From the very first episode of FX’s new half-hour comedy “Reservation Dogs,” LilMike (AKA Mike) and FunnyBone (AKA Bone) have been stars. Commenters online have called them “national treasures” and fans are already calling for the two to get their own spin-off.
For the rappers-turned-actors from Oklahoma, the ride has been a blessing. The duo had been stuck at home last year during the pandemic with their tours cancelled and no money coming in, so when an opportunity to audition for a new show being filmed in Oklahoma arrived, they took it.
“Our manager hit us up and said there were some auditions in Tulsa and they were paying gigs. So we just said, ‘might as well,’ and sent in our audition tape,” Bone said.
The brothers were no strangers to national television. They had appeared in an OETA documentary as well as a few spots on the local news, but most people knew them from their run on America’s Got Talent.
“Our phones started blowing up after our AGT episode aired,” Bone said. “It took us to another level, but the crazy thing was we got older people at, like, Walmart and Walgreens recognizing us after that.”
Though not twins in real life, the brothers auditioned for the role of twins Mose and Mekko on the show.
“They loved us, the director said we were exactly what they was looking for,” Bone said.
While they had done some acting in the past, this was the largest role they had ever tackled. It meant scripts, hair and makeup and, because the filming took place in the middle of a pandemic, COVID-19 testing.
“I called it breakfast and a brain tickle,” Mike said about the daily COVID-19 testing they had to undergo before filming. “But the acting, it was very different for us. We’d learn our lines but then when we got to set they’d change them up on us. But we got used to it.”
While on set they quickly learned the ropes of filmmaking.
“Sometimes when you’re filming something, you’ll ad lib and say something you think is hilarious, and everybody laughs but then they cut it out,” Mike said.
“We did learn that we’re naturals on camera,” Bone added.
Mose and Mekko are characters described as the “eyes and ears of the neighborhood,” the people that you go to when you want information. In the script, their first appearance mentioned that the two characters “roll up,” so naturally the brothers thought they would be in a car.
“Yeah, we thought it was going to be a car, but then they put us on bikes,” Mike said.
“I learned I need to get a bike because those things worked out a whole different kind of muscle,” Bone added.
As members of the Pawnee tribe of Oklahoma they were excited to be a part of “Reservation Dogs” due to its indigenous perspectives and representation.
“This show is really groundbreaking for the indigenous community. It really shines a light on indigenous life,” Bone said.
While a second season of Reservation Dogs has yet to be announced, the brothers are hopeful that they will get the call soon to return to set. In the meantime, they are busy writing and producing music.
“It’s crazy because we’re still booking shows and at the same time hoping to get the call for season two,” Mike said. “And then we’ve already got people hitting us up for a couple of other projects.”
You can catch Mike and Bone in FX’s “Reservation Dogs,” streaming now on Hulu. For more on the brothers, visit their website mikebonenation.com where you can listen to music, catch upcoming shows or check out their merchandise.