‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Emphasized How the ‘Show Is Not Fake’

by John Jamison

“American Pickers” has been entertaining fans with the discovery of hidden treasures in garages, sheds, and backyards for years. Since 2010, Mike Wolfe has been traveling across the country searching for the coolest stuff and the most interesting characters. Over the years, outlets have accused the show of being staged. However, Mike Wolfe is on record saying “American Pickers” is anything but fake.

It’s important to note that this is reality television we’re talking about here. Yes, “American Pickers” is on the History Channel, but then again, so is “Ancient Aliens.” We’re not taking anything away from Mike Wolfe. After all, he spent years pitching the show while making a living doing the same work he continues to do on camera for our entertainment. He is a legitimate picker and makes offers on legitimate antiques.

“I want people to know this show is not fake. I’ve always tried to keep it as real as possible to what I actually did. At end of the day, when I went into your mom’s barn, I didn’t see any of that stuff prior. When I was negotiating with your mom, those were real negotiations,” Wolfe told Scriptmag in 2013.

That said, the show definitely dresses things up at times. Outsider’s own Jonathan Howard dove into the subject of “American Pickers” being staged back in August. The conclusion? It’s Hollywood, baby. Okay, it’s not fake stuff by any means. But according to Finance 101, the show takes liberties with certain items and particular locations.

Danielle found an awesome antique that happened to be in a downtown Chicago storage locker? The producers or Wolfe might buy it off-camera and then find a more appropriate setting to present it to the audience.

Most Encounters on ‘American Pickers’ Are Genuine

It’s not that crazy to think someone who knows what to look for could find quality picks capable of entertaining a TV audience. Remember, Mike Wolfe made a living that way before “American Pickers” ever hit screens.

In reality, however, it takes a ton of work to capture enough of that footage for one whole episode, let alone a decade’s worth. These days, much of the groundwork is done by teams who do most of the scouting, pointing Wolfe in the right direction.

Regardless, Mike Wolfe’s true passion is the story behind items and the people who have kept them for so long.

“People don’t ever remember the items we buy they remember the people. It’s so character-driven. That’s why it’s such a great format,” Wolfe told Scriptmag.

With an emphasis like that, Wolfe and company can be forgiven for visiting someone to get their story on camera, even if they don’t have the best stuff to pick. People forgave Bear Grylls for sleeping in hotels when the filming days for “Man Vs. Wild” were over, didn’t they? It didn’t take anything away from the fact that we knew he could handle himself. The same goes for Mike Wolfe and “American Pickers.”