The host of satirical show "Le Iene" (The Hyenas) got up at the crack of dawn to ensure he had a front row position for one of the pope's regular appearances in St Peter's Square in Vatican City.
As later shown on Vatican TV, the host managed to accost the pope as he boarded his jeep and offered him a new white skull cap.
The pope is seen stopping the jeep and examining the cap, before swapping it for his own.
The cap was put on eBay on Wednesday evening, and had already attracted a bid of €105,000 ($135,000) by Thursday afternoon.
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The money raised will be given to an Italian charity fighting child mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the programme makers said.