Denise Truscello / WireImage / DeniseTruscello.net
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.
The Week in “Pawn Stars”: One fractured hand. One night of tribute hosted by the San Francisco Giants. One Las Vegas Strip show opening. One TV game show announced.
Otherwise, it’s been fairly staid for the crew at Gold & Silver Pawn.
Austin “Chumlee” Russell, who was a focal point in a story I wrote about reality TV shows that we published this Sunday on the cover of The Sunday, was honored by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night. Chumlee is something of a Giants fan, though he allows, “I don’t know much about baseball.” He’s attended Giants games over the past three seasons, which means the Giants are his favorite team. Consequently, he was invited to assess items for fans before the Giants’ game against the Padres at AT&T Park.
This made for quite a celeb-laden Giants dugout before the first pitch, as Chumlee found himself in the company with members of Metallica (who took batting practice), former Giants Chief Operating Officer Peter Magowan and all-time homer king Barry Bonds.
Chumlee was presented with one of the Chumlee bobbleheads given to fans, which he says “will never replace the Jerry Garcia bobblehead I got a couple years ago” and chatted up Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who presented the “Pawn Stars” phenom with a signed, game-used bat.
One of the items sold to Gold & Silver Pawn is an actual, game-used Willie Mays uniform. “The whole getup,” as Chumlee says.
Chumlee also was given an S.F. game jersey, No. 82. Who is the famous Giant to have worn No. 82? Willie Nobody, actually. Chumlee chose 82 because he was born in 1982.
And on the topic of turning an age, we have reported about Corey Harrison’s motorcycle spill just ahead of his birthday party Saturday (I scrawled of this on Twitter on Monday, and Ubiquitous Robin Leach imparted the info in blog form Tuesday). As he was heading to his 31st birthday party at Rick Harrison’s house, Corey laid down his 1947 Knucklehead Chopper, a custom-designed bike that is a favorite among motorcycle aficionados across the country.
The fender mounts snapped and the “sissy” bar at the back of the bike thrust forward and struck Harrison in the back. He wound up going tea-over-teakettle at 45 mph, breaking two bones in his right hand and suffering a hematoma on his back.
This all happened about 3 p.m., but Harrison didn’t visit the emergency room until after midnight. Why?
“I played until about midnight,” he said during a phone interview Monday. “It was painful, but I didn’t want to hold up the party.”
Obviously, Harrison is lucky he was on a side street in the northwest and not on a freeway or interstate.
“I am counting my lucky stars about that,” he said. “It could have been way worse.”
The broken hand will be a storyline in the show, but Harrison is hiding it from the cameras now until producers and the Pawn Stars themselves are ready to incorporate the accident into the regular taping schedule. The show has recently signed a deal for 104 new episodes (two new episodes each week over 52 weeks next year), which means there will be no season breaks for the cast.
Meantime in the Universe of the Pawn, the stage show “Pawn Shop Live!” has moved to the Riviera after opening months ago at Golden Nugget, and yet another project is in the offing: “Pawnography,” a TV game show featuring Chumlee, Corey and Rick. This brain brawl begins filming May 18 in Las Vegas. This show is to air in the summer, also on History, and is produced by “Pawn Stars” production outfit Leftfield Pictures.
The show’s concept, which I’d noted in March, is a trivia challenge in which contestants compete against Chumlee, Corey and Rick for prizes belonging to Rick culled from the Gold & Silver collection. Questions are incrementally more difficult as you climb that trivial ladder, which is why Rick is the final star to beat and Chumlee is … not.
An open call for contestants for the show has been announced for Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Circus Circus. For info, email [email protected]. It should be quite the circus, twice over.
With its glass, star-lit exterior, visitors can't miss the Riviera when driving down the Strip. As the first high-rise to open on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring a nine-story hotel, the Riviera has seen more than 50 years as an entertainment destination in Las Vegas. Top bill acts like Liberace, Dean Martin and the long-running Splash revue (closed in 2006) have graced its showrooms over time.
The Riviera still offers its share of entertainment options with topless revue "Crazy Girls," a comedy club and "Illusions," starring Jan Rouven.
The 100,000-square foot casino has been featured in many films like "Casino," "Austin Powers" and "21." Although the hotel has passed through a long list of owners over the years it has always held on to it's unique theme (for Las Vegas) in that it lacks any particular theme. It also features a William Hill Race & Sports Book walk-up betting window right off the sidewalk on the Strip.
The Riviera has dining options well covered, from seafood and steaks at R Steak and Seafood, a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare at Banana Leaf Café to an international cuisine at the R Buffet.