- People are roasting this ‘traditional’ take on marriage with a hilarious meme Saturday 5:17 PM
- The internet just collectively realized that the Neopets of the world must be hungry Saturday 4:00 PM
- Alt-right message board 8chan was served a search warrant Saturday 3:06 PM
- O.J. Simpson just joined Twitter in the most bizarre fashion Saturday 1:20 PM
- Prominent phone-hacking firm says it can unlock any iPhone for law enforcement Saturday 12:39 PM
- Hundreds of police officers belong to extremist Facebook groups, investigation finds Saturday 9:31 AM
- How to watch Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz online Saturday 8:00 AM
- ‘Late Night’ is a disappointing, tepid comedy Saturday 7:00 AM
- How to stream ‘Love It or List It’ for free Saturday 7:00 AM
- How to watch the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup online for free Saturday 6:55 AM
- Borderlands 3 preview suggests the aging series can still hang with the cool kids Saturday 6:30 AM
- How to stream the 2019 College World Series for free Saturday 6:00 AM
- Police try to solve domestic violence by giving victims blunt kitchen knives Friday 5:40 PM
- Privacy activist Ola Bini detained for 2 months in Ecuador without charges Friday 5:01 PM
- Twitter says suspending ‘God’ for a pro-LGBTQ tweet was an ‘error’ Friday 4:14 PM
The Lucas Brothers slam a president on their blistering Netflix standup special
For the Lucas Brothers, jokes about Nixon’s war on drugs are as personal as they are hilarious.
On Drugs, the new Netflix standup special from the Lucas Brothers, begins with a fuck you to a president. No, not that one.
Richard Nixon is the focus of the twin comedians’ opening bit. He’s the first person we see, via an old speech about “America’s public enemy No. 1,” drug abuse. Then comes the mantra: “Fuck Richard Nixon.” As the Lucas brothers take the stage, the joke becomes about how Nixon’s war made it harder for them to get drugs, but Kenny says there were some other parallels.
“Our father went to prison in connection with the war on drugs,” he tells the Daily Dot. “We do a lot of drugs. Just a lot of weird parallels.”
Material about drugs and incarceration makes up a good part of the special, which debuts Tuesday, as the Lucases—who’ve appeared in 22 Jump Street and Lady Dynamite—talk about growing up without their father and how he “overachieved” in prison and got a college degree. (In philosophy.) The brothers were in their early 20s when he was released, but they weren’t doing comedy yet. Law school came first, then they decided collaborating as a comedy duo might be easier.
The Lucas delivery method is something like improv; they’re always yes-anding each other, adding affirmations after delivering a line. That makes the flow of the set more conversational, and applies some dramatic tension to a joke about bringing the movie Scream to a Black Panthers party, and being stopped by a cop with a gun who, it turns out, just wanted a selfie.
“So we took the picture with him,” comes the punchline. “Because he had a gun.”
“We try to talk out the punchlines first,” Kenny says of their writing process. “Then once we have some sort of verbalization, we try it out onstage.”
The brothers didn’t set out to make a political document, but agree there shouldn’t be pressure on comedians to do so.
“I don’t think there are rules,” says Kenny. “It just felt right for us because it was sort of personal. When our father got out of prison, it felt like I owed some sort of responsibility to talk about the negative implications of mass incarceration. I don’t think people individualize it enough. …Particularly comedy, it’s generally like sweeping claims, as opposed to a particular incident that had larger implications.”
Pop culture also is a big thread in the special, and the Lucases list off the shows and comedians that influenced them: Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, The Simpsons, South Park. The last good movie they saw? Get Out, of course.
“It was really, really subversive,” says Keith. “I like how it played against the typical horror tropes but put in a little bit of satire, which made it even more intriguing. It impacted people on different levels, some more intellectually than others, but I like how he was able to make something that appealed to people on different levels.”
The Lucas Brothers take a similar approach with On Drugs: There’s a “black happiness” chart in the special that accounts for “white suffering,” but they’re also just two guys who want to get high (sometimes too high) and roast Nixon. The special ends with an animated Dick, and shows the world if the war on drugs never happened. It works on a couple different levels.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.