‘American Pickers’: A Look Back at Mike Wolfe’s and Frank Fritz’s Falling Out

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz bickered a lot, but that was the nature of their friendship. As there always seemed to be affection between the American Pickers star. That’s what made their public breakup last summer such a shock. Frank claimed he and Mike hadn’t spoken in years, and the show they built would move on without Fritz. How did we get here?

In July, Frank Fritz went through his issues with his former partner like he would a barn in Poughkeepsie. He claimed that the two hadn’t spoken since he left the production in 2018 because of a back injury that required surgery. That was, he said at the time, the last time the two spoke.

“I haven’t talked to Mike in two years,” he alleged. “He 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.”

American Pickers producers announced shortly after he gave that interview that Fritz wouldn’t return to the show. He expected that as he felt more like Wolfe’s sidekick than a partner in the venture.

“The show is tilted towards him 1,000 percent,” he said. “I can’t even bend that far down to show you how much.” He went on to clarify that he was fine with his role in the show. “That’s fine. It’s like you’ve got Aerosmith and there’s Steven Tyler and he’s the frontman.”

Wolfe’s Response Ignites Concerns from ‘American Picker’ Fans

Mike Wolfe hasn’t made many public statements since Frank Fritz torched the show. He confirmed on Instagram that Fritz wouldn’t return to American Pickers for season 22 and wished Frank the best going forward.

“I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani, and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding. … I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.”

Fritz said the post wasn’t genuine, and he suspected someone on the show ghostwrote it. So, Wolfe fired back.

The reason Frank left the show, according to Mike, was because his alcoholism made producing American Pickers difficult. Danielle Colby, the third star of the show, sided with Wolfe in the feud.

“We all do care about Frank, and we want him back on the show. I would love to talk with him again, we would absolutely love to, but he just can’t get it right,” Wolfe told The Sun. “It’s unfortunate that he’s made decisions that have him the way he is. … Frank is just going through a lot personally with addictions.”

American Pickers replaced Frank with Wolfe’s brother Robbie Wolfe this season, and it doesn’t look like Fritz will make a return. Even though Frank says he has more than a year of sobriety and fans continue to push for the show to bring him back, it doesn’t look like he’ll return to the van with Mike anytime soon.