As the hit History Channel series kicked off new episodes on May 20, Colby, 43, was gearing up to transform into her alter ego Dannie Diesel, who proudly bumps and grinds on stage wearing bejeweled costumes, ending her titillating dance by stripping down to her pasties and not much else.
The tattooed temptress’ sinfully seductive act, which will make its grand return as she hosts “Stripping History” on May 25 at Nashville’s Corsair Artisan Distillery, is a nod to an American tradition in entertainment, which goes as far back as the 1800s in the U.S.
In 2018, Colby told Fox News Wolfe and his wife have been “wonderful patrons” of her performances.
Wolfe couldn’t be prouder.
“You know, Danielle and I’ve known each other for 25 years, and she’s always been this creative force,” Wolfe told Fox News. “She had a store downtown in Le Claire, Iowa. It was called 4 Miles 2 Memphis. She has a son named Miles, and a daughter named Memphis, and in this store, she would create clothing. She was painting. And I would go in there because she was such an inspiration to me. She’s one of those persons that if she has an idea and she has a passion for it, she’s going to follow through with it.”
“So when I was putting the show for five years, she was really inspirational to me as far as just keeping the wheels on track, saying, ‘Hey, you can do this. Don’t give up on it,’” continued the 54-year-old. “After five years of almost hearing nos, it was important for me to hear things like that from people that I loved. So when I see her doing something that she loves, it’s really her best moments, because she’s a very, very passionate person.”
And with Colby’s support, Wolfe is unveiling a whole new set of adventures discovering treasures from across the country. “American Pickers,” which has been on the air since 2010, explores the journey of pickers Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they travel the country in hopes of finding and rescuing prized objects with stories deeply rooted in American history. Colby provides much-needed assistance when the two minds find themselves in comedic binds along the way.
And there’s one special antique Wolfe is always eager to uncover wherever he goes. It’s one he compared to his very first beloved discovery — that of a bicycle he found in the garbage at age 4 while walking to school.
“Anything early American motorcycle I absolutely love,” Wolfe explained. “The motorcycle industry was actually spawned from the bicycle industry. So around the turn of the century, people were already looking at putting motors on bicycles… The innovation is very interesting to me. But there were a lot of small manufacturers of motorcycles that disappeared after making one or two models. So that’s really truly my passion — finding that stuff, whether it’s a frame, an engine or a gas tank… A lot of the manufacturers that were making motorcycles back then also started making cars. So it’s fascinating to me.”
In the case of Wolfe, one man’s junk is really another man’s treasure. Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, which launched earlier this year, has compelled numerous readers to take on the Japanese tidying expert’s “KonMari Method” transform their space, resulting in numerous people tossing out so-called junk that doesn't “speak to their heart.”
Wolfe happily embraces it for a completely different reason.
“I haven’t seen that show myself, but I have a friend that does that for a living, goes in and organizes people’s homes, and there’s a philosophy, obviously, behind that, and it’s almost a lifestyle change for a lot of people,” said Wolfe. “I can appreciate it. But for me, my house looks like some of the places that I pick. I’m a little bit of a hoarder myself, and I like to be surrounded by so many things that really give me energy. So obviously there are trends that come and go. That’s something really hot right now. When people decide to get rid of things because they’re too cluttered, I hope they might call me.”
And Wolfe insisted many Americans could easily have one-of-a-kind artifacts currently in their homes and they may not even know it.
“I’m 54 years old and people are collecting stuff from the ‘80s, and some of that stuff’s getting really expensive,” said Wolfe. “So anything from electronics to clothing, to maybe even poster art. The thing that’s great now is all your knowledge is at your fingertips. We’re all walking around with a computer in our pocket. We all have a phone. Everything is being able to be searched, so if somebody has something that they feel might be collectible or interesting, it’s easy for them to look into that.”
According to Wolfe, it’s not the rare pieces that are getting difficult to find these days — it’s the remarkable stories behind them and those willing to share them to millions of viewers.
“There’s a lot of people that call us that have a lot of stuff, but there’s a lot of layers into why we choose where we go,” he said. “It could be the space. It could be the town that it’s in. Obviously the story behind the collection itself. And then finding someone who’s truly authentic, meaning they’ve been collecting stuff for a long time. It’s difficult to find anybody who hasn’t seen the show. So a lot of time’s we’re picking people who have seen the show, they’re fans… [but] we always encourage them to be themselves. And to explain their passions from their heart.”
“When you put a camera in someone’s face for the first time, that’s kind of a difficult journey to tackle together,” Wolfe admitted. “We’ve actually been really fortunate to where I think Frank and I… make people feel relaxed when they’re in front of the camera, so they can really be themselves and really express how they feel when it comes to collecting, and how important history is to them.”
“American Pickers” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on History Channel.