Pawn Stars first premiered in 2009. The History Channel show has only gotten more popular in the past decade! However, not all is going well for one of the biggest stars on the show… Is Chumlee okay?
The Star Of The Show
The show takes place in Las Vegas. Needless to say, the cast of the show is what makes it so fun to watch. Chumlee, real name Austin Lee Russell, is always a hoot to watch. He is quite the character.
Not The Best Student In High School
Let us first talk about what childhood was like for this funny guy. This Nevada native had a rather rough time back then. One reason was the fact that he was not really good at school.
He Never Graduated
In fact, he even paid his fellow students to do his homework for him back in high school. In the end, he dropped out. We have a feeling that this was not all that surprising for the people who knew him.
The Story Behind It
The academic difficulties were not the only thing that made it hard for him when he was a young guy. Even though his nickname might sound cute, it was not given to him for a good reason.
Cute Nickname But Cruel Intentions
It was actually a reference to the ‘60s cartoon show called Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. If you are not familiar with the program, you should know that it had a fat walrus called “Chumley”.
Friends From Childhood
We know that it sounds bad, but he at least had someone he could rely on during those years. He knew that Corey Harrison always had his back. They are still friends and now work on Pawn Stars together.
A Friendship With Employment Benefits
When they were younger, they spent a lot of time at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. It is owned by Rick, who is Corey’s father. When Chumlee was 21 years old, he started to work there on a fulltime basis.
Not What He Expected
While you need a certain precision if you work at a pawn shop, it involves more menial work than anything else. Trust us, it would be wrong to think that it is a glamorous career.
Five Short Years Later
It was a good thing that the show would begin only five years after Chumlee started working at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop! We are sure that he enjoyed working more when there were cameras rolling.
Can’t Help It
The show started to be more famous and successful with each season. Chumlee often found himself in the comic relief role. It came naturally to him since he liked to joke around and make people laugh.
Not The Best Buys
Anyone who watches the show will know that he is interested in rap, sneakers, pinball, and video games. After all, he liked to buy these things even if they were not always good for the business.
Making Many Mistakes
He makes a lot of mistakes, but he is not doing this for the camera since this regularly happened before the show started. Once, he put a $20,000 stand-up bass against a shelf. It fell and shattered into pieces.
Popularity For His Mishaps
The other cast members like to tease him for making these silly errors. On Pawn Stars, this has actually become something of a trend. Many people found this tendency of his to be an endearing trait.
Quite The Popular Guy
When the show was starting out, he must have gotten overwhelmed by all the publicity. Chumlee even got a bodyguard to keep them safe when the cast of the show had to make appearances in public!
Enjoying The Fame
He initially liked the attention, however. He and his personal assistant then started to work on their own line of personalized merch. The other members of the cast started to do the same thing not long after.
Despite their efforts, they failed to make as much money as Chumlee managed to earn. We guess this is a bonus when you are the most famous member of your team. He also has a candy shop in Las Vegas!
Quite The Private Person
He is not the kind of person who would openly discuss his finances. However, we do know that he got $155k in 2010. This was the money he received after selling half of his Gold & Silver shares to Rick.
Surprisingly Business Minded
Why did he do such a thing? Apparently, he wanted to focus on selling merch instead. As you can see, this is one bumbler who knew how to conduct business. You should not underestimate Chumlee Russell!
Time To Make A Change
He has also shown his desire to improve himself in a couple of other ways. Two weeks before Pawn Stars premiered on TV, something terrible happened. Let us find out what fate had in store for Chumlee.
A Healthier Lifestyle
In 2009, his father died at the age of 54. He died of pancreatic cancer, and everyone knew that Chumlee was not a fit person whatsoever. The death of his old man was what he needed to start living healthily.
The Mind And Soul
He started to eat a healthier diet and began to exercise on the regular. He got a membership to the gym and started to do yoga. That aside, he also liked mindfulness and meditation for his mind and soul.
Taking The Necessary Steps
He came up with a good plan to achieve the goals he wanted. He went to the gym six times in a week, drank fruit smoothies, and avoided eating red meat. Are you ready to see what the result looked like?
It led to an incredible transformation that will surely impress you. In fact, this might be the push you need to start living a healthier life! We highly recommend doing the same things that he did.
Healthy And Happy
The metamorphosis happened in a short span of time. He managed to look very different between 2012 and 2013. He lost a lot of weight during that time period. The results will leave you breathless!
A Major Change
If you wanted to hear the specific amount, he shed off 75 pounds. He does not just look healthier, but he looks happier too. Look at him! This new development truly changed a lot of things in his life.
Turning His Life Around
After losing weight, many people cannot wait to finally put on the clothes they once outgrew. This was not the case here. For Chumlee, the most exciting bit was finally taking a ride on the hovercraft!
That was the time that he started to date Tanya Hyjazi as well. She works at the STACK Restaurant & Bar as a chef. We are glad to hear that he is truly changing his life for the better in more ways than one.
The two also got engaged! He finally got the courage to ask her to marry him and give her a ring. They celebrated it twice. One time each at the Royal Hawaiian Resort and the Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
The Whole Gang
During the event, the two of them had been surrounded by their friends and family members. Of course, it was a no-brainer that Corey and Rick Harrison, his costars on Pawn Stars, would be there.
Where Things Went Wrong
With that in mind, not one soul there thought that things would go wrong for him. The truth came to light in March 2016. This was the first sign of trouble. What could they have possibly wrong?
All Charges Were Dropped
At the time, he was on the suspect list for a sexual assault case. The charges were actually made by an employee of the shop. However, it eventually got dropped because there was insufficient evidence.
Just The Beginning
While he got out of that mess, this was not the last time that he would need to deal with the law. It looks like he just could not stay away from legal troubles as time went on…
The Results Of A Police Raid
It all began when the police arrived at his house to raid his house for an investigation. While they did not see anything that was related to the original case, they found some interesting stuff among his things.
Illegal Substances Abound
The authorities found marijuana, crystal meth, and a gun in his house. Of course, these things were all contraband items. This gave them more than enough reason to deep digger into his very own home.
Even More Incriminating Things
They then conducted another raid of the house and turned up some more contraband things. They saw 11 firearms on the property. This was not that big of an issue until they learned only 4 were registered.
They found even more drugs in the house and even evidence that suggested cocaine use. It did not take them long to figure out what to do next. Of course, it was only a matter of time before he got arrested.
At The Very Least
A few months later, Chumlee found himself in a court with 20 separate charges of felony. This was not really all that comforting, but they were happy to hear that they did not see substantial evidence.
They also figured out that he had not been using the unregistered firearms for anything illegal. Of course, it would be much harder if the reverse was true. We are glad to hear that it went well!
Justice Being Served
In the end, he pled guilty to unlawful weapons possession, attempted misdemeanor, and drug possession. It is believed that he did that so that he can avoid serving time in prison. He was also put on a one-year probation.
The Worst Is Behind Him
If he obeys the rules of the probation in a year, he would only have the misdemeanor charge on his record. The only other thing he needed to do was to go to counseling. That does not sound bad at all.
A Rough Patch
We are hopeful that his bad luck is going to run out sometime soon. Do you think that the scandal is going to affect his career in any way? From the way things look, this does not seem to be the case.
A Hard Year
In one interview near the end of 2016, he finally talked to his fans about everything he had to deal with. This reality TV star said that it had truly been a tough year for him.
Thanking His Supporters
He also thanked them for their never-ending support during times like that one. He even said that he would not have made it through all that if it were not for their kind and warm messages.
This was a photo he uploaded on Instagram with the caption, “I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to all my amazing fans that come and see me daily at @chums_candy – Thank you all for all the amazing love you show me”.
The Fate Of Pawn Stars
We bet you want to know how Pawn Stars is doing as well. In those days, people had been wondering what was in store for the reality TV show. They wanted to hear if it was going to get the ax or not.
Back To Normal
We want you to know that the reality TV show is still ongoing! You might also be glad to hear that Chumlee continues to be involved with it. We sure hope that things will return to normal for this guy.
When he had to sort out his issues with the law, he took a break from Pawn Stars. Back then, he wanted to spend his time on self-improvement. He wanted to better himself both physically and mentally.
When it comes to Pawn Stars, there is nothing to worry about. It recently aired its 500th episode. Chumlee posted this on Instagram. The caption read, “Come celebrate our 500th episode Monday night on History [channel]. This is something we could not have done without you!!!! Thank you!!!”.
Thanks To Chumlee
We are fairly confident that Pawn Stars would not be this successful if Chumlee had not been on the cast. After all, this guy has a great personality that will always appeal to the viewers.
The show has been doing so well that History decided to make a couple of spin-offs of it. There are 9 shows now: Counting Cars, Cajun Pawn Stars, Pawnography, Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Stars: Pumped Up, Pawn Stars UK, Hardcore Pawn: Chicago, Pawn Queens, and Pawn Stars Australia.
Money, Money, Money
We are sure that you have figured out that he is one loaded guy. With the show, businesses, and public appearances, he has made a fortune over the years. He paid $1.5 million for his Las Vegas mansion.
Back And Better Than Ever
We just hope that he returns to his regular state in no time. The reality TV star strayed a little in the past, but it looks like he has finally made his comeback. We hope that he has learned from the past!
A Stable Life
At the moment, he is focusing on improving himself every single day of the year. We bet that this is easier now that he has a stable home life with his spouse and dog. Stability is great for times like this.
If you watch Pawn Stars, you do not need to worry because Chumlee is not going anywhere! However, he does seem to get into new businesses every month or so. We are glad to hear that he is doing well!
“Pawn Stars” is the second most-watched reality show in America! In fact, “Jersey Shore” used to be in the first place, with “Pawn Stars” right behind it. Today, “Pawn Stars” keeps its spot at number two.
Had To Hire New Employees
The stars of the show aren’t able to work behind the counter of the shop anymore due to strict privacy laws. Since they’ve become famous, fans and tourists are constantly coming into the store to take pictures of them. This puts the privacy of whoever is working at the counter at risk.
PBS did a special on the pawnshop before the show was even created. Of course, this made business soar. Because of this, Rick started to pursue the idea of doing a reality show. HBO were the first to show interest in the idea, so they developed a pilot. However, their focus was on the negative aspects of the shop which the employees didn’t like. The show ended up with The History Channel but it took off in a very different direction.
They Hired Help
Since they became famous, Corey and Chumlee hired their very own personal assistants. Corey once said, “I do a lot of desert racing. My assistant empties out the septic tank of the trailer when I go! It’s a little weird asking somebody to do that for you.” Hey, at least he’s being honest about the work.
Since Corey and Chumlee have been friends for a while, Corey has more than enough embarrassing stories about his buddy. One of which is about the infamous bass incident. According to Corey, what happened was that after a customer came in to pawn a stand-up bass, Chumlee leaned it against a shelf and walked away. The bass fell accidentally and shattered into pieces. Chumlee put all the pieces into a box labeled with the pawn number. When the customer returned to pick it up, he understandably was very angry. “He started freaking out,” Corey said. “He pawned it for $700, and it ended up costing us $20,000 because it was rare.” Chumlee was so embarrassed by this and had no real explanation to give.
Other Business Ventures
If you happen to be a fan of “Pawn Stars”, you probably know that Rick has always been an ambitious entrepreneur. At one point, he purchased a Quizno’s Sub franchise! The shop was actually run by none other than Corey and Chumlee. However, it didn’t end up working out. Now, the team is hilariously famous for their love of Subway sandwiches.
Corey’s brother, Adam, used to work at the pawnshop at one point too, only it didn’t last too long. He had no interest in being on the show. He also didn’t want to dedicate his entire career to working in the shop. Today, Adam works as a full-time plumber.
While the stars of the show are known for doing silly and sometimes questionable things on-air, Chumlee has done the most dangerous thing yet. He tested out a blunderbuss. AKA a super old type of gun. “A flame shot out, and I did get burned up my arm.” We hope this experience taught him a lesson!
The show was initially meant to be named something else entirely. “Pawn Stars” was signed on to be titled “Pawning History”. That is until an employee of the production company suggested that they change the title of the show.
As it turns out, “Pawn Stars” isn’t only popular in the United States. It’s become an internationally-loved show. At the moment, it’s airing in an array of different countries all over the world, including countries like Singapore and Serbia. In Germany, the show is called “Die Drei vom Pfandhaus”, which translates to, “The Three of the Pawnshop”.
Various Tastes In Entertainment
Chumlee has a wide variety of TV shows he loves and can’t live without. He never misses a new episode of “Boardwalk Empire,” “Sons of Anarchy“ and “Breaking Bad.” On the other hand, Rick has a different take on how he chooses to spend his free time. He prefers reading than sitting in front of the TV. “Television is so mind-numbing to me,” he said, for someone who stars on a TV show, that’s a pretty bold thing to say.
Bon Jovi Loves Them
It’s not every day that you become famous enough to catch the eye of Bon Jovi and his family and they request to meet you. Jon Bon Jovi once requested for the “Pawn Stars” crew to meet him and his family backstage at one of his concerts. They went to the meet and greet since Bon Jovi’s kids are big fans of the show. Chumlee said, “He gave us front row tickets. That was pretty cool. When does Bon Jovi personally invite you to his show?”
No Longer Welcome In Public
Ever since the show aired, Rick said he often gets kicked out of garage sales and swap meets. The reason for that is because people are worried he’ll catch onto something that’s worth a lot of money. That or he’ll try to negotiate the prices down as low as possible. He said that as soon as people recognize him, they take away the items he had his eye on.
Chumlee Loves Shoes
Other than working at the pawnshop and his candy shop, Chumlee has another hobby on the side you might not have heard about. He loves collecting shoes. At the moment, he owns well over 200 pairs of shoes. His collection grows more and more every day.
The Show Impedes On Business
When the cast shoots an episode of the show, the store has to be closed. A lot of times, they lose out on a lot of business because of these delays. Not only does filming get in the way of interacting with customers, but with making sales as well. Not to mention that a large number of fans and tourists tend to visit Las Vegas and venture into the store just to meet the stars of the show.