He’s a big tipper

On the case: Lucas Whitehead plays bumbling but self-assured detective Dick Doblin.
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He might have been a successful private eye in Pittsburgh, but Brooklyn is a whole other beast.

A comedy web series presents the character of Dick Doblin, a detective with a shady past, and an even murkier grasp of reality. The mustachioed investigator possesses the swagger and over-confidence of a 1930s noir detective, but he struggles to talk to cute girls and obnoxious neighbors as he tries to crack the case of his stolen camera — which he calls a picture machine.

And if the hipster detective shtick has gotten old for viewers already familiar with the HBO series “Bored to Death,” then the creators of the Doblin series promise they’re doing something entirely different, with their cinematic inspiration coming from “source material” films such as “The Blair Witch Project,” and “Cloverfield.”

“I never saw it done successfully in a comedy way, so we wanted to see if we could do it,” said Ross Brunetti, one of the creators of the show.

Also, there were more practical concerns for making it a single-camera style shoot, like money.

“If you make it in a low-budget style, then you can make something low-budget without it looking low-budget,” said Hall.

“It’s never going to look like a network show.”

For the protagonist of the show, the transition from the Steel City to New York City has apparently been rough. The first episode reveals he left his former city due to romantic and legal complications. But still, the delusional detective dishes out pro-tips on how to be a private eye — such as “acting natural,” and “finding your man.”

Producers Tyler G. Hall and Brunetti met when they both worked at Nitehawk, the dine-in cinema on Metropolitan Avenue. They became fast friends and started taking improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan. They came up with the idea for the series when they put their friend Lucas Whitehead, who plays the eponymous character, in a trench coat and realized that he looked perfect for the part.

“Dick Doblin: Private Eye” screening with opening act comedian Nore Davis at Nighthawk Cinema [136 Metropolitan Ave., between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue, (718) 384–3980,]. Aug. 25, 8:30 pm, free.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:14 pm, July 9, 2018
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