The 500th episode of Pawn Stars aired on January 21st, 2019. When a show reaches episode 500, it's safe to say that it's really resonating with viewers. While Pawn Stars will never be the same as it once was, due to the sad passing of key cast member, Richard "Old Man" Harrison, it's still got a lot to offer.
Anyone who loves Pawn Stars should check out every single entry on this list. The list is jam-packed with behind-the-scenes secrets that are downright fascinating. When it comes to Pawn Stars, so much happens while the cameras aren't rolling. With Pawn Stars, things aren't always exactly as they seem...
Most people already know that Pawn Stars is about the day-to-day operations of a popular Las Vegas pawn shop, known as Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. This reality TV program launched on the History Channel way back in 2009. Gold and Silver Pawn Shop is open 24 hours a day and it's been in business since 1989. It's a family-owned concern.
The original cast included the late family patriarch Richard Harrison, his son, Rick, Rick's son, Corey and Corey's buddy, Chumlee. Chumlee isn't a Harrison like the other cast members. Chumlee's full name is Austin "Chumlee" Russell.
As of January 2019, this show is now in a 1-hour format. People can't get enough of Pawn Stars and now they are able to enjoy longer episodes. This show works because it's an interesting, down-to-earth version of another reality TV show, Antiques Roadshow.
22 Meet And Greets Earn The Cast Major Money
Rick Harrison is money-minded, so it's no surprise that he earns extra cash for himself and his Pawn Stars cast-mates through "meet and greet "sessions. If you're willing to pay up for the chance to be around the cast of this History Channel show, you'll access VIP status.
When you sign on for a VIP tour, there's no guarantee of meeting the cast members. Sometimes, they are filming and they can't come out and say hi. However, paying up for a VIP Tour is really the best way to boost the odds of getting close to Rick, Chumlee and Corey. These guys are definitely in demand.
21 Olivia Kept Working At The Shop Off-Camera…For A While
Olivia Black appeared on Pawn Stars for a single season. She got a great reception from fans, but then disappeared. Producers didn't want her her on camera anymore and she believes that racy photo shoots were the reason why she lost her chance to shine on reality TV. A tabloid got hold of her racy photos and didn't hesitate to publish them.
Even though she wasn't permitted to film the show anymore, Rick didn't actually fire her. He said she could keeping working at Gold and Silver Pawn Shop at times when operations weren't being filmed. She left the pawn shop a few months later.
20 Lynyrd Skynyrd Performed In The Pawn Shop Parking Lot
Lynyrd Skynyrd is a legendary Southern rock band and they are the group that does the new Pawn Stars theme, "Winning Isn't Everything". This rock band even took time out of its busy schedule to do an impromptu concert in the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop parking lot!
According to Heavy.com, they did the show to honor the cast, crew and fans. The concert was also held to celebrate the show's move to Thursday evenings. The fact that a band of this caliber would want to be involved with Pawn Stars says a lot about the show's reach and pop culture impact.
19 Chumlee’s Been On The Wrong Side Of The Law
Chumlee provides comic relief on Pawn Stars, but he has a shadow side. He's had some run-ins with the law. Born Austin Russell, "Chumlee" had to go to court after law enforcement searched his property and found illegal items. The show's producers must have been upset about these charges. They didn't like Olivia's racy photo shoots and this was a lot worse.
Chumlee went for a plea deal in his case, which kept him out of the slammer. Under the terms of the deal, he'd need to be law-abiding until 2019, in order to get a felony charge lessened to a misdemeanor charge.
18 The Shop Got In Hot Water For Melting Down Gold Coins
A Nevada resident filed suit when his niece pilfered fifty grand worth of gold coins from him and then sold them at Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. The team at Pawn Stars melted down the coins after they received them. That's a typical pawn shop practice.
After the complaint was filed, law enforcement let the Pawn Stars team know about the issue. The coins were received in exchange for $12,375, according to Realitytvworld.com. Nevada law allows pawn shops to melt down coins, so Pawn Stars were legally in the clear, but the shop did get some bad press. The rightful owner of the coins couldn't get them back. It was just too late.
17 Rick Said Someone Brought In Human Skulls To Pawn
Rick Harrison has seen some interesting things during his time at the pawn shop. He's wily businessman who is always trying to get the best possible deal. However, he does have his limits. When a customer brought in what appeared to be human skulls, Rick was not ponying up cash for the human remains.
Rick said that the customer brought a bunch of human skulls in. He carried them in a duffel bag. They'd been purchased from a dental school that had an auction. Harrison didn't want to deal with the red tape that this type of deal might generate, so he neglected to make an offer.
16 The Items You See Featured On The Show Are Vetted Beforehand
Reality shows are about entertaining viewers. Occasionally, the lines between reality and scripted TV get a little blurry. The items that you see on Pawn Stars are vetted before they are showcased on the program. They aren't being seen with fresh eyes for the very first time.
According to Nickiswift.com, items that get the spotlight on the show have been vetted in advance. They've been inspected and cleaned up to offer more value to viewers. This means that deals are basically put together ahead of time. The light scripting of the show is done to make it more interesting for everyone.
15 The Staff You See On Pawn Stars Don’t Work There Every Day
The cast of Pawn Stars are big stars now. The show has given them fame, fortune and power. They don't show up at the shop every single day. They are mostly there when they are filming.
The shop is open all of the time. It never, ever closes. So, it would be very tough for Rick and his co-stars to be there all of the time. A lot of other staff members are needed to keep things running. If you think that you'll wander into this pawn shop and see Rick and the boys behind the counter, think again. There may be people you don't recognize working at the shop.
14 Show Production Gets In The Way Of Business Sometimes
There are a lot of rules when it comes to how Pawn Stars is filmed. The privacy of regular customers, who haven't signed on to appear on Pawn Stars, must be protected. This is why filming the show sometimes interferes with typical pawn shop operations.
While the show is being filmed, people don't wander in off the street with valuable items. A lot of people definitely don't want to be filmed while they are pawning items. So, the pawn shop is more of a private place during filming. When filming stops, regular customers can come in again and know that their privacy will be respected.
13 Rick’s Ambitious Expansion Plans Hit The Wall
Rick is very entrepreneurial and he had a vision for Pawn Plaza that may not have panned out exactly how he planned. Pawn Plaza is a container-style shopping plaza right near the pawn shop. It was meant to be a place where people who came to see Gold and Silver Pawn Shop (and came to try and catch a glimpse of the Pawn Stars cast) could hang out. They could eat, shop and have more of a well-rounded experience.
Rick is the landlord at Pawn Plaza. Unfortunately, the plaza tends to lose tenants regularly. Over half don't stay more than twelve months.
12 Tourists Have To Deal With Big Line-ups Outside The Shop
If you want to get inside of this famous pawn shop, you'll need to be patient. Plenty of other tourists are thinking exactly the same thing and you'll be lining up beside them. You may need to stand outside the shop for a long time before you can get in. Your other option is paying for a VIP tour.
You might actually enjoy hanging out in front of the shop for a while, with other like-minded Pawn Stars fans. Just don't expect to roll up to the front door and walk through the shop right away. This is a big-time Las Vegas tourist attraction.
11 Pawn Stars Merch Is The Shop’s Major Moneymaker
These days, profits at this well-known pawn shop come mostly from branded Pawn Stars merchandise. Since the pawn shop is a hot tourist attraction in Las Vegas, people who manage to get into the shop (long line-ups outside are commonplace) love buying Chumlee t-shirts and other Pawn Stars merch. People who visit can take away merch as souvenirs, just like they buy Hard Rock Café t-shirts and stuff like that.
While the pawn shop is still fully operational, it's not exactly a typical pawn shop. It's famous and Pawn Stars merch sells like hot cakes. Fans can buy merch at the History Channel website, too.
10 Pawn Stars Was Rick Harrison’s Brainchild
Rick had a vision for a pawn shop reality TV show. He tried again and again to make producers understand just how successful this type of show could be. Until he met up with the right producers, his repeated pitches fell flat.
When he did meet the right people, everything came together and the rest is history. Rick did have a great idea and some producers were thinking along the same lines. They approached Rick and Pawn Stars was set in motion. Rick loves interacting with the media, so being on TV and gathering fans appealed to him. He is not afraid of the spotlight.
9 Chumlee Was Brought In As A New Cast Member
Chumlee has racked up a net worth of five million bucks, according to Gazettereview.com. That's not so bad for a guy who isn't even a Harrison. He's not a member of the Harrison family, but his ability to entertain the Harrison family got him his gig on Pawn Stars.
As Corey's childhood buddy, he had a gift for making Corey and his family laugh. When the Harrisons were hunting for a non-family cast member, their thoughts naturally turned to Chumlee, who was already working at the pawn shop. He's now widely considered to be the most popular cast member. He does make people laugh and he is laughing all the way to the bank.
8 Trades Of Items May Be Recreated (Filmed Twice)
Items are vetted beforehand, but the light scripting of Pawn Stars doesn't stop there. Some scenes where deals are being done may be filmed twice or even more often. Dramatic recreations of these deals are for our entertainment. It's about tweaking a scene so that it really tells a story.
Most people these days are cognizant of how reality TV shows work. They know that scenes need to be redone sometimes to get the right effects. However, there are a lot of people who don't realize that Pawn Stars recreates scenes. This is one of the big secrets of Pawn Stars.
7 Corey Harrison Used To Do Stunts on His Motorcycles
Before Corey became a household name while appearing on Pawn Stars, he was an amateur motorbike stunt rider. No one paid him to do crazy stuff on a motorcycle. He did it because he wanted to.
Unfortunately, right around his 31st birthday, he got into a motorcycle accident. His family had planned to celebrate his b-day with him, with a cake that had a custom motorcycle design. That celebration was put on hold because Corey needed medical attention. He broke his arm and had other injuries. Motorcycles are fun to ride, but they leave riders very exposed. Sometimes, the stunts are best left to the pros.
6 News Of Chumlee’s Passing Was Not Real News
News of Chumlee's passing was greatly exaggerated. Reports of his demise were posted online in March of 2014, although he was alive and well. Sometimes, Internet tricksters decide to spread false information online, for their own twisted reasons.
Anyway, Chumlee soon took to Twitter to reassure friends, family, co-workers and fans that he was just fine. He was 31 when reports of his passing surfaced on the Web. It must be pretty weird to see those reports when you wake up in the morning. Chumlee was actually filming Pawn Stars the same day that the false reports popped up online.
5 There’s A Good Reason Why So Many Subway Sandwiches Are Consumed
The cast of Pawn Stars do mention Subway sandwiches sometimes and eat them sometimes, because they have a lucrative deal with Subway. There is a monetary reason why they are frequently feasting on sandwiches and other Subway fare while they film the show.
The truth is that Subway is one of the show's key sponsors. Subway pours a lot of money into the show and the cast makes sure that Subway gets its money's worth, by leaving wrapped Subway subs lying around and things like that. It's product placement. This type of subliminal advertising makes viewers hungry for the sandwiches.
4 Experts Who Help Staff Aren’t Really Their Buddies
On Pawn Stars, it seems like the experts who are brought in to assess the value of items are good buddies with the cast. They really aren't. They come in and share information about items because they want the publicity. They don't even get paid to appear on the reality TV show.
So, the next time that you see a book expert or another type of expert who seems to have a long history with Rick or another cast member, be skeptical of the expert's connection to the cast member. These experts are polishing their reputations by making appearances on the show. It's business, rather than personal.
3 Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison Made A Big Decision To Change His Health
Corey Harrison wanted to be healthier, so he made the decision to have a procedure that would help him to achieve his goal. He got a gastric band and his appearance transformed. This type of procedure is something that people who can't get healthier via conventional means, such as dieting and exercise, tend to choose. It works well for most, but has its pros and cons.
Corey does look a lot different these days and, hopefully, he feels much better. He opted for the procedure because his doctor had warned him about the adverse side effects of not being in shape.
2 Rick Harrison’s Estimated Net Worth Is 8 Million Bucks
Rick Harrison is a go-getter who's achieved amazing success since opening the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop with his late father, Richard. Rick now has all of the trapping of success, including a huge mansion and an estimated net worth of eight million dollars, according to Celebsnetworth.org.
Not too shabby, right? He has the life that he's always dreamed of, but he never rests on his laurels. He's always pushing forward with new ventures and ideas. This great businessman is really living out the American dream. His wedding to Deanna was covered in People magazine in 2013. That's a pretty good sign that you've really made it.
1 Chumlee Has Broken A Lot Of Stuff
Chumlee's clumsiness has cost the pawn shop money, but it pays off in TV ratings gold, so everything balances out. Chumlee got his nickname from a Tennessee Tuxedo cartoon character named Chumley. Chumley was a walrus. The nickname was based on his resemblance to the cartoon walrus.
Chumlee has a natural knack for making people laugh, which has made him millions, even if he does break stuff while working at the pawn shop. He once broke a stand-up instrument and tried to hide the evidence. Of course, his clumsiness did not go unnoticed for long. The damage cost the shop twenty grand.