The Untold Truth Of The Cast Of American Pickers

Premiering in 2010, History Channel's "American Pickers" followed professional antique dealers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they "picked" their way across the country, searching through unusual and out of the way places for the next bit of treasure they could buy and resell. Along the way, Wolfe and Fritz met a number of interesting characters while having all sorts of unique and unusual experiences. Crucial to that concept was Danielle Colby, tending to Mike Wolfe's Antique Archaeology vintage stores in both Iowa and Tennessee, while also scouting prospective picking opportunities for Wolfe and Fritz, communicating with them via cell phone while they were out there on the road, per IMDb.

In addition to the fascinating objects and antiques featured on the show, it was the chemistry between these three main characters that made the program successful. In 2021, however, fans were shocked to learn that Frank Fritz was no longer a part of the series, due in part to back surgery and complications related to Crohn's disease. It was also said he spent some time in an alcohol rehabilitation center, as Newsweek reports. Fritz quickly shot back that — while all that's true to some extent — there was certainly more to the story, and that Wolfe and Fritz are now feuding, via The Sun. This crack in the charming camaraderie left many people wondering: What else is there to know about the cast of "American Pickers" beyond what's presented on the screen?

Mike Wolfe

According to the official History Channel website, Mike Wolfe has been picking antiques since he was 4 years old, beginning with antique bicycles. Early on in the show, Wolfe seemed to be the more adventurous picker, clambering though piles and climbing over and into all kinds of dusty corners in barns and sheds. However, Wolfe's estimated net worth of roughly $7 million comes from a lot more than buying and selling other people's precious junk (via Celebrity Net Worth).

Buying and selling "rusty gold" — as Wolfe is fond of calling his discoveries on the show — is only one small part of Mike Wolfe's livelihood. Sure, he has his retail operation in Iowa and Tennessee, and those likely make him a good chunk of change. Otherwise, though, he's written two books, one teaching kids the ins and outs of picking, per Goodreads; the other, a guide for grown-ups interested in trying their hand, also via Goodreads. Wolfe also reportedly makes a good deal of money on "American Pickers" swag, and he's even launched his own fashion brand called Two Lanes, while also becoming a successful real estate mogul, via Fast Company.

Danielle Colby

According to Outsider, the "American Pickers" store's trusty lieutenant Danielle Colby now calls Puerto Rico home. Nonetheless, Colby continues to appear on "American Pickers," participating in an ever-increasing number of picking trips, while also still strategizing plans of attack for other picking teams, just like in the old days. Colby herself is a veteran antique flipper (Colby and Wolfe first met scouring an antique store, via Living 101), with particular interests in vintage costumes and sundry burlesque memorabilia.

Speaking of burlesque, when Danielle Colby isn't hunting for antiques to buy and sell, she's also a burlesque dancer. She told Fox News in 2018 that she grew up a Jehovah's Witness. "So burlesque wasn't something that was really around for me. I couldn't be around it. It was new and taboo," but since getting into it, she said, "It's taught me a lot about ego, humanity, kindness, sharing. It also taught me a lot about what I don't want to be and what I do want to be." One common rumor about Colby that can certainly be put to rest: Colby is not, nor has she ever been, romantically linked to Mike Wolfe, as Outsider reports. Their on-screen chemistry is strictly platonic.

Frank Fritz

Although it seems that we may have seen the last of Frank Fritz on "American Pickers," Fritz certainly left his imprint on the show and fans aren't taking his departure lightly, via Cinema Blend. A native Iowan, Fritz began his career as a fire inspector, according to The Quad City Times. He's known Mike Wolfe since eighth grade, but the terms of that long-lasting relationship are shakier than they seemed in the early seasons of the show, however, as Fritz told The Sun in 2021.

In the interview, Fritz called Wolfe, "arrogant," adding the two have not spoken for a number of years. Fritz did take a break from "American Pickers" to take care of some personal issues, he admits, but he was otherwise blindsided by the news he would no longer be on the show. "[Wolfe] knew my back was messed up, but he didn't call me up and ask how I was doing. That's just how it is," he said (via The Sun.) On the bright side, Fritz' health is on the upswing, and he was recently inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame, a tremendous honor for a motorcycle enthusiast like Frank Fritz is known to be.

Jersey Jon

Another fresh face on the pickers team following the exit of Frank Fritz is Jon Szalay, better known as Jersey Jon. After debuting in Season 7, Jersey Jon first stepped into the Mike Wolfe sidekick role in January 2021, appearing in just one episode. According to The Sun, however, Szalay became a fan favorite, and more series appearances are on the way, possibly leading to Jersey Jon becoming a permanent fixture on the program. As Jersey Jon revealed to the Antique Motorcycle Federation, he goes way back with Mike Wolfe. "He's a great friend. When he is working on the East Coast, he sleeps on my couch. And when I go out west for the Davenport meet, he and I would go picking up and down the Mississippi River."

Unlike Mike and Robbie Wolfe, however, who have varied interests and pursuits beyond the antiques business, Jersey Jon truly does seem to live the life of a picker. Specializing in vintage motorcycle restoration, he owns his own business, First National Antiques Restoration, operating from a warehouse in — you guessed it — New Jersey. That warehouse is also where Szalay lives, according to the AMF. "You walk into the shop in the morning and see five or six different projects. There's a stain that you put on a desk the night before, and you can't wait to see how it has turned out," Jersey Jon said.

Robbie Wolfe

Slowly but surely, Mike Wolfe's older brother, Robbie Wolfe (pictured above, with Mike), went from an occasional guest in the passenger seat of the moving van in which Mike and Frank typically travel the country to a full-time sidekick, now leading some picking expeditions all on his own. What's for certain, the elder Wolfe brother has been in the antiques business for nearly as long as his brother, according to the History Channel website, beginning when he was only 8, with areas of interest including vintage automobiles and antique car restoration, as well as classic advertising memorabilia.

Like his brother Mike, Robbie also has side hustles beyond just what we see in "American Pickers." With a net worth of roughly $300,000, Wolfe also runs an Iowa-based landscaping business, RJ Wolfe & Sons, and had aspirations to be a professional musician early on in life, according to The Sun. Married with kids of his own, Wolfe prefers to keep his private life just that — private, according to TV Over Mind. We do know, however, that at least one of Robbie Wolfe's children, a son now in his 20s, seems to be following in his junk-hunting footsteps.