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October 6, 2015

Why We Watch: 'Pawn Stars'

by Don Reisinger, posted Jul 5th 2010 2:00PM
Pawn StarsWhen it comes to reality television, the History Channel rarely comes to mind. The channel typically focuses on the major events of World War II, the Kennedy Assassination and top Revolutionary War figures. But on Monday nights at 10PM ET, it's taken over by a reality juggernaut that offers the most entertainment and educational value of any show on television: 'Pawn Stars.'

If you're not watching Pawn Stars, you're missing out. The show profiles Rick Harrison; his father, The Old Man; and his son, Corey, as cameras follow them around their Gold And Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Some humor is thrown in with the help of Chumlee, Corey's best friend who helps manage the increasingly popular pawn shop.

The premise of the show is simple: people come in to potentially sell the Harrison men antiques, historical artifacts or some of the craziest products you've ever seen. Rick usually gives a history lesson, then haggles with the owner to get the best price he can for the products. The goal, as with any business, is to generate as big of a profit as possible.

But Pawn Stars isn't like any other History Channel show. Like 'American Pickers,' another great show on the channel, Pawn Stars delivers entertainment value that TV viewers simply won't find so easily elsewhere.

There is just so much to like about 'Pawn Stars'; here's you should start watching it:

1. It's more fun than history. Although some people can't get into history and all that surrounds it, 'Pawn Stars' is so much more than a history lesson. Yes, there are lessons taught each week, but they're done in a much different way. Unlike so many other History Channel shows, viewers aren't forced to watch reenactments or listen to an actor pretend to be someone from the past. 'Pawn Stars' has the real history in the shop, Rick talks about it a little and the haggling begins. It's more fun, and it sheds some light on what all this old stuff is really worth without getting bogged down in the historical significance of it.

2. The variety of stuff is incredible. If you're turned off by 'Pawn Stars' because you're concerned that it will be like 'Antiques Roadshow' and highlight old chairs, think again. The show has had folks try to sell everything from a medal worn around the time George Washington died to receipts signed by Andrew Jackson for his troops' guns. For those that aren't so keen on history, Rick tends to buy all kinds of goodies, like movie scripts, signed baseballs and even planes and boats. As Rick says time and again, if it's a profitable product, he'll buy it, no matter what it is. Perhaps that's why his shop sells everything from championship boxing belts to great pieces of art. No matter what you bring into the shop, Rick will consider buying it.

3. The banter makes the show. A key component in the success of 'Pawn Stars' revolves around the dynamic of the show's characters. The shop was founded by Rick and his father, the Old Man, more than 20 years ago. Since then, Rick's son Corey has been groomed to take over the business after his father and grandfather finally retire. Along the way, the show delves into the generational differences between the three Harrisons and does a fine job of making the Old Man a caricature of himself. He's old, crotchety and doesn't take guff from his family. Rick is a fun-loving, nice guy that laughs more than any other person on television. And Corey, the self-assured, all-knowing son of two pawn shop titans, typically learns a lesson or two about life in each episode. All the while, they're supported by the supposedly dim-witted Chumlee who provides some of the best one-liners of any show on TV.

'Pawn Stars' is so much more than a history show. Sure, there is a hefty heaping of history thrown in, but it's supported by some of the best comedy and entertainment on television. And if you're missing out because you don't typically surf to the History Channel, the time has come to click over.

Yes, 'Pawn Stars' really is that good.

Will you start watching 'Pawn Stars'? Or are you already a fan?

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I love you guys,, your show is very intersting and funny ....i love watching the show , i watch it everytime, you guys are funny, cute and the things that people bring there to pawn are very interesting.....you guys are the best!!!!! I love you all.....xoxo

July 03 2011 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keep on Rockin

hi i think pawn stars is great chumly makes the whole show he should be shown with the other 3 guys if it was,t for chumly i wouldn,t even watch it im geting tired of rick ripping honest people of its just not right he trys to make triple if not more on every item he buys why do the people sell when they know the stuff is worth so much more anyway like i said chumly makes the whole show i think he should get a raise and be number 1 on the show keep on rockin chums frankie from nyc

April 14 2011 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've previously posted my opinion about this show. We really do enjoy it. I missed the time a post on the screen mentioned "the old man's" real name and also Chumley's given name. Does anyone recall those names? Of course the staff in the store has given low offers at times to some people who come in with their items. However, as Rick always says, he goes by what he thinks will sell in his shop. I have pawned a couple of things in years gone by and never got what I thought I should for an item but I needed the money at the time. I have never sold anything to a pawn shop but would take my chances if I had to if I had no other choice. I do wish they would lay off so much of calling Chumley stupid - it's a show of course and perhaps he doesn't take it seriously. To me, though it sounds very rude and insulting. - Paula

August 17 2010 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Money: Those who don't like the show are likely communist or socialist leaning, as they have no idea how to run a successful business. Get over yourself, go watch "Hoarders", and stop expecting everyone to worship at the altar of your stuff.

Characters: Yes they are! We are all Americans, get along children.

Off: There is an off button, and if you are still watching then they are successful and you aren't.

Education: What they show is a very limited opportunity to learn about a very broad spectrum of stuff.

Keep them coming Rick and family! ***Midwestern Fans

July 19 2010 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't watch it. I have no desire to watch it. I actually do want to watch history on the History Channel. As soon as I see this, American Pickers, Ice Road Truckers, Axe Men, Gangland, Monster Quest, Life After People, and the like, I turn the channel or just turn the entire tv off. History should start a History (non)Reality Channel and let us watch things of value again. There's a reason why America: The Story of Us did so well in the ratings. More people actually care about their history than you would think.

July 12 2010 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to adrienne's comment

The History Channel, to me, has kind of lost its way when it comes to telling much true history. Each time I see these people who tell us that we have ET's walking among us, that the earth was inhabited by them and they built all of the pyramids, and that there were gods, such as the Greeks believed in,who became companiions of earth women because they liked the way they looked and had babies with them, makes me wonder just how far The History Channel will go to put something new on. Hogwash. - Paula

February 24 2011 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pawn Stars is great because it is also educational. Being in the antique and collectibles business I can learn from these guys.
Enjoyable show and they interact so well. Not your typical reality show.

July 11 2010 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We;ve visited this store BEFORE there "as seen on TV" status....it has stayed real, and we have seen the refurbished barber chair (AWESOME) and the weird gold death clock.....LOL! Got me a chummley sticker and saw the boys. Interesting piece of Americana. We make the trek up thr road from Freamont St. whenever we are in vegas.....which is as often as possible! Check it out.....it's worth it :)

July 10 2010 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do anyone know where I can get in touch with the political badge man that was on a few weeks ago?

July 09 2010 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 09 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately the Who contract was a fake (it was a novelty item packaged with the albumn) so in this instance the pawn shop got taken.

July 08 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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