‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Reflected on How Much His Life Changed After the Show

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Ovation)

Those who listen to The Marty Smith Podcast have heard him talk about “get to” jobs. Those are the jobs that you think “I get to do this,” as opposed to “I have to do this.” Mike Wolfe has a “get to” job. He turned his love for antiques and passion for picking into a job. Now, over a decade after American Pickers first hit the airwaves, Mike still gets to follow his passion every day. However, that wasn’t always the case. He had to shop the show around for five years before someone bought it.

Mike Wolfe has been picking since he was a kid. Later, his friends pushed him to start recording his journeys. He told crazy stories from the road and his friends thought those stories would make great TV. So, you might think that it’s still business as usual for Wolfe. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Back in 2013, Mike sat down with Script Magazine to talk about the show and his life. During their discussion, he talked about how much his life has changed since History picked up the series.

Mike Wolfe Experienced Eye-Opening Changes

Mike Wolfe told Script that things changed pretty quickly. History bought American Pickers and before long, America fell in love with the show. After all those years of grinding Mike was a star. “There were records the show hit with ratings. It was the first show that History ever bought without a pilot. They wanted it right away. There were a lot of things going on, and all of a sudden we had History’s publicist calling us, putting us in The New York Times, on Letterman, Rachel Ray, and Anderson Cooper.”

However, Mike Wolfe quickly noticed a bigger change in his life. “…Once you get to a certain level, you don’t have to say yes to everything. I used to say yes to every single thing they threw in front of me, and I don’t anymore. Where before, I always felt I had to. You have to do it the right way though. I say no more often now, but I explain why I’m saying no to them.”

Fame is the Biggest Change for Wolfe

Mike Wolfe spent over two decades being his own boss. Suddenly, he found himself in the limelight. However, he knows that the fans are the ones who really keep the show going. Still, he said the fame humbled him. “Every single day I realize that, and I still will come home to my house in Nashville and will look around and I think, ‘God, am I living someone else’s life?’ My life has changed so much…it’s like being shot out of a cannon.”