Comedy band Lewberger got their big break on the first season of NBC’s comedy competition show Bring The Funny where they made it to the final round. The Los Angeles-based trio is made up of Keith Habersberger, Alex Lewis and Hughie Stone Fish who began writing together five years ago.
While they originally gained popularity from their multiple viral online music videos, they’ve since performed live shows at the Kaaboo del Mar music festival, opened for Garfunkel and Oates and performed at colleges and comedy theaters across America. In Nov. 2018, they released their self-titled debut album which includes hits like “Disney Princess,” “Facebook,” “Pokémon Pickup Lines” and more.
On Saturday, Dec. 21 the funny trio will make a stop in Phoenix at CB Live, spreading laughter among all. But first, we got the chance to chat with the band on what to expect at the show and what goes into musical comedy.
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Arizona Foothills Magazine: How did the three of you come together to begin writing comedy songs?
Lewberger: Keith and Alex met at a barbecue and started making comedy music. We felt something was missing and that’s when we discovered Hughie Stone Fish who completed the group.
Keith has been doing comedy music since college through being on various comedy improv or music teams. Alex studied at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater where he learned to write and perform comedy music. Hughie studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music and is a music director, teacher and performer at the Second City Hollywood.
AFM: What was it like being finalists on the first season of Bring The Funny?
Lewberger: Nerve wracking but also exciting. We made it as far as we could go in a nationally televised comedy competition on NBC. Millions of people saw us create and perform our comedy music on a national scale and we got to perform our songs with the full backing of network tv. In front of all of our moms!
AFM: How does the musical aspect of what you do affect the comedy part?
Lewberger: It forces us to be more creative and more committed to the subject matter. We’re not just complaining detachedly about not wanting to go to a party because it’s too far away… we’re singing in a Broadway-esque belted-and-danced musical number. It raises the stakes of the comedy ten-fold and creates a new juxtaposition of circumstances it would be harder to create in a stand-up set. We work as hard, if not harder, on our music and harmonies than we do on our lyrics and we feel that it’s important to do so not just for the sake of making beautiful music, but because we think it adds to the comedy.
AFM: Do you have any favorite comedians or anyone who inspires you as a group?
Lewberger: Tim Minchin, Weird Al, Flight of the Conchords, Tenacious D, Stephen Lynch, Garfunkel and Oates, Lonely Island and Alan Sherman. Comedy music may be niche but it’s varied in the way it’s performed and we’ve had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to influences.
AFM: In your opinion, what’s the most challenging aspect of comedy?
Lewberger: The uncertainty. The first time you write a comedy bit, there’s no way to know if people are going to like it. There’s no comedy manual that tells you how to get a spot on late night or your own sitcom, or whether or not you’re going to make it to the next episode of a talent-packed reality show! We wrote to original songs for Bring The Funny which we didn’t have time to test out in clubs. It went right out to millions of viewers and luckily they killed.
AFM: What can fans expect from your Dec. 21 show in Phoenix?
Lewberger: They can expect to see an extremely funny show and have a dang good time. We’ll play some of our old favorites, as well as many new fun tracks that are new to this tour. Lots of funny dancing, amazing harmonies, some really sleek merch (hintedy hint) and maybe… if they haven’t been too naughty this year… old Santa Claus himself 😉