaven  — which is a euphemism for "it's not coming back." 

Kenny Lucas: It's deader than Whitney Houston.

Who were your big influences from the sketch-comedy world?

Keith: Kenan & Kel, Chappelle's Show.

Kenny: Chappelle's Show, Chris Rock, SNL.

How does your writing process work, and how does that translate to the stage? Are you guys just chiming in with tags you wrote, or do you switch back and forth?

Kenny: It's a fairly balanced process. Either one of us can deliver a punchline or set up a premise. So we usually try to stay loose and just see where the set takes us. In terms of scripts, we'll usually divide it up evenly and then edit accordingly.

What lies ahead for Lucas Bros. Moving Co? Will there be a third season?

Kenny: Unlikely. 

Keith: Lucas Bros Moving Co is also in TV heaven. 

You're doing a big 4/20 show at the Oriental Theater. Is 4/20 a holiday that you celebrate and keep in your hearts?

Keith: Absolutely.

Kenny: It's the most important time of the year.

Do you generally like to perform for stoner crowds? Some comics don't like how low-key their reactions are, but at least they won't heckle anybody.

Kenny: They're our people. We don't need uproarious laughter to feel content with a set. So it works for us.

What do you guys think about the state of stoner humor? While hacky weed jokes still abound (especially in Colorado), I think that stoners appreciate surreal imagery, and they're more willing to follow along with absurd leaps. Does that influence your joke-writing?

Kenny: Like other forms of comedy, we feel as though it's going through a progressive moment which should shift how pop culture views it. For a while, a lot of non-stoners were writing "stoner comedy." Thus there was an over-emphasis on stereotypes usually associated with people who smoke weed and less of an emphasis on what truly separates stoners from non-stoners. That's going to change — and soon, I hope.

What's your impression of Denver comedy? Have you guys performed here before?

Kenny: I dig it. I find most cats from Denver are laid-back and progressive. I can fuck with that.

Keith. Never. Really looking forward to it.

Do you have plans to record an album or live special anytime soon?

Kenny: We just sold a concept to Netflix, which is currently in development. But we don't like to rush things. It could come out in two weeks or two years.

Do you guys have any projects or anything coming up on the horizon that you'd like to mention before we wrap up the interview?

Kenny: We're currently working with Netflix on several concepts, as well as TBS. But honestly, we're just trying to enjoy the wave. We hate putting too much pressure on ourselves to make shit. If it feels right, we'll do it. If not, we won't. 

Doors open at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, for the 8 p.m. show Tickets range from $25 in advance to $30 day of show; get them through the
Oriental Theater website. Alert: Stoners are obviously welcome to attend, but the venue is likely to face extra scrutiny on the holiday — so caution is the watchword, ganja gremlins.

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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham