‘Collector’s Call’ Host Lisa Whelchel Teases Season 5’s TV Memorabilia Collection

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More! More! More! The treasure chest of memorabilia is seemingly bottomless, which is exactly what makes Collector’s Call such a huge thrill for host Lisa Whelchel. “The first season, I thought, ‘Man, they’ve got such great things.’ And then the second season, it’s like, ‘Oh, wow, OK, they found more,’” says the Facts of Life actress. “I couldn’t help but think that at some point, we’re going to run out of great collections.”

Nope. Now entering its fifth season, the show that celebrates the epic acquisitions (and passions) of collectors around the country has upped its game once again. “We had a Star Wars collector in Season 2, and it was incredible,” Whelchel recalls with a laugh. “But this [latest] Star Wars collection is — not to be too cheesy — out of this world.”

(Credit: ©MeTV)

Once again, Whelchel hits the road to visit everyday folks who have spent years tracking down and displaying museum-caliber collections of everything from windup toys and “Weird AlYankovic swag to pizza-themed tchotchkes and Bozo the Clown items. The opener sends her to New Jersey, where she meets Stewart Berkowitz, owner of one of the largest private collections of TV memorabilia. And it is dazzling.

We’re talking screen-used props, actual vehicles (Batman’s ’60s Bat-Copter!), Barney Fife’s uniform from The Andy Griffith Show (among many costumes) and — hold on to your Carnac! — a full-scale set from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

“He’s got two warehouses, and he’s creating a museum that’s going to be two stories,” Whelchel marvels. “And the thing is, he needs a two-story building. We were barely able to scratch the surface of what he has.”

After touring each episode’s sprawling stockpile with the collector, an expert in the field assesses the cash value of the whole kit and caboodle. To make things even more interesting, the collector is then offered a long-sought item in exchange for a prized possession that’s already in the stash. We won’t spoil what tempts Berkowitz in the premiere, but suffice to say it’ll take some superheroic measures to make the trade. (*Berkowitz died after the episode was taped and will be honored when the installment airs.)

Later in the season, Whelchel rocks out with an Elgin, Illinois, jukebox aficionado and checks out the horror and sci-fi toys amassed by a Los Angeles podcaster and his wife. But wherever she goes, Whelchel has noticed it’s more than a simple souvenir that is close to the collectors’ hearts. “It’s something they’re wanting to hold on to that felt so good in childhood,” she says, “whether a relationship or a feeling or an experience.” And that, like some of these collections, is priceless.

Collector’s Call, Season Premiere, Sunday, April 7, 6:30/5:30c, MeTV



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