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How American Pickers' Frank Fritz And Mike Wolfe Actually Met

Considering the fact that the dynamic duo of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz spent an astounding 21 seasons filming "American Pickers" together, it seems natural to assume that the two would be incredibly close — especially after traveling along the open road together for so long. Perhaps that's why it was so shocking when, after his abrupt departure from the show in 2020, Fritz revealed that the two were hardly close at all.

In a scathing interview with The Sun, Fritz described how Wolfe had displayed a pattern of personal and professional coldness towards him in the aftermath of Fritz's back surgery. "I haven't talked to Mike in two years," Fritz said. "He knew my back was messed up, but he didn't call me up and ask how I was doing." Fritz went on to describe how there was also tension between him and Wolfe regarding Wolfe's place as the "number one" in the series — with Fritz serving more in a sidekick role.

It's heartbreaking to listen to Fritz describe his falling out with Wolfe, especially considering the fact that (by Fritz's own admission) the two had known one another for nearly 40 years. Here's how they actually met. 

Fritz and Wolfe met in high school

As reported by Celebrity Net Worth, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz actually met in middle school, though according to Fritz himself the two weren't truly friends at first. "We were never friends in grade school," Fritz explained in yet another interview with The Sun, wherein he criticized a statement from Wolfe that implied the two had been friends forever. After high school, the two eventually bonded over their mutual love of antiquing, as both had developed a love of collecting unique and rare items throughout their childhood (via Grunge). 

As it happens, the two had actually been "picking" together across America for years before the show was ever picked up by History — which is perhaps where the on-screen chemistry between the two actually came from. "You can't just stick two people in a van and get the chemistry you get from me and Mike," explained Fritz. "We've known each other for about 40 years. We can finish each other's sentences" (via The Sun).

It's certainly odd to consider how Fritz and Wolfe could seem like the best of friends on screen, but hardly close at all off screen — especially considering they've both known each other for almost their entire lives.