Jason and Randy Sklar are a double-threat – not just because they’re identical twins, but also for their skills as comedians and sports commentators. The Sklar Brothers just celebrated the fifth anniversary of their podcast, “Sklarbro Country,” and their new PBS Web series, “You’re Doing It Wrong,” is available on YouTube. They will perform this weekend at Helium Comedy Club.
Question: Do you find being a two-person act more creatively freeing because there’s not a lot of similar performers out there?
Randy: We do feel like it’s a special and unique thing, but we want to do it in a way that hasn’t been seen before, and in an organic way that we think we’re funny in life. If we were to put something on where I’m the “dumb” character, and Jason is trying to reel me in, there’s something about it that just wouldn’t feel true.
Jason: We try to keep things loose. We were on stage last night talking about a new bit that we’ve been doing: death. A great, hilarious comedy concept. There was this moment where we talk about how we are all going to die, and Randy added, for no reason, “Tonight.” As he soon as he said it, I was like, “Yes, look under your seats, there’s a small drink, we’ll take a small sip and ascend to heaven together.” If the crowd is there and having fun while letting us go down those roads, that’s when it becomes the most fun for us to perform.
Randy: I also think that people are captivated by twins. We both grew up at the same time, and now we have kids who are different ages. We try to do things with my two kids together so they have as many shared experiences as possible, but there are some things that the older daughter will do that the younger won’t. When you’re twins, you experience everything together, so your frame of reference is insane. You may have different reactions to things, but we both have a huge wealth of shared experiences.
Q: Do you find yourselves writing a lot of your act on stage because it’s so conversational?
Randy: It’s rare that we come up and start talking about something on stage that we had not discussed how we would do it. What happens is that we have a thought or idea that we’ll discuss and build up to a certain point so it’s about 60 percent of the way there. Then we’ll put it up on stage, and we’ll keep building it. You mold it, you shape it, and then eventually seven months down the line, you should have a bit that’s working.
Jason: We were just talking about whether or not we believe in ghosts. If you do, you can’t just say, “I believe ghosts were created a couple of hundred years ago, and that’s why every ghost you see is an 18th century sea captain you see clanging around your house.” If you believe in ghosts, that means you also have to believe that as people die, their spirit can come back and haunt you, so that means there will be hipster ghosts we’ll have to deal with.
Q: As sports commentators, what do you think of the Bills right now?
Jason: The Bills have to be excited. The thing about Buffalo and the Bills is – yes, they are known for the fact that they lost four Super Bowls, but it takes a lot to get to the Super Bowl. The Bills fans have a lot of reasons to be hopeful.
Randy: I just heard they put assistant coach (Aaron Kromer) on paid leave. The way I understand it, he threw a kid’s fishing pole in the water. I believe there’s an old Japanese proverb that says give a man a fishing pole, and he fishes for a day. Throw a man’s fishing pole into the water, and he gets fired from the Bills.
Q: When you guys roll into various towns, do you leave room to talk about their local sports teams in your act?
Jason: We’re trying to develop a concept of a show that focuses on us going to different cities and creating material specific to that city. It’s something we would love to do, whether it has to do with a sports team or not. It’s interesting to us to try and figure out what’s funny about each city. Then we learn from people as we talk. That’s a fun thing to develop over the course of the weekend.
Randy: Totally. I’m sure we’ll talk about the football coach and the hockey player (Ryan O’Reilly) who just drove into a Tim Hortons. It will all come up.
Question: The hockey player may be just adjusting to life in Buffalo, because there’s been an epidemic of people driving into buildings.
Randy: I think the answer may be more drive-thrus in Buffalo.
Who: The Sklar Brothers
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St.