About Robbie Wolfe
Fans of the hit reality series “American Pickers” will be familiar with Robbie Wolfe, who made his first appearance in the show’s pilot episode. Robbie – who is host Mike Wolfe’s brother – has appeared in over 100 episodes over the last few years, and became a full-time cast member upon Frank Fritz’s departure.
A vintage car enthusiast and skilled “picker”, Robbie has earned himself a great number of fans thanks to his charming personality and expertise. The antiques collector specializes in neon signs, old cars, and other collectibles, and he’s known for obtaining valuable pieces in the unlikeliest places – in fact, one of Robbie’s holy grail finds is an ultra-rare 1936 Chevrolet Sedan.
Robbie likes keeping his fans up to date with his latest finds by regularly updating his Instagram and website. His posts contain just about everything, from vintage petrol cans to Coca-Cola signs in perfect condition, and often rack up thousands of likes and comments.
However, the TV personality is also a doting family man, who loves to spend time with his wife Melanie and their four children – Rhesa, Adelaide, Sunny and Campbell – when his busy filming schedule allows for it. Despite his young age, Rhesa appears to be following in his father’s footsteps, and has already delved into the antiques field.
Robbie and Mike’s co-star, Danielle Colby, also has nothing but positive words for the brothers. In an early 2021 Instagram post, she wrote: “I’m deeply appreciative that these boys listen to me when something’s not right… I’m thankful that [they] set an example of acceptance and kindness in the workplace with me.” The three share a great relationship, which naturally is part of the show’s success.
However, fans were shocked when Robbie’s dark past came out in August 2022. News outlets began reporting that the “American Pickers” star was once arrested for criminal mischief, assault with injury, and interference with official acts – in a statement, a police officer claimed to have been struck by Robbie three times, causing bodily injury to his head.
According to the officer, Robbie also destroyed his glasses and had to be pepper sprayed before being taken into custody. Taking into account Robbie’s affable on-screen persona, “American Pickers” fans were obviously shocked to hear the news. With that said, the incident occurred way back in April 1993, when the TV personality – who was 27 years old at the time – was at a sports bar with friends.
After accepting a plea deal and admitting to having struck the officer and broken his glasses, he was sentenced to a total of 150 days in jail, which was subsequently suspended, and Robbie was fined and sentenced to a year of probation instead. Although he was old enough to know right from wrong, it’s clear that the isolated incident is just a surprising part of Robbie’s history, and doesn’t speak to his character.
“American Pickers” is an A&E Television Networks and Cineflix Media production which has become an unlikely cultural phenomenon with two dozen seasons. The premiere episode, which aired on History in January 2010, became the network’s best debut since 2007; some episodes have also seen unprecedented success, with over five million viewers.
In happier times, the show followed Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they travelled around the states buying items to resell, add to their personal collections, or for clients. Meanwhile, Danielle Colby runs Mike’s business in Nashville and Iowa, and is responsible for finding potentially valuable items for the hosts to buy.
While travelling in their trusty Ford Transit, Mike and Frank didn’t just follow Danielle’s leads. The former friends would stop at random locations, where they’d often find surprisingly valuable collectibles, and visit certain places more than once.
Professional and amateur collectors, hoarders and ordinary people with inherited collections are also an integral part of the show. Mike’s favorite items to collect include antique motorcycles, penny-farthings and Volkswagens, whereas Frank collected antique toys, oil cans, vintage Hondas, and peanut-related items.
‘American Pickers’ Star Frank Fritz Suffers Stroke, Mike Wolfe Begs, ‘Time to pray’https://t.co/7h3M3rLWyU pic.twitter.com/n2Vpjf2vQm
— Off The Press (@OffThePress1) July 22, 2022
Over the years, Mike and Frank have stumbled upon some incredibly rare items – from vintage film posters and one-of-a-kind Piaggio Apes to Yoda prototypes, and taxidermized elephant heads. The highlight of the show, however, wasn’t just the Pickers’ findings, but the close relationship between Mike and Frank. Sadly, things soured in July 2021 when Frank’s departure was officially announced.
As Frank had been absent from the small screen since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic brought filming to an abrupt halt, fans had been eagerly awaiting a new season of “American Pickers”. Naturally, his departure led to rumors of bad blood between the co-hosts, but the truth didn’t start coming out until July 2022, when Frank suffered a stroke and had to be hospitalized.
At the time of the incident, Mike wrote a lengthy Instagram post announcing Frank’s stroke and asking fans for thoughts and prayers. The TV personality ended the post on a cryptic note, saying: “There has been lots of opinions in regard to mine and Frank’s friendship and the show, but now is not the time to set the record straight.”
Frank’s well-documented struggles with alcohol addiction were subsequently linked to his stroke, with netizens speculating that his 2020 rehab stint had been unsuccessful. The vintage enthusiast, who was also diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at a young age, previously claimed to have stopped drinking after losing family members to alcohol addiction and its associated complications; however, this was never confirmed.
The plot thickens, as in early 2020 Frank underwent grueling back surgery which involved having rods inserted into his spine and 185 stitches. The collector, who had been plagued by back pain for months, claimed that his ailments were the result of picking up heavy items – and remarked that he was the only person on the show to do so. Many fans of “American Pickers” interpreted his comment as a slight towards Mike, so it’s possible that their friendship was already on the rocks.
Months after undergoing surgery, Frank complained that Mike hadn’t been in touch with him. It’s likely that we’ll never know the exact details of their rift, as both men have avoided the subject as much as possible. Although Frank has no social media, sources close to him have confirmed that he’s now in much better health, and recovering from his stroke.
American Pickers’ Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are coming to Middle Tennessee this summer and looking for local and unique…
Posted by Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, May 14, 2020
Thanks to Frank’s departure, Mike’s brother Robbie was given a much bigger role in the show. Although many fans still prefer his predecessor, Robbie is appreciated for his expertise, and for providing viewers with entertaining moments.
Mike Wolfe was born in Joliet, Illinois USA, in 1964. The TV personality was raised by his single mother alongside Robbie and another sibling; during his childhood, the family relocated to Bettendorf, where Mike suffered relentless bullying from his classmates and struggled to fit in. This led to the future celebrity walking through backyards and back alleys before and after school in an effort to avoid his tormentors – which, surprisingly, sparked his love for collecting items.
As Mike explained in a rare interview, the alleys were his “safe place”; he added, “…the garbage became my toys, part of my imagination, and they became part of who I was.” In fact, the Illinois native was just six years old when he made his first find – a discarded bike which he sold a couple of days later for five dollars. With time, Mike became an expert in bartering, and traded a stereo speaker set in return for his dream motorbike.
Now a young adult, Mike was working in a warehouse and barely making ends meet, as almost all his money went towards his ever-growing bike collection. Taking a huge gamble, Mike sold all his belongings to buy a local shop and sell his bikes, earning $150 on his first day. With much hard work, he sold 500 bikes in a year, and opened a second shop in East Davenport.
Although Mike was well on the way to becoming a national success story, after winning the 1998 Iowa State Time Trial Cycling Championships, disaster struck when his shop burned down, and he lost everything. The devastating incident set Mike back enormously, and years would pass before he received the much-needed insurance money. Realizing that he would never bounce back from the setback despite booming sales at his second store, Mike adapted to his circumstances, and began selling collectibles on eBay, which was gaining popularity at the time.
Mike closed down his second store, bought a cargo van, and set up a website for his new business, Antique Archeology. For the next five years, he would drive from city to city, establish relationships with collectors, and purchase from their collections – while recording the process. When enough friends told Mike that his experiences on the road would make for an entertaining show, he began pitching the concept of “American Pickers” to dozens of networks.
Eventually – five years later – Mike’s luck changed for the better, when a History Channel executive greenlit the show. The premiere of “American Pickers” turned Mike, Frank and Danielle into household names, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The antique shop officer manager and burlesque dancer Danielle Colby, was born in December 1975 in Davenport. Unbeknownst to many, the blue-eyed TV star was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but divorced the father of her children when he refused to accept the newfound notoriety that her career brought.
Danielle and Mike have been friends for decades, and knew each other way before the TV host began pitching “American Pickers” to networks, so when the concept was greenlit by the History Channel, Mike immediately asked Danielle if she would be willing to work at his antique store. However, Danielle is a woman of many entrepreneurial talents – from founding a burlesque academy and professional burlesque troupe, to owning a retro clothing company, and even a female roller derby team, she’s practically done it all.
Although Danielle’s ventures haven’t always been successful, the TV personality has never given up. When injuries forced her to leave the roller derby team, Danielle opened her clothes store, then when the clothes store failed, she reinvented herself as a burlesque dancer, while juggling motherhood and a busy filming schedule. In just a few years, Danielle and her troupe have sold out dozens of shows, and she’s known for her outrageously daring performances under the name Dannie Diesel.
Danielle became interested in burlesque dancing after seeing a performance starring comedian Margaret Cho, and the well-known dancer Satan’s Angel. After moving from Chicago to Iowa, Danielle started her own burlesque troupe, and would tour eastern Iowa and western Illinois. As of February 2023, the social media sensation boasts over 250,000 Instagram followers, and is active on other platforms such as OnlyFans, TikTok, and Patreon.
A few years after divorcing her husband, Danielle found love with a man named Jeremy Scheuch. The couple shared a several interests such as travelling, cooking, animals, and tattoos; sadly, Jeremy and Danielle haven’t posted each other on social media since early 2022, indicating a possible split, or trouble in paradise; even on Valentine’s Day 2023, neither acknowledged what would’ve been their eighth anniversary.
Jeremy himself previously claimed that the couple were marrying in 2023, but as Danielle has plenty on her plate right now, it’s possible that she prefers to focus on her busy career. Be it providing her OnlyFans and Patreon followers with fresh content, filming for “American Pickers”, or touring with her burlesque troupe, Danielle shows no signs of slowing down on the work front.
Season 24 of “American Pickers” premiered in January 2023, but the premiere brought in under a million viewers, despite a celebrity guest appearance from musician Jack White, whereas the season 23 premiere was viewed by 1,050,000; however, the show remains one of History’s most popular offerings, despite the slight ratings slump. Although no official announcement has been made for the 25th season just yet, new episodes will be filmed in Virginia in March 2023.