When comedy duo and noted weed enthusiasts The Lucas Brothers pulled the ultimate no-call, no-show after getting too high before their 4/20 set in Denver, it marked a new low for stoned stand-ups in the legal cannabis age.
Even if Ralphie May was falling off of his stool in Grand Junction, or Pete Holmes actually opened instead of headlined at the High Plains Comedy Festival, they at least made it to the stage.
Instead, Fort Collins comedian and host David Rodriguez was put in the unenviable position of telling the 200-plus attendees at the crowded Oriental Theater that the much-hyped headlining act for Wednesday night — comprised of brothers Kenny and Keith Lucas — couldn’t be found.
Thanks to the all-knowing hindsight of social media, it’s almost as if we all could have predicted such an ending to this story. “Wanna spend way too much money to watch us do below average stand-up?” the Lucas Brothers tweeted April 18 ahead of their Denver gig.
— tᕼe ᒪᑌᑕᗩᔕ ᗷᖇOᔕ (@lucasbros) April 18, 2016
And promoter Sexpot Comedy’s day-of tweet said: “Come pound @IncrediblesMMJ before @lucasbros …” — which is advice the comedians perhaps took too seriously. Incredibles, a Colorado company that makes marijuana-infused edibles, was a presenting sponsor of the show. (Full disclosure: I run a comedy show sponsored by Sexpot Comedy.)
— Sexpot Comedy (@sexpotcomedy) April 20, 2016
The last-minute cancellation was an unwelcome surprise to many in the crowd, who were themselves fairly baked after a long day of celebrating 4/20.
“People were visibly upset that the Lucas Bros didn’t show,” Denver’s Luke Elbin, 37, tells me in an online message. “My friend had planned a fun night to celebrate our 10th anniversary of the business we own. He just couldn’t enjoy the night, and will likely ask for a refund.”
The twins took to Twitter on Thursday morning to apologize, claiming they “ate edibles which caused us to get incredibly sick” (read: high) and “became disoriented.” They weren’t the only ones to eat Incredibles’ THC-infused chocolates, however, and they made no mention about the dab of high-THC concentrate one of the twins was spotted taking.
In a phone interview Thursday morning with the Lucas Brothers, Keith Lucas explained that after the dab he tried to lie down for a bit and ride out the high, to no avail: “I became really withdrawn and couldn’t communicate.” With brother Kenny shivering, they returned to the hotel in an attempt to sober up with a shower.
Edibles issues and other #420problems
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“Kenny asked me to get him a cheeseburger, and here I am walking around Denver without any clothes on trying to find him one. I could see myself walking and was like, ‘What am I doing?’ But I couldn’t stop until I found that cheeseburger. I wound up finding two cheeseburgers, but we didn’t even eat them,” says Keith.
“It was an out-of-body experience. I thought that I was dreaming at one point,” Keith tells me from his Denver hotel room after being too high to board their Thursday-morning flight. “Then I woke up today and I saw my text messages and I was like, ‘We just smoked the best shit we’ve ever smoked.'”
“It fucked us up,” adds Kenny.
How jarring was the experience? “I didn’t believe in God before yesterday, but Denver weed made me believe in Jesus Christ,” admits Keith.
Some locals more accustomed to edibles didn’t have any unexpected reactions on Wednesday — including local comic Sam Tallent, who ate Herculean amounts of them over the course of the evening before jumping on stage to help fill time when it became clear the headliners were gone for good.
The Lucas Brothers overindulged, plain and simple.
Wanted to apologize about last night. We ate edibles which caused us to get incredibly sick. Not sure what happened, became disoriented.
— tᕼe ᒪᑌᑕᗩᔕ ᗷᖇOᔕ (@lucasbros) April 21, 2016
“It’s unfortunate that they put themselves in a position to be unable to perform, but it is what it is,” Sexpot Comedy co-founder Kayvan Khalatbari relays via email, noting that while they are honoring refund requests, he hopes attendees also keep in mind the event was a fundraiser for local non-profit Denver Open Media. “However, even without The Lucas Brothers in the lineup, the remaining comics we had tonight would have — and did — create for an amazing two hours that even a briefly disappointed crowd left satisfied with.”
With seven comedians performing, the Lucas Brothers weren’t the only ones impaired. David Gborie, a Colorado native based in Los Angeles who recently made his TV debut on Viceland’s “Flophouse,” started his set noticeably high before settling in and delivering some of the largest laugh lines of the night. Thrust into a headlining role, L.A.’s Billy Wayne Davis took several dabs before his almost 45-minute set, saving what could have been an incredibly awkward end to the evening with his charming brand of Southern humor.
Still, for some in the crowd, the failure of the twins to appear ruined the pot holiday in the most predictable way. After withdrawing from the High Plains Comedy Festival last summer, who knows when The Lucas Brothers will be invited back to Denver.
And perhaps worst of all, the brothers’ shenanigans worried their mom.
@lucasbros please call me ok please i am so worried right now
— MARY A LUCAS (@VHAEASLUCASM) April 21, 2016
“We called her and the first thing she says is, ‘Prince is dead,’ so it’s been a fucked-up day,” says Keith.
As of publication Thursday afternoon, the twins were working on scheduling a free show Thursday evening, but there hadn’t been a venue or time announced yet. They’ll spread the word via their Twitter and Instagram accounts, they said.
What’s their advice for other performers coming to Denver? “You can’t come here like you’re a veteran,” warns Keith. “You don’t come to Denver for the first time and try to ingratiate yourself to stoners. We just had misplaced priorities.”