‘What’s It Worth?’ – Appraisal show offers entertainment value
It may be an old painting, an autographed baseball or an antique radio, but for Jeff Foxworthy the draw of these items are the stories behind them.
On “What’s It Worth?” produced remotely and airing Tuesdays on A&E Network, Foxworthy hosts as ordinary folks present their hidden treasures for appraisal by a team of experts to see if they’re sitting on a gold mine or just hanging onto something for sentimental value. He also hears the stories behind these items, be it a family heirloom or a flea market find, which can be equally as impressive or even more so than the dollar value.
“I’m kind of a collector myself,” Foxworthy, also an executive producer here, says. “… So I understand people collecting things but I try to always think as a comic, ‘What do we have in common?’ And I felt, well hell, everybody alive has got stuff in their drawers going, ‘I can’t throw this away. It might be worth something.’ And so it was kind of fun to have a show to go, ‘Alright, we’ll tell you – it either is or isn’t.’ ”
In the case of one find, it most definitely was. A couple had a painting the husband’s mother had given him that the wife found so ugly she hid it under a bed – that is, until they learned who it came from.
“She wouldn’t allow it on the wall,” Foxworthy says, “and the thing ends up being a Picasso. And so, I love stories and I’m like, ‘Crap, that’s just a great story.’ Because I’m messing with the wife going, ‘Well, I’ll bet you put it up on the wall now. Yesterday, it was too ugly to hang in the bathroom and now you’ve got it over the mantel.’ ”
Other finds include a a flag from the 1700s found in a trunk, a sketch by Andy Warhol and a first-edition Jane Austen book purchased at a flea market with a box of other books for $5.
“I think that’s what I realized real early in this process is it’s not just the item, it’s the story …,” Foxworthy says. “If you just showed a Picasso, it’s not that interesting. But the fact that somebody’s mother had it in their attic and gave it to you and your wife hates it and keeps it under the bed, now that’s interesting. That’s a story. And so I think that’s what this show is all about, is the stories behind the items.”