American Pickers is one of those shows you can just leave on all day and you’ll never get bored.
And Mike Wolfe is one of the few legends of entertainment who has remained genuine and honest.
But the past year has been tough for the Master picker – several tragic events have deeply affected him, and it all started with him losing a very important person in his life.
I’ve watched American Pickers since the beginning, and Mike Wolfe has always impressed me with his honesty and compassion.
The 59-year-old TV personality, who grew up in rural Iowa, is a rare breed in the entertainment industry and the fact that he tries so hard to keep small town America going is a testament to how much he loves this country and community.
He feels so genuinely passionate about preserving the past and especially about appreciating and enjoying the people he meets in his adventures.
But even people with big hearts and good judgment can sometimes encounter problems. Wolfe has recently been criticized over how he runs his Iowa antique shop, Antique Archaeology. In fact, according to The Sun, several of Wolfe’s customers reportedly expressed dissatisfaction after they visited the store.
The primary issue that some customers have taken offense to is that Wolfe allegedly sells store merchandise instead of genuine antiques at the shop.
Slammed by customers
This has led to some very harsh criticism against Wolfe on Google Reviews.
“Seriously there was only a handful of stuff that had been potentially picked. The rest of it was cheap Chinese-branded merchandise used to promote the store.
“I get it’s a tourist trap, but come on at least do better than that. I would have happily dropped hundreds of dollars in there if it was something really cool. Instead, it was like three things that had been picked ranging from $200 to $4,000.”
Another customer writes: “This is more of a souvenir shop for the show. Not many antiques at all.”
A third one also slammed Wolfe’s shop: “Was very disappointed. We made this a special stop on our drive home, took this route especially for this experience. Both buildings are very small and mostly gift shops selling their own merchandise.”
At the same time, there are other, more balanced reviews that support American Pickers star.
One customer writes: “Great to see in person. Disappointed there was only really swag for sale. Many interesting items but were not for sale. Staff was very nice.”
Another one said: ”Great place to stop if you’re a Picker’s fan. Otherwise, it’s just a retail shop with some kitschy antiques and a lot of logo-emblazoned merchandise for sale.”
American Pickers TV ratings
Marking its debut on January 18, 2010, American Pickers burst onto the scene via the History channel. Rapidly ascending the ranks of popularity, this enduring reality masterpiece boasts an impressive tally of over 300 aired episodes, firmly establishing itself as one of History channel’s crowning achievements.
But as the 23rd season is currently in full swing, not everything appears to have gone as smoothly as anticipated. The reality show continues to struggle in the ratings.
The premiere of the show garnered the attention of an impressive 918,000 viewers, which was unveiled by the U.S. Sun. However, the July 12th episode witnessed a notable decline, with over 100,000 viewers tuning out, resulting in ratings dwindling to 803,000.
Speculation is rife on social media regarding the dip in viewership, with some suggesting that the decline could be related to the firing of Frank Fritz, one of the show’s most popular characters.
On July 4, 2022, Frank was admitted to a hospital for a stroke. Upon his release from hospital, he was sent to a nursing facility and placed under guardianship.
According to reports, a “longtime friend” of Frank filed an emergency appointment for temporary guardian and conservatorship for him on August 18, 2022 which was then approved.
Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz were the original American Pickers duo and many fans argue that the series hasn’t been the same since Frank departed from the show in 2020.
Since Frank’s departure from American Pickers, Mike Wolfe has been tight-lipped about his old friend. However, not too long ago, he brought up his former co-host when a fan criticized another picker from the series, Jersey Jon.
“Been picking with Jersey for over 20 years one of the most knowledgeable passionate real deal dudes your ever gonna meet. Give him a chance,” Wolfe said and continued:
”Nothing will ever replace Frank we miss him. Very much like y’all do,” he wrote.
And if the fluctuating viewership and the criticism of his shop weren’t enough, Mike Wolfe has also grappled with the loss of an old dear friend. Sadly, most of us have experienced the emotional toll of losing a close loved one, and for Mike Wolfe, it was no different.
In October 2022, the star of American Pickers turned to Instagram with a profoundly somber post. His cherished friend had passed away – an extraordinary individual who had previously appeared on the show.
Posting a video on his Instagram, Mike Wolfe shared a touching homage to his close companion and mentor, Bob Peterson. The tribute encompassed a captivating medley of photographs and video snippets showcasing the cherished moments they shared.
The video unmistakably expressed Mike Wolfe’s profound admiration for Bob, highlighting his friend’s significant role in his life. Bob was a mechanic who often helped Robbie Wolfe in American Pickers with various rebuilds and restorations.
”Bob was an example to us as someone that loved life and seized each day with so much passion. Always there to help with such conviction and of course humor. He was from an era that we can only romanticize about now. My life and so many others lives were better with him in it… He will be greatly missed. I love you my friend,” Mike Wolfe wrote.
Following the heartfelt post, numerous fans sent their condolences and rallied behind Wolfe.
“Man what a sweet laugh and cool disposition. Sorry for you loss my brother,” one individual penned.
“I loved watching him and Robbie working on projects,” another fan said.
“Ah crud, another repository of knowledge gone,” a third added.
In loving memory of Bob Petersen. Repost Mike Wolfe American Picker — A few days ago we lost a man that we looked to as a mentor. Not just with mechanical things but in how we should live our lives. Bob was an example to us as someone that loved life and seized each day with so much passion. Always there to help with such conviction and of course humor. He was from an era that we can only romanticize about now. My life and so many others lives were better with him in it. He will be greatly missed. I love you my friend.Posted by American Pickers on The History Channel on Saturday, October 8, 2022
If every person in the world had a heart like Mike Wolfe, I’m sure this world would be a better place.
I truly enjoy American Pickers and all the wonderful individuals who make appearances on the show, so I sincerely hope that it continues to air on the History Channel for many years to come!