EXCLUSIVE: The Lucas Brothers on “Friends of the People” and Stand Up Comedy
Keith and Kenny Lucas are quickly making a name for themselves in the comedy world. In addition to their animated series on FXX, “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.,” the brothers recently embarked on a weekly sketch comedy for TruTV, “Friends of the People.”
The Lucas Brothers spoke with CableTV this week about their experiences in the comedy industry, their upcoming projects, and the recent honor of being named on the list of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch of 2014.
When did you guys start working together?
Kenny: We started in December 2009. That was our first open mic together. Then, we separated for a bit and reconvened during May of 2010.
What has been the best experience you have had working with your brother throughout the years?
Kenny: There’s been so many. I would say the thing I enjoyed the most was doing “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
Keith: I would say creating the cartoon, just that entire process that we’ve been able to travel back and forth to Los Angeles, and we’ve been able to tap into our voices.
Tell us about your involvement with “Friends of The People.” Have the scripted sketches and man-on-the-street segments come about organically or does your team have a writing process?
Keith: We have a writing process. It’s so many moving parts that we needed a controlled writing session. We have two head writers, the show runner and then all of the cast serve as writers and executive producers, too. Then, we have three additional writers to help script things and we have a writer’s assistant, so it was a pretty big team. We would all pitch ideas and then we would pick the ones we thought were the best and move forward.
You both have a lot on your plate at the moment with “Friends of The People”, your recent appearance in “22 Jump Street” and your animated series, “The Lucas Bros. Moving Company.” How do you maintain balance hopping from project to project?
Keith: It helps that there’s two of us. One person works on one thing, and then the other person works on the other. It’s really just picking your battles and making sure that you give an appropriate amount of time to each project. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.
To date, what has been your favorite “Friends of The People?”
Keith: We have one sketch in the latter episodes that is about the G8 Summit. It’s about the different world leaders and they’re fighting over petty stuff.
You were recently name one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch of 2014. Tell us about that experience.
Kenny: I was really stoked. It’s an honor. So many great comics have received the same thing. It feels like you are just continuing to add to your resume and your legacy and it’s an honor to be associated with some of the other acts.
What was it like working with Jonah Hill on “22 Jump Street?” How about Channing Tatum?
Keith: It was fantastic. Those two guys are the best in the business, so it was a good opportunity to actually watch and see how two of the best work. It certainly elevated our ability to perform, because they were giving us a lot of great advice. Overall, it was a really positive experience.
How does your creative process differ when writing for your animated series versus “Friends of The People” versus your stand-up material?
Kenny: The biggest difference between “Friends of the People” and “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” is we don’t really have to, not to say that it’s not a democratic process, but we have more voices than “FOTP,” so it’s way more democratic. With standup, again, we kind of control the entire process, so it’s less democratic. It’s just us getting on stage and doing what we want to do. So, it tends to be less input from outside sources.
Keith: With “Friends of the People,” there are 10 writers in that room, so we’re pitching and picking, and like Kenny said, it’s a lot more democratic. With “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.,” we pretty much get to do what we want to do. Then, at least with standup, there’s no filter at all. There’s no one in front of our jokes, so we just do it.
Kenny: There are limitations with live acting in “Friends of the People,” so that can affect the writing process. When you are working on the cartoon, you can roam free in your mind. You can brainstorm really crazy ideas and they can possibly be shown.
Have you received positive support from fellow comedians in the industry?
Keith: It’s been pretty positive. They’ve been cool. Everyone has been really supportive.
Kenny: I consider the comedy community to be kind of like a fraternity. We all want each other to succeed.
Can you tell us about your upcoming live action series for FOX?
Keith: The show is about us and we are community … We plan to shoot the pilot this month, but it’s still in the development stages.
Do you have anything else coming up we should know about?
Kenny: We are going to be doing “The Tonight Show” on Halloween.
A sneak peek episode of the second season of “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” will air on FXX on October 26 at 11:59 p.m., with the remainder of the season rolling out in 2015. “Friends of the People” premieres on TruTV October 28 at 10:30 p.m.
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