The Vegas Take guest Rick Harrison has the most successful reality television show, Pawn Stars. A Las Vegas local, Harrison says that when he pitched the show, he hoped to get a few seasons to help his business temporarily. He never imagined it would take off and that he would be on television in one hundred fifty countries in thirty-eight languages. 

 

This week on the show, hosts Brian Shapiro and JD Sharp have been talking about the horrible tragedy and passing of NBA player and legend Kobe Bryant. Shapiro brings up the fake autographs and memorabilia that he sees online. He asks Harrison about his experience confirming legitimacy of items and finding fake memorabilia, specifically the way people handle tragedy and differentiating the real from the not. Harrison says that he sees this all the time, people will make fake certificates of authenticity. Harrison says that unless a certificate says PSA or it’s by Beckett Authentications, he won’t touch the items. Those are the only two he trusts. Shapiro asks Harrison what advice he would give to those who are getting scammed. Harrison says to do the research. He says, for example, to not purchase memorabilia on eBay from a user with only three ratings or reviews. IF you buy anything, make sure one of the only two authentication companies that he trusts, show the authenticity. 

 

Shapiro then asks Harrison who was the most famous person he met, that he had always wanted to meet, and was able to do so because of his show. Harrison says he has met so many people over the years working for the show, such as Mark Levin, who is now a friend, and rock stars. He says how weird it has to become a celebrity for his career, how he didn’t become famous until he was in his 40’s, and that over the years he has met just about everybody. Harrison says it’s a lot of different, interesting people, from different walks of life. It’s amazing how many people go to his store on a regular basis that would never walk into a pawn store to begin with. They go because of being a fan of Harrison, wanting to try and meet him or get a photo with him. Harrison says he gets over three thousand people a day in his pawnshop, mostly as a non-gaming tourist attracting in Las Vegas. 

 

Shapiro asks Harrison about his upcoming History Con, taking place April 3-5 at the Pasadena Convention Center. For the 25th Anniversary of the History Channel, History Con is like Comic Con, with talent from the different shows on History Channel like Danny Koker from Counting Cars, and people from Swamp People, American Pickers, interactive history exhibits, historian’s speaking, authors, and panels talking to the audience about American history. Harrison says it will be a very fun, nerdy, weekend. Shapiro, a self-proclaimed nerd, hopes to be in attendance.

 

Shapiro then asks Harrison about the stereotype of reality shows, and how the idea is that reality shows are all scripted, and how much of Pawn Stars is scripted, if any at all. Harrison says that literally any items he films with, he doesn’t see until right as they start filming. He says he has an idea of what is going to be on the show since they do have to filter out things, not wanting the same stuff repeated. Harrison shares that the only thing he’s seen prior to filming is a two inch by two inch picture of the item, and that is all he gets to see before he meets the item. Sometimes they have to stop filming for him to check different things, but for the most part everything is as you see it on the show. This is one of the reasons for the success of the show, because it is so real. It’s a really cool show, and most of the show is real, and unscripted; as confirmed by lead and host Rick Harrison. 

Rachael Edlow

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