David Lucas is not the man you think he is. The dude is an enigma. Just when you reckon you’ve got him figured out, that you can pin what motivates him, what pushes a beautifully abstract yet precise intelligence, you’re dead wrong. You will never catch up with a mind that fast. Don’t let that country drawl fool you. David Lucas’ comedy is rooted in the experiential moment, the now, but also the consequences of what “now” feels like on multiple levels – one scandalous joke after another.
There are no safe spaces. If there’s a new outrage hanging in the air, he’s got a bit to address it. Women clutch their pearls while their boyfriends spit out their drinks. I’ve seen it. It’s almost as entertaining to watch the reactions to his jokes as the jokes themselves. David Lucas has honed his skills to a sharpened blade straight from Shinobi. “You think it, that’s why you laugh. The fucked up shit I say, you already thought about it. You’re just too bitch to say it.”
Bouncing between Austin and Los Angeles, Lucas is a regular at the world-famous Comedy Store. His sets continually feature new material. He’s always thinking, writing, looking for an angle to slip in the crowbar and pry back where the spider and cobwebs lurk in the psyche, but you hear the DNA blocks of performers you might not expect. “I love Jim Gaffigan. I love Bill Maher, too.” Lucas said as we sat at the downstairs bar at the Vulcan Gas Company on Austin’s notorious 6th street. As the bartenders filled their wells with ice and stocked coolers with bottles of Lone Star, it was going to be busy. Lucas is opening the next two nights for Joe Rogan. “Red Foxx is my biggest influence. People think it’s Patrice (O’Neil) because I’m so outspoken, but he’s like number three. I don’t think cancel culture would be as bad as it is if Patrice was still alive, because he would have been calling it out – before Chappelle. He called out Karens before they were “Karens,” my comedy is in that tradition of not giving a fuck.”
There’s music to Lucas’ work. You can hear it in the timbre, the way he phrases his jokes, the movement of the wordplay. There’s a lilt within the sincerity that’s pleasing to the ear. “I listen to love songs. Keith Sweat, Ginuwine, shit you don’t expect.” Diving deeper into his musical tastes, we uncovered something shocking, “I’m a country boy. I love that shit. I like Toby Keith, Brooks and Dunn, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, and George Strait. I like that dude Kane Brown, too.” Hailing from Macon, Georgia, Lucas comes from fertile soil that’s produced some of the most incredible talents of the 20th century, Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers, Little Richard, and a cadre of sports stars that’s entirely too long to list. And now, Lucas is on the verge of being included in the folks who’ve made his Georgia town proud. “Macon is where I’m from, but I got my style from my family. My grandaddy said what he wanted to. He didn’t care about repercussions. I got that from him.”
When you first meet David Lucas, you’re unsure – he’s country polite with a strong streak of ‘fuck with at your own risk.’ His regular material stands on its own, the jokes have weight, they deliver, but his crowd work is a thing of beauty. Lucas crushes, breaking you down by the way you talk, your clothes, hair, or what you just said. He can talk that shit like a haymaker Casanova, keeping the room howling. If you came out dressed up in a questionable outfit, don’t sit in the first row – he’s going to notice. And he’s probably going to make a joke. And they’re going to laugh. “My momma made me read encyclopedias. I was a chubby kid. I was getting in trouble. My mom warned me that if I kept at it, I was gonna get locked up. Instead of fighting, I started using words. My words had the same amount of damage as punching, most of the time better. Business was handled.”
Don’t get it twisted, though. David Lucas is more than a roaster. He’s not caught up as a one-trick pony but a well-rounded comedian whose blistering sets are granting him the opportunity to become a shining light within comedy. He’s a regular on Kill Tony, one of the biggest comedy podcasts out there. Week after week, Lucas performs a brand new minute. He trades barbs with his mentor Tony Hinchcliffe, pushing the boundaries of how the two men can psychologically deconstruct one another within the blink of an eye.
There’s no way to label David Lucas as a phony. It just doesn’t stick. He’s a guy like Joey Diaz, Brian Holtzman, or Bill Hicks. What you see is what you get, and he’s not about to chase Hollywood, “If I get in a movie, cool. If I don’t, I don’t. As long as I keep performing stand-up, that’s all I care about. I talk shit. It’s not a character.” And night after night, David Lucas is one of those voices pushing comedy to stay real, to stay scathing in a time when everyone wants soft, safe, and cuddly. “I want to be remembered as truthful. I don’t ever write a joke to appease people. I write the jokes for myself. If you don’t like it, you can kiss my ass. I don’t want everyone to like me. If they did, that’s how you know it’s fake. I want some of y’all to hate me. I’m cool with that.” As long as there’s a mic in his hand and the wheels of the world are falling off, look for David Lucas to make a joke about the people screaming around him. It sounds mean now, but trust me, you’ll be laughing.
David Lucas was featured in the Hussy Magazine print issue #3. Grab the bundle of the first three issues for just 5 BUCKS!