‘American Pickers’ Star Frank Fritz Once Geeked Out Over Rare Sci-Fi Find

by Jonathan Howard

Fans have not been happy about Frank Fritz being absent from American Pickers since last summer, however, he did have some great moments.

The interpersonal feud set aside, Frank was a great part of the show over the years. He appeared in over 300 episodes and is a big part of why the show has been so successful. He was the goofy and loveable guy that had a thing for rock ‘n roll, oil cans, and mid-century toys.

Of course, having grown up in the 1970s, Fritz is a huge Star Wars fan. Season 16 put him face to face with one of the biggest pieces of prop history in the entire franchise. If you ask me, practical effects Yoda is better than CGI Yoda and it isn’t even close. Frank agrees as well I think.

In a California home owned by a collector named Sandy, the American Pickers came across four prototype puppets of the Jedi Master. They were even able to talk to the model make, Mario Chiodo, and confirmed the authenticity of the puppet that Frank wanted.

Since Frank is such a big sci-fi fan, he just had to have it. So, he started negotiating. Thankfully, Sandy was more than willing to sell his items to the Pickers. In the end, Frank made a deal and took the rare piece of film history home with him.

When it comes to the show, American Pickers fans just don’t feel right without seeing Frank on screen. That much is clear. Since the summer of 2021, viewers have voiced concern and discontent. That has apparently bled into this new season where the show has struggled with ratings in the absence of Fritz.

‘American Pickers’ Season 23 Premiere Struggles

New year, new season of American Pickers. Seriously, on January 1 the show debuted Season 23. Mike Wolfe is doing the show without his former partner. Now, his brother Robbie joins his side and that has not smoothed things over with fans.

The last time that Frank appeared on the show was in March 2020. He left, hoping to recover from back surgery, but things didn’t play out how many thought it would. By the way Fritz tells it, Wolfe and him haven’t talked in over two years. So, what has the absence done to ratings?

Well, it has resulted in fewer and fewer viewers. The premiere of Season 22 in January of 2021 pulled in 1.273 million viewers. This year, the season premiere just had 1.05 million viewers.

Tonight is going to be the second episode of this new season of American Pickers. Will the numbers improve? Or, will the show continue to lose viewers the longer Frank is gone?