Getting audiences captivated is one thing; however, keeping the audiences is another thing, and the Pawn star reality TV show seems to be great at doing that. The TV show, which debuted in 2009, is arguably one of the most memorable and successful shows in recent broadcast history.
The series, filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, shows the chronicles of the everyday activities of the world-famous Harrison family Gold & Silver Pawnshop. The Pawn star series shows the antics used by the Harrison’s and their associates in dealing with the everyday pawn exchanges in this infamous shop.
Over the years, while fans were falling in love with the show hosted by the Harrisons and their associates, it turns out that all wasn’t particularly as attractive as it seemed on screen. Ongoing issues behind the scenes were different and not so attractive, making many people wonder what the Harrison’s stood for.
Issues ranging from the arrest of Corey Harrison for battery in California in 2011, and Chumlee (aka Austin Lee Russell) for felony weapons and drug charges in 2016, to the actual reason Olivia Black got fired from the show remain some of the wildest facts that came from the off-screen activities of these TV reality stars.
As we know them from the reality TV show, the Harrison’s and their associates can easily get tagged as bona fide celebrities and TV stars. Still, this famous Gold & Silver Pawnshop in Las Vegas started way back in 1989 as a genuine family-owned real-life business. Richard “Old Man” Harrison, who first opened the store, probably never envisaged that it would be a TV sensation years after.
This once regular shop, which is now a famous destination, was initially run by “Old Man” Harrison, his son Rick, grandson Corey and family friend “Chumlee” Russels as just a regular business. Even though they are now superstars in their own right, the reality show is indeed behind the fame.
It is easy to say that this pawn shop is just a regular family-owned business and nothing more. However, the truth was that Old Man Harrison had always believed that his store would be a special place, and it had been his lifelong ambition of turning the shop into a famous destination which it achieves today.
The Harrisons had gotten recorded to pitch the idea of a Pawn Shop reality TV show to various networks for many years, even before the TV show started. Most of these networks had clearly been saying No repeatedly before the Harrisons finally got the much-needed “Yes” that made the idea of the reality show a possibility.
Although we discovered Harrison had a lifelong ambition of turning his regular store to the intriguing world of TV, there was even more reason behind the decision to make the shop famous. To the Harrisons, getting the business to run effectively was essential, even if that included employing additional techniques.
Harrison, who had fancied the idea of having the pawnshop on TV, also had an additional motive for doing that. His aim was not only to be the producer of a popular show that airs on TV, but he was also considering the effects the show would have on the business as hopefully attracting more customers. According to Star-Telegram, Harrison also acknowledged that the show meant free publicity for the shop, which also meant more business.
As expected, having a reality show on TV will most definitely come with its hurdles. The Harrisons seemed determined to succeed in the Gold & Silver Pawnshop and TV show, irrespective of the troubles. That zeal and determination were evident in how he continued to pitch the show to different networks, even as they turned him down continually.
After many failed attempts, the determination eventually paid off for the Harrisons, and the show became a staple commonly talked about. Most TV networks were not sure anybody wanted to watch a show about four fat guys in a pawnshop, but eventually, it became a thing that transfixed the world.
There’s always a time for the tentative baby steps, and the Harrisons indeed had theirs. The first few looks at the idea of a TV reality show for a pawnshop seemed cloudy and filled with lots of uncertainties, but the Harrisons never gave up on the idea and stood their ground.
The show, which grew to become a new TV sensation that airs on History, originally had two different homes before the move. The shop had first appeared on Comedy Central’s Insomniac and later got aired briefly on HBO, but its existence on History was the most popular. We are sure many people never knew about this journey before the History channel.
Many people mostly know how popular this show was in America and the number of audiences it could gross; however, many others did not know that this show also grew to become incredibly popular even outside America and to the rest of the world as well.
The show got translated into a whopping 38 languages and based on the last count, it had gotten aired in 150 different countries. Harrison, during a conversation, had once revealed that he constantly gets mobbed by screaming fans wherever he goes in the world, showing how widespread the show’s popularity has gotten.
Like most who rise to the top, the successes currently enjoyed by the pawn stars haven’t been without some form of difficulty or the next. As they got famous, the Harrisons have had to deal with legal battles in different forms. That has also included all three Harrisons and Chumlee getting sued by their ex-manager, Wayne Jeffries.
Although we are uncertain how they came to settle that legal trouble, it is almost certain that it won’t be the end of the troubles. They constantly find themselves in a situation that warrants legal intervention. Harrison, who was sure to expect another legal issue, had to acknowledge to Fox News that “As long as you make more money, people are eventually going to sue for something.”
A good look at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop owned by the Harrisons, and you will find a fair share of weird and wacky items people had brought in from all over the world.
Even for the most seasoned viewers of the show, one that is bizarre is this object that was once brought in. Harrison had once revealed that someone brought in some erotic art from Japan. According to him, the originators had hand-painted the art, and it contains every form of bodily fluid on them. The painting was exaggerated and some sort of creepy that he couldn’t even display in the pawnshop even after buying them.
A creepy painting might be amongst the creepy the wackiest of items brought in, but there are so many of those odd experiences. People keep bringing in the oddest of items to the doors of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, and Harrison can recollect that a guy had arrived one time offering the most unexpected of items.
This customer had offered to trade in a collection of human skulls. According to the guy, he had taken them from a dental school, but the others weren’t particularly convinced with his claims. As expected, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the Harrisons declined to buy these creepy items from him.
Although the store constantly receives customers who come in with the oddest items ready to trade in, they also have their days of getting some of the best of items. You wouldn’t believe some of the most impressive pieces that have gotten pawned on the show.
You couldn’t have possibly seen all the weird and wonderful things that the shop has in store. Customers are unpredictable, and they keep bringing in some weird item from Slash’s old ID to an actual full-sized submarine. The weirdest of these items brought in was probably a didrachm, a rare coin from Ancient Greece dating as far back as around 325 B.C!
The store continuously keeps getting lots of unique items from varied customers. While the Ancient Greek coin was one of the most remarkable, it wasn’t the original item that made the show significant headlines. Instead, it was a golden coin. This item received from a woman remains one of the most surprising and controversial items the store had ever received.
The collection of gold coins, which a woman brought in, was bought and melted down to reuse as per the store’s policy, and that’s where they got into trouble. It turns out that this gold coins collection had been stolen, and the store got sued for melting down the coins without original permission.
Managing a pawnshop is not as attractive as it might seem on TV; there are many issues the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop must deal with. At the same time, most people might think that more of the unique items and troubles in the shop is due to the shop customers and the weird and wacky things they bring in; the reality is far from that.
Some troubles that the shop had to deal with were brought in by none other than the stars themselves. Let’s take, for example, Chumlee, who had once broken a super valuable $20,000 bass by accident and didn’t tell anyone. Instead, he quietly put it back in the box and went on with his day.
Most definitely, the peril of working in a pawn shop is that you can’t account for how the customers got every one of the items that they chose to bring in. People will bring in items they had stolen to get money for them and get rid of the evidence.
The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, unfortunately, had their fair share of these experiences. One unfortunate event that happened to these pawn stars was when Harrison paid $40,000 for a pair of diamond earrings, which he later found stolen. The thief was caught and served some jail time. The original owner of the necklace got it back, but the Harrisons never got their $40,000 back.
This unfortunate earring experience shows how chaotic and unpredictable working in a pawn shop can be. However, the truth is that some deals in the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop shown on TV, somewhat different from the way it is in the real-life pawnshop.
Although many viewers may not know, most of the deals made in the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, as shown on TV, were made in advance, way ahead of the filming. Behind the scenes, staff coordinates the plan with the potential customer over email, ensuring that the correct items arrive at just about the right time of filming. Pretty clever, isn’t it?
A good follower of the TV reality program will most likely be familiar with how Harrison seems to have an endless list of friends who are experts on every sort of valuable item brought into the show. Well, we can’t call all of them his friends.
The truth is that most of the experts on the show that Harrison always seemed to call aren’t Harrison’s personal friends but actual professionals that the show producers had chosen. These experts are not there out of friendship but mainly to further their career through exposure that the show will give. Who knows, maybe they have some drinks afterward.
Did you think that the events happening in the pawnshop show were just regular, everyday activities? Well, it’s far from that. Like almost all other TV reality shows, not all the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop activities are genuine. The truth is that some scenes in the show are off-the-cuff materials that are actually planned out in advance and fully scripted.
To make this show a success, they usually have to script a lot of it. The potential seller is coached on behaving and negotiating, so they don’t seem too nervous or awkward while filming. The producers don’t tell customers exactly what they should say. Instead, they use their expert skills to influence what they say.
A lot of things that go on screen in the show are not as they are in reality. The world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is well managed and became well known because of its stars, the Harrisons and Chumlee, but they don’t work in the shop.
As surprising as that might sound, they only do work there for the televised pawnshop series. They are pretty separate and private from the staff that services the regular customers. The regular customers get served and sorted out by Travis Benton, who is the real-life store manager.
The Pawn Star show had featured many people on its episodes, and Olivia Black remains one of such notable people. Olivia Black, who is undoubtedly one of the much-loved stars of the show, remains incredibly popular with fans. They fired her from the show, and the truth behind that was unclear.
Well, not for a long time. The controversy is that they fired her for posting some naughty pictures on a modeling website, but the truth was very different. As many know, Oliva was removed from the show, but they did not fire her as the shop employee. She still works at the shop, but the production company just stopped filming her.
The world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is generally known to be a family-owned business of the Harrison’s. However, Austin “Chumlee” Russell, who is undoubtedly one of the famous few names in the show, is not a family member. This fellow instead got conferred upon with honorary family status and not related.
When the Harrisons had to select an extra person on the show, Chumlee was actually up against a bunch of other employees. Corey Harrison, who is a good friend of Chumlee, was the one who ensured that his friend got the job. His extra character, selected for the show, later turned out to be most helpful.
Chumlee might be one of the most popular characters from the Pawn Shop TV reality show, but he’s also a character surrounded by lots of controversies. This popular cast member has a life and history that mostly calls for increased spotlights, and they are mostly known for the least attractive of things.
In 2016, when the police raided Chumlee’s house, initially on sex assault charges, they ended up finding lots of illegal items in the apartment. He owned different illegal drugs and no less than eight unregistered firearms. Luckily for him, he got released on bail and subsequently escaped jail time by agreeing to do three years of probation and counseling.
The assault case of 2016 was not the first time Chumlee was getting himself in a high-profile run-in with the law. In 2012, he was caught in a brawl on Hollywood Boulevard. This fight led to his opponent badly bleeding on the floor.
Beyond reasonable doubt, Chumlee couldn’t have denied he wasn’t the one involved in the brawl as they caught him on various cameras getting into the spat. Although he later insisted that the brawl was in self-defense, we will never really know about what happened that night.
Chumlee might have been one cast from the TV reality known to always getting involved in one trouble or another, but believe us, and he isn’t the only star from the reality show who’s had the occasional trouble with the police. Corey Harrison has also had his fair share of such controversial encounters.
We also know Corey Harrison for getting caught up in troubles, such as when he got drunk and disorderly after drinks at a bar in Big Bear, California, in 2011. The encounter resulted in a big fight that led to a bigger fight with another punter that the police had to be called in for. He ended up spending the night in a jail cell.
According to the Harrisons, the original intent for getting the Pawn Shop on TV was to raise the shop’s profile and subsequently increase their business. However, as the TV reality show expanded and became more successful, its fame got in the way of regular business activities.
Travis Benton, the actual store manager of the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, revealed that so many people now make their way into the shop, but they don’t come to transact business; instead, they now come to see the shop as tourists. This influx of people sometimes impedes real customers who intend to make business transactions. It doesn’t end there, during filming, the shop is closed to customers.
As we mentioned earlier, the shop’s popularity has grown to become a tourist destination for many people. That significantly means that many people now take it upon themselves to visit the shop, but they don’t do that as regular customers but as tourists. The show has now grown to become one of the most visited non-gaming sites in the whole of Las Vegas.
Even though these famous pawn stars are rarely sighted in the Las Vegas shop, sometimes long fans are seen running down the streets. They also pack the sidewalks with different tourists, each waiting to catch a glimpse of their TV heroes.
It is easy to imagine that fans from far and wide make their way down to Las Vegas to catch a glimpse of these pawn stars and their famous shop. However, the stars also make frequent trips year-round around the country as part of their nationwide tours.
These frequent travels around the country offer Rick and Corey Harrison the opportunity to meet with many people and fans inclusively. It also allows them a chance to meet and greet, offer VIP experiences, and it allows people to have an inside look into the coming and going of their fantastic family.
The TV reality show and the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop are not the only things that take up the attention of these famous TV stars. Rick Harrison, as a person, is also known to be occupied by his matters and his wedding to the beloved Deanna Burditt in 2013.
Many people did not know that Harrison and Burditt were reportedly involved in massive marital troubles with Burditt’s ex-husband. He had been on trial for a variety of sex offenses. They later found him guilty of the offenses and sent him to prison, but it wasn’t a peculiar and splendid start for the new couple.
Rick Harrison was not the only high-profile character from the Pawn Shop TV reality show who had his private affairs and romantic life all in the open. Corey Harrison also had a fair share of these unlucky experiences. Corey Harrison married his college sweetheart, Charlene, as far back as 2000, long before the fame came calling.
Corey’s experience was also an unfortunate one. His marriage didn’t last as expected and eventually came crashing years after, probably due to the pressures of the newfound limelight. In 2015, Harrison and Charlene got divorced, and he later had a brief relationship with Roxy Gonzalez.
We all know Corey Harrison for his role in the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop Show, but he also has other sides that have caught some attention. Corey is a bit of a wildcard and some type of daredevil stunt man. He had gotten known to pull off a string of death-defying stunts, which he had not done on purpose.
This Pawn star character was once known to be cycling at top speed when his bike fender came off, and he went into a super-fast tailspin, so he had to leap off into the air. Another time, he was recorded to have wiped out cycling while riding through the rain from Las Vegas to San Diego.
An unavoidable experience of the showbiz world is the tendency for one’s life to constantly be in the open, irrespective of how untrue that might be. Austin “chumlee” Russell is one reality TV star who had become the victim of an online death hoax. What makes it somewhat surprising is the fact that these reports had happened more than once.
The first of such multiple reports was in 2013, when Chumlee was reported to have overdosed. Another of such tales was a time he suffered from a heart attack. He had to go on Twitter to debunk these death rumors. Irrespective of how untrue these events might have been, it meant there was a need for Chumlee to take his life more seriously.
Over the years, the four-wonder cast of the Pawn Star TV reality show continues to thrill audiences on-screen. On the other hand, their off-screen activities remain controversial, with individuals like Chumlee able to defy claims of deaths so many times. However, the same can’t be said about Oldman Harrison.
Sadly, Richard “Old Man” Harrison passed away in 2018 at the age of 77. According to Rick’s Harrison post on Instagram, he passed on surrounded by those he loved. This excellent pawn star will continue to get remembered by his family and fans of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop worldwide.
The passing of Old man Richard left a massive vacuum, especially in Harrison’s family and the hearts of many lovers of the show. People began acknowledging how significant the old man’s life had been, and they showed their respects by tributes in any way they could. Tributes began pouring from all over the world in honor of this father and grandfather.
This era of Richard’s demise was somewhat a gloomy period for Harrison and the show. In honor of Richard Harrison, the pawn stars aired a special episode where they all discussed him and their favorite moments with him over the years. In the hour-long special episode, Rick declared that most of his memories were definitely with his father. What a sad loss.
Following the death of Old Man Harrison, the family had tons of personal issues they had to solve behind closed doors. While the world was uniting from the death and tribute to Richard, the same cannot be said about the internal affairs of the Harrisons.
This unusual division within the family was due to the will left behind by the old man. The truth was that Richard had left one of his sons out of the will. Although Rick and Joseph’s names were mentioned, none was mentioned about Chris in the will. The reasons for this we don’t know, but the Harrisons claimed they had discussed the issue.
Corey Harrison is one character from the show that is highly lovable. To his fans worldwide, they mainly refer to him as the “Big Hoss.” His larger-than-life personality and fashionable physical appearance earn him respect. However, the Big Hoss is not so big anymore.
Corey Harrison, who no longer looked as big as he used to, had to go through a weight loss program. He made this decision based on advice from his doctor. After a complete diet overhaul and a lap band surgery, Harrison amazingly lost over 200 pounds.
If you’re an ardent follower of the Pawn Star reality TV show, then you should have noticed Harrison’s eating throughout most of the episodes. While not everyone might note the slightest of such things, these Pawn stars eat many Subway sandwiches.
They don’t partake in eating this brand’s sandwiches because it’s a few blocks away and not because they love a good meatball sub. Instead, they had to eat the sandwiches because Subway is one of their sponsors. That means they have a responsibility to feature the sandwich regularly on their show.
The world-famous pawn stars haven’t only accumulated fans from around the world, but they’ve also made lots of money to show for it. While it is easy for people to instantly think that the money the pawn star cast is accumulating is due to the show itself or associated sponsorship and endorsements, the truth is slightly different.
These stars indeed make some reasonable amounts from the endorsements and the show as a whole, but they’ve also made a lot of money from their merchandise sales. A significant part of the Harrisons’ income now comes from the official Pawn Stars merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts, and shot glasses which fans can’t seem to get enough of.
Only the biggest shows can attract celebrity guest appearances, and surprisingly, the Pawn Star is one of such. To many people, celebrity appearances should get reserved for sitcoms and shows of that kind, but not anymore. TV reality shows are attracting some of our celebrity favorites, and the Pawn Star is one.
The Pawn Stars, which became so popular, attracted more than a fair share of A-list customers. Celebrities of different types have become lovers of the show, with names like Jeremy McKinnon, Joe Elliot, Meredith Vieira, Phil Collen, and so on, to have visited the show. Its popularity does not seem to slow down anytime sooner.
A lot of times, when we look at Harrison’s age, we are quick to imagine just the Pawnshop, but these individuals are making a name for themselves in other areas away from just everyday pawn exchange. Corey Harrison, for example, who is undoubtedly successful and business savvy in the pawn world, has branched into something unrelated.
This popular TV personality just might be the next big thing in the beauty businesses. Harrison, who had proved himself capable of branching into so many things, is the co-owner of a club and beauty salon in Las Vegas called Beauty Bar. The bar, which opened in 2014, has been a huge success ever since.
Corey Harrison is not the only favorite from the world-famous pawn star that is willing to try their hands on something different. Chumlee has also been ready to undergo such adventures and has opened his store, selling something different from exchanging items.
We would have said take a wild guess, but you probably wouldn’t have guessed right. Chumlee’s store sells none other than candy. This star revealed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he chose this product amongst the wide options is because Chumlee wants to give us some sweet vibes, and we can’t argue with that.
Old man Harrison had a life before the pawnshop. Even after his demise, many people couldn’t remember those points in his life that did not include the famous Gold & Silver Pawnshop. Old Man Richard Harrison’s death brought about lots of reminiscing and tributes, but many missed out on the point when he was in the military.
Yes, you read that right. We bet many people didn’t know that, but Harrison served in the US Navy for over 20 years. Although rumor has it that they sent him to join the military as a punishment for stealing a car, irrespective of the original reasons, it turned out that joining the military was right for him.
The Pawn Star TV reality show, which extends the famous Gold & Silver Pawnshop, was what brought the Harrisons to the limelight in the first place, and it’s pretty clear they have been able to hone their skills in the art of negotiation. However, the present truth is that the Harrisons need not continue pawn exchanges if they please.
These famous TV stars have been able to diversify into other areas so that their financial hopes are not solely based on the pawnshop. Choosing to keep the pawnshop now is majorly not for making ends meet, but they just do it simply for the fun of it. It’s amazing how these individuals have been able to start from the pawnshop to something bigger.
We can’t love the Harrisons, can we? One hilarious yet unique personality from this family remains undoubtedly nobody but Old Man Harrison. This larger-than-life man’s legacy continues to live on even after he had unfortunately passed on. What’s rather remarkable about Richard “Old Man” Harrison is the nickname he bears.
Do you know that he already had been known as Old Man even years before he became old? In fact, at age 38, Richard Harrison was already being referred to as Old Man. The name wasn’t mainly a nickname he came up with just for the TV show as the show started airing when he was about 68 years old, years after he had gained the nickname.
The death of Old Man Harrison was undoubtedly a painful one, but the family moved on from the hurt and gave him a proper send-off. This beautiful funeral ceremony was held in his hometown somewhere in Las Vegas. Many people were in attendance at the burial, and it was indeed an emotional one.
Although many people knew that the family had some emotional time giving him a proper farewell, many others did not know that fans were allowed to say goodbye as well. The family opened the funeral home to the public for a few hours to allow fans to come and pay their respect in person.
One of the most controversial and undoubtedly the most popular members of the Pawn star cast is Chumlee. This honorary member of Harrison’s family has a rather unusual nickname, which many people continue to wonder where he got the name. The inspiration behind the name is not far-fetched.
Chumlee got the name from the classic animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. The animated series featured a penguin and his sidekick, who was a dim-witted walrus called Chumley. This Chumlee, on the other hand, is no dimwit, neither is he a walrus, but he certainly got the inspiration for the name of the movie.
Chumlee, from the Pawn Star reality TV show, is not the only cast from the world-famous show popularly known and called by his nickname. Beloved fans of the Pawn Stars from around the world continually refer to most of the cast members of the show by their nicknames, and many can’t even recollect the actual names they bear.
These alternative identities are shared with all the cast members as Richard Harrison is commonly known as “Old Man,” Austin Russell is “Chumlee,” and Corey Harrison goes by “Big Hoss.” Rick Harrison is the only member of the show with whom fans found it difficult to fix a name. They had tried calling him “The Spotter” and “The Appraisal,” but these names didn’t stick for long, maybe because they were more work-related nicknames.
You notice from watching the Pawn Star show that we don’t get to see many people all in the shop at once pawning one item or the other. Instead, what is easily noticeable is a few customers who are undertaking proper sales of their items. The actual reason behind this action is to ensure the privacy of their many customers.
Individuals who come to trade in an item in a pawnshop for a bit of a loan usually do that in a bit of a desperate situation. No one wants their predicament to get converted to a show aired on TV, and the Harrisons understand that. The transactions aired are a bit of a short sales as their permissions are easier to get.
As we have repeated continuously, the initial reasons the Harrisons set up the reality TV show in the first place was to pull in enough public awareness about the existence of the shop and subsequently be able to bring in more customers and improve sales. It happened to be that the store turned out to be something more than they envisaged.
The Harrisons couldn’t have imagined that their pawnshop would have been as famous as it did and all thanks to the reality show. The show massively increased the popularity of the pawnshop to where the business started sprouting. Customers started frequenting the store more than they might have likely done. That growth led to Harrison hiring over 30 new workers and expanding the area by 15,000 square feet.
Many viewers of the Pawn Star show arguably have a lot to say about the pawnshop and owners, even though not everyone had been fortunate enough to make a trip down to the shop. This enlightened information is that the producers of the show did pretty well to give audiences an excellent view of the store.
One particularly famous and memorable item in the shop’s interior is none other than the massive painting of Doors frontman Jim Morrison. This painting, which was the work of speed Artist Denny Dent, was originally on sale for $20,000. The stars later decided it was no longer up for sale as it had become an essential part of the show.
With fame comes a lot of things: the good, the bad, and some pranks. One would expect that the popular Gold & Silver Pawnshop would receive many calls from new customers trying to get in touch, but that does not exclude the fact that most of those calls may not yield positive results.
The pawnshop received countless calls from individuals trying to prank the shop, and few were for transactional purposes. Those who were calling in did that for the pleasure of getting through and hearing the stars’ voices. For that reason, the store received a considerable number of prank calls.
Harrison’s determination and hard work to make the pawnshop a success got it where it is today, but definitely with some luck. Harrison had spent many years pitching the idea to different networks and wanted to translate the shop to a TV show, but do you know what gave the success a bit of a push?
It was a total fluke that got the shop the final bit of exposure that resulted in the TV deal. A group of Leftfield Pictures executives had stumbled upon the store while they were in Las Vegas for a bachelor party. They got inspired to share what they had seen about the shop with their bosses at History Channel, and that’s how it all started.