It gets dark too early. I don’t watch any news or professional sports, I’m current on The Mandalorian and Yellowstone which leaves me triple D, reruns of Law & Order or SVU, Counting Cars or Pawn Stars.
Off and on, I’ve watched Pawn Stars since sometime in 2009. I have enjoyed a few episodes. In January of 2010, a crew of us went to Vegas. Poe & I had seen Pawn Stars. Mikey Thompson and Fred Slater had not. We walked from The Strip to Fremont Street. We stopped at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. It was around 10 am. Not much traffic yet, but the Old Man was sitting at the desk playing solitaire, Rick was on the phone and Big Hoss and Chumlee were posing for pics and signing a few autographs. Big Hoss & Chumlee were large mammals. The place was remarkably small. In 2019, Duke was in Vegas and went there as well. He says that it is smaller than you expect.
Nonetheless, I still like to watch it from time to time. You might learn something. Or you might just be a bit jealous as they got to shoot a tank or a flamethrower or a cannon. No matter, there is some cool stuff.
But, when you stop and think about the show and the economics…..ka ching! There are a bunch of checks being cashed by that crew.
They are getting paid to be on the show. But they are also increasing revenue stream from other sources. Rick Harrison has a production crew that helps make the show. And they are generating traffic for the store. And they are selling shirts and paraphernalia from the store. And they are generating revenue from people that WANT to buy from the store. And bringing in exposure for people that WANT to sell to the store. And they help back other spin-off shows like Counting Cars. The show is a borderline monopoly and has a timeless feel to it. I mean, people are always going to be coming up with cool stuff to sell.
I just wished that they showed some more of the “pawn” side of the business. You know, the “real word” side of a pawn shop. Like some poor soul putting their inherited Rolex watch up for pawn, in order to get some more cash to spend on gambling, drugs or maybe a hooker or three.
I’d maybe like to see an episode of somebody buying a Ninja sword and during the bartering, the buyer says “Rick, I’ll give you the $9,000 that you are asking if you can show me some provenance that proves that this wasn’t some crack addicts’ last item, that he pawned to you, which in turn he used to buy his last hit of meth that ended his life.”
Or better yet, here’s my mom’s brother’s cancelled check who was an uncle to Marilyn and the cashed check signed by JFK to pay off that uncle to never show those pics from that weekend.
Rick–“This could be priceless. Let me call a buddy.”
Seller–“Nah, I don’t have time for you to call a buddy. Just give me $20K. I’m bidding on a goat online and need the money pronto.”
Rick–“So, since it’s online, that means you aren’t bidding at Friday Night Fever and it must be in extended bidding……….so you’ll take $8K?”
Seller–“Dude! It’s not a Stork, BTW or Shrank goat in Texas. It’s just a goat in Illinois. Now, if it was Friday Night Fever, I couldn’t agree to this deal. I would need $100k. Yes, we are in extended bidding so give me $10K!”
Rick–“Okay. $10K. Step over and let’s do some paperwork before you pull your head out of your ass and you change your mind.”
Not sure this has ever happened but I would like to see the other side of the “pawn” business.
If you can’t tell, this is kind of like that Styx song, I’ve had too much time on my hands.