Swap shop show has me trading in my sanity

BILL MARTIN
I have opined in this space before on how something on television that you initially think is completely ridiculous, can end up mesmerizing you beyond belief.

I was captured by Les Stroud’s Survivorman a few Thanksgivings ago when I couldn’t get off the couch after a bad case of cornmeal poisoning.

They no longer produce that show, I guess Les got tired of eating bug guts and sleeping on tree branches while filming himself doing it.

To fill that void when I couldn’t get off the couch, several months ago I started religiously watching this show on the History Channel on Monday nights.

As I watched the promos, I thought, “television has hit an all-time low.”

Hello, my name is Bill and I’m addicted to “Pawn Shop Stars”.

Now, before you roll your eyes and cluck your tongues, and wonder why someone with half a brain gives a rat’s hat about the goings on in some random swap shop, let me set you straight—I have learned more about history watching this stupid show than I did in high school and college put together.

The old man The old man It’s true.

The show’s producer calls it “laugh and learn” TV.

Now the guys that man the cases are characters for sure.

There’s The Old Man who after going bust in the real estate market, relocated to Las Vegas for a fresh start and started the shop.

Apparently, his son Rick Harrison and grandson Corey—who goes by “Big Hoss”— are a constant irritant to him and the insults he constantly hurls at them is the basis for most of the humor on the show.

He is also the butt of some of the humor, they often cut to him napping in his chair.

I think it is hilarious that Big Hoss looks just like his grandfather.

And of course there is the bufoonish Chum-lee who if not a family friend, would probably be selling hot dogs on the sidewalk.

Still, I’m enthralled by the historical merchandise people bring in and the stories behind them.

Las Vegas magazine reports that the hottest new attraction in Las Vegas is not some bombastic new casino—it’s the little ol’ Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

They have their own line of merchandise, including bobblehead dolls.

They are embarking on an “Antique Roadshow”- type tour as we speak.

Incredibly, the show’s ratings equal that of HBO’s “True Blood” and “Burn Notice”.

It can’t be long before Wayne Newton is doing three shows a night (and four on Sunday) near the cash register.

It has caused a pawn shop renaissance.

“It’s the only pawnshop I know that’s got real Picassos hanging on the wall,” Harrison told the Las Vegas Journal. “I have Salvador Dalis on the wall. I have LeRoy Neimans.”

Rick once paid someone $35,000 on the spot for a small chunk of gold that had been on a shipwreck.

The show that follows it is called “American Pickers”. It’s about two junk nerds who dig through other people’s trash.

Now, that’s just ridiculous...

The 5ive

Here is a list of the mostvaluable items of its kind sold at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop:

1. Four, one-kilo gold bars ($128,000)

2. 1750 Blunderbuss gun ($75,000)

3. 2001 Super Bowl ring ($60,000)

4. Chunk of gold bar found in shipwreck ($35,000)

5. 1859 gold piece ($2,650)


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2010-10-21 digital edition



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