Remember Ben Sargent (aka. Dr. Klaw) and his underground lobster-roll delivery service, conducted from his basement apartment in Greenpoint? If you do, you’ll probably recall that he went radio silent for a while, only to resurface a couple of years ago on social media with cryptic messages about a “crazy idea” involving a trip, an epic search for Dr. Klaw, and a bewildering image of a motorcycle dressed as a lobster. He finally revealed his plans to us back in April, and now it’s official: Sargent just launched his Kickstarter, grandiosely titled “The Hunt for Dr. Klaw – Take Back the Underground.” That custom ride we’ve seen peeks of? Turns out its name is “Lobby The Lobstah Bike.”
To refresh your memory: Way back in the early 2000s, the so-called Lostah Pushah became a word-of-mouth sensation, but his underground lobster lair was kiboshed after the food blogs blew it up. “The Health Department wrote four pages of citations and shut it all down,” he told us today. Having gained a cult following, Sargent moved on to become the host of the Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line, and Dinner. Then, in 2014, images of a crustaceous motorcycle started making the rounds online, and word about an audience-participation project involving Dr. Klaw and an epic road trip started coming out.
The plan, loosely speaking, involves driving Lobby The Lobstah Bike down south, sticking to the coast and visiting as many fishing villages and seafood spots as possible. The entire thing will be live-streamed on Periscope, and Sargent will be receiving all of his directions, advice, and travel plans from participating audience members. He likens it to the choose-your-own-adventure books he loved to read a kid, except in this case his followers will decide where he goes next. “My friends and family can be like, ‘Ben, don’t go down that road, it looks sketchy,’ and I’ll be talking to them in real time throughout.”
The fishermen, villagers, cooks, and others he meets along the way will also be part of the story, as will plenty of seafood and cooking. But there’s one driving force at the center of this whole project: finding Dr. Klaw. Sargent explained that Kickstarter contributors will receive access to a special app through which they can receive text and video clues on Dr. Klaw’s location, which can then be used to direct Sargent on his quest. “That could lead me to the tip of Argentina or the tip of Long Island,” he said with a laugh. Participants will also be able to receive updates and invites to secret seafood tasting events along his journey.
The Kickstarter is aiming to raise $45,000 that will go toward expenses incurred along the journey.
So, will Sargent ever find Dr. Klaw and return him to lobster-roll deprived New Yorkers? There’s only one way to find out. If you want to be a part of the real-time adventure, you can pledge $25 to gain “scallop status” and have access to the app. The ride-or-die crustaceophiles who pledge $10,000 or more will have the pleasure of having their wedding officiated and catered by Dr. Klaw himself (apparently, Dr. Klaw is also a rabbi?). So if you really want to impress your fiancé, you know where to go.