LOS ANGELES—Brian Wolfe, a private investigator and Tewksbury native, can now add something else to his resume: television star.
Wolfe now appears in the Investigation Discovery program “Cry Wolfe,” which on Tuesday aired its third episode.
He initially wanted to be a police officer but didn’t “really like the rules and the regulations.” Luckily, he had a friend who was a PI. That’s what gave him the idea.
“There was so much more flexibility as a private investigator,” he said. “You can make your own hours, perform you own job. You’re basically your own boss.”
He was used to being a leader. In Tewksbury, he played football, basketball, and baseball, and he continued to play football in college.
“Being a quarterback, it just kind of stuck with me to make the decisions,” he said.
He started in 1989. Interested individuals have to take a PI exam, which includes an FBI background check. Once you pass the test, you branch out on your own.
At first becoming established in the profession was challenging, but he eventually made a name for himself.
He works with attorneys and insurance companies. He’s done a lot of work for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, the largest insurance company in California, which is where he now lives.
“Seventy percent of my business is worker compensation claims,” he said.
He’ll also locate people: old friends, significant others, relatives.
“I’ve also done quite a few runaways, missing persons,” he said. “Those are special to me.”
So how did he end up on television?
“I got a call one day from Comedy Central,” he said.
A producer of the prank show ‘Nathan for You,’ which stars Nathan Fielder, needed a private investigator to appear in an episode. He got the part. “Private Investigator/Taxi Cab” aired in April of 2013.
“After that, I started getting phone calls,” he said.
A company, Karga Seven, was looking to do a show about an LA private investigator. They interviewed a ton of people: “grueling” process, Wolfe said.
“They chose me. So I got lucky,” he said. “It was good. It was flattering.”
“Cry Wolfe” is “based on true stories of my own cases.”
According to a press release from Investigation Discovery, “each half-hour episode features Wolfe and his investigative assistant, Janine McCarthy, aka ‘McCaahthy,’ as they expose cheating spouses, dishonest employees, con artists, and scammers to deliver answers to their clients.”
“Cameras follow Wolfe and McCarthy from the initial consultation to the inevitable confrontation as they gather irrefutable evidence against their target - with Wolfe conducting the field work, letting viewers in on his arsenal of P.I. tricks, and McCarthy tracking the internet breadcrumbs,” it said.
Wolfe has not let the success go to his head.
“I was just in Tewksbury last year,” he said. “I’m really old-fashioned. I go back and see my old house all the time,” noting that he’ll frequently get ahold of old friends.
Leann Kennedy D'Entremont, classmate of "Wolfie's" at Tewksbury High (class of 1978), enjoyed the show and said "he was entertaining, but acting quite naturally.”
"He always loved the spotlight and practical jokes. He was QB of a very successful TMHS football team; he was pretty good," added D’Entremont.
Wolfe said he’s humbled by all of this. It demonstrates that, if you’re a good person, great things can happen to you, he said.
‘Cry Wolfe’ airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Investigation Discovery.