While in town for Just For Laughs, The Lucas Brothers, a duo of identical twin brothers, spoke to The Varsity about why they dropped out of law school and lived underneath a Brooklyn bridge. The twins also discussed adulthood, appeasing the haters, and avoiding stage fright.
The Varsity (TV): When did the both of you decide to be stand-up comedians? As well as decide to do it together, but not separately?
Kenny Lucas: I think I realized I wanted to be a stand-up comedian when I was in law school class. We were talking about some absurd legal concept, and I said, “Fuck this shit, I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to be a comedian.” So I called Keith up.
Keith Lucas: I was already on the edge of quitting when he called me up, thinking about the prospect of being a lawyer. He called me up at the right time and persuaded me.
Kenny: I used my power of persuasion, and I think it took me 15 minutes to decide that I wanted to drop out. We knew that comedy was going to be a struggle, that there was no guarantees in comedy, but if we have a degree or passed the bar, we would have that safety net.
Keith: I think we both agree that we don’t want to have a safety net, we just want to take the risk.
TV: What’s the best memory you have had so far as actors and comedians?
Keith: We were filming our special last year, few of our family were there, it was pretty dope — first time we did [The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon]. Honestly, the whole experience has been remarkable for me, it’s not one thing that I can point to that is the best. The journey has been spiritual and philosophical and I have learned a lot and grown a lot from it.
Kenny: It’s been fun, even when we slept under a bridge in Brooklyn and had no money. I remember those moments fondly because we decided on something and we stuck with it. The whole journey has been remarkable.
TV: I know there must have been a lot of good things that have happened to both of you, but there must have been some horrible experiences too. How do you guys deal with haters?
Kenny: I think in life, when we put ourselves out there in a public form, the diversity of opinion, there are always haters. Some of the greatest people on earth have haters and critics. We are not great, so of course there are haters too. I just take it as part of the game; it used to affect me because it’s just weird to see people be upset or angry at jokes.
Keith: I don’t think about it. As a person, you can either focus on the people who hate you, or appreciate those that love you — I just think about them more; I want to make them happy.
TV: Do you guys have any advice for the young people out there who are still trying to figure out what’s going on in their lives?
Keith: I would say keep your options open, don’t commit too soon. Try different experiences, travel around the world, take new jobs, talk to different people.
Kenny: Experiment, try new things, don’t commit to something just because you think you would make a lot of money because there’s prestige involved. Do something you truly love doing, what makes you happy when you do it.
Keith: Because that’s what’s going to keep you through the tough days. It’s okay to be happy with what you do. I think a lot of people say that they want to be doctors or lawyers, but they don’t think about whether it will make them happy, they only think it will make them a lot of money. I think the basic thing is whether what you are doing will make you happy for 30 years.
Kenny: Just live. I think in this day and age, people want to grow up so soon. They want to be adults by 23 or 24. Just live and embrace the world.
TV: Super easy question, maybe, but what makes you guys happy? What do you guys do during your free time?
Keith: You think that’s an easy question? That’s the hard question. As I get older, it’s the simple things that make me happy. Waking up in the morning, talking to my brother, walking around, hiking — real simple things.
Kenny: It’s like walking in the forest, things that nature sort of gives you, those are the things I find the most enjoyable. I’ve gone to parties with famous people, purchased expensive things.
Keith: I got money, achieved some level of celebrity, none of that brings the amount of happiness compared to the little things, like hiking in the morning, discovering a new song.
Kenny: Even a good apple, just like simple things. Go with the flow, be happy, and be you.
Keith: As you get older and get closer and closer to death, you start to move away from the superficials and start to appreciate what’s around [you].
TV: Do you get nervous every time you go on stage? How do you deal with it? Any suggestions on how to stand in front of a huge crowd and be confident?
Kenny: I would get nervous early on, but now I still get a little doubt in the stomach when I step on stage, but as soon as I’m there and they laugh at my first joke, I am already connected.
Keith: Now we go in there with a lot of ammunition, we have our jokes and our acts, which gives us a little comfort when we go on stage. Meditation helps, we smoke a little bit of weed — which diffuses the tension — and actually talk to people. I guess the more you talk to people, you feel more and more comfortable.
TV: Any good qualities you think a good comedian should have?
Keith: An open mind, committed to the process, and a love for jokes. Also, the willingness to be vulnerable. Put yourself out there, [don’t worry] about what people think, what Hollywood thinks. Be truthful to process and be authentic.www
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.