Behind-the-scenes stories of 'American Pickers'

Whether you are an antique collector or collectible picker yourself or just watching the show from your couch in front of the television, "American Pickers" makes you look at trash a little differently.

Fans of the show "American Pickers" have sat through 19 seasons of this exciting show with its premiere episode clocking in 3.1 million viewers – making it the highest ranking History Channel debut since 2007's "Ice Road Truckers."

What makes this show so interesting is that it appears to be so achievable for anyone to just go out there and make a small fortune from recycling old stuff, but is it really that simple? 

Let's take a look behind-the-scenes and find out.


Mike Wolfe's first pick was an old bicycle tossed out by one of his neighbors. After fixing it up, he was able to flip it to an older boy for $5. Wolfe was only 6 years old at the time.

Growing up in humble surroundings, Mike hung out in alleyways and derelict houses, looking for anything valuable he could resell to make a few dollars to take home.


Mike convinced farmers and homeowners to let him go through their old barns and backrooms to see if any of their discarded or stored stuff was worth selling while still a kid. 

In this way, he developed an eye for antiques and valuable collectibles and also acquired the people skills he needs to be successful at what he does.

His earlier success with flipping a bicycle had him buying old bikes for $50 and sometimes making as much as $5,000 at resale. His book "Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure" teaches youngsters the tricks to picking.


Frank Fritz and Mike go back a long way together – as far back as 8th grade, to be precise. They were best buddies in school and when Mike decided he needed a second face on his show, he didn't hesitate to bring Frank in.

While Frank doesn't have the exact same interest or enthusiasm in picking that Mike has, he has shown that he is happy to come along for the ride, as long as there are vintage motorcycles involved.


Frank has some skeletons in his closet including losing a court case to a man who claimed Fritz swindled him out of a polarimeter he wanted for a museum he was opening.

To be fair, Fritz never cashed the man's check, but he never sent the polarimeter either and also failed to appear in court costing him over $1,000 in damages.

He also got into trouble while driving the wrong way on the I80 under the influence of alcohol and Xanax, getting himself arrested for an OWI.


It's Danielle Colby who gets to hold down the fort at their base of operations, Antique Archeology. She is the person who talks to the buyers, packs up shipments, and makes sure everything runs smoothly.

The mother-of-three and burlesque dancer also has her own small interest in picking, mostly limited to vintage items and retro clothing, and sells them out of her own store.


Danielle reportedly failed to respond to several IRS claims on her retail sales adding up to thousands of dollars in alleged unpaid taxes.

Besides the three of them, Hobo Jack is an author and a musician, Prince Mongo has political aspirations, and the Mole Man has been impersonated and had his identity stolen to promote a company doing yard sales.


Here's a heartwarming tidbit about Mike Wolfe. His daughter Charlie was born with a cleft lip and palate and he is a spokesman for "Operation Smile" to raise money for children to get the kind of medical treatment he was fortunate enough to be able to afford for her.

How's that for some behind-the-scenes crazy stories of your favorite show? 

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Story of boy who forged a career after knocking on rich people's doors to seek advice is pure gold