Pawn Stars first came to the small screen in 2009. The History Channel show has only gotten more popular since then! However, it seems like not everything is going well for one of the biggest stars of the show. Let’s find out what exactly Chumlee is facing right now.
The Star Of The Show
The Las Vegas-based reality show owes a huge chunk of its success to the cast members. We are sure that you have heard of Austin Lee Russell. Better known as Chumlee, this is one guy who you can count on when you need a laugh or two.
Not The Best Student In High School
Before we talk about what is going on in his life, let’s talk about what life was like for him when he was a young man. Back then, this Nevada native was not a star student at all.
He Never Graduated
In fact, he had a tendency to pay his fellow students to work on his homework during his high school years! We seriously doubt that his peers were surprised to hear the news that he dropped out instead.
The Story Behind It
It was not just his academic affairs that made things hard. His nickname also kind of sucked. We know that Chumlee might sound nice to the ears, but he did not get it for a flattering reason.
Cute Nickname But Cruel Intentions
We bet you want to know how he landed that nickname in the first place. Apparently, it came from a cartoon called Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. Chumley was a stout walrus on the show! We bet it hurt to get called that.
Friends From Childhood
We are glad that he was not exactly a loner. For one thing, he at least had a childhood friend who was always there to help him out. It was none other than his future Pawn Stars co-star, Corey Harrison!
A Friendship With Employment Benefits
The two of them liked to hang out at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, which was operated by Rick Harrison, Corey’s dad. There were some benefits to the friendship they had. For one thing, Chumlee started to work at the store at the age of 21.
Not What He Expected
It was true that you needed a certain kind of precision when you work at the pawn shop. Still, it was primarily menial work. This was not a glamorous job whatsoever, so you should keep that in mind.
Five Short Years Later
Together with the rest of the Gold & Silver team, he landed on the small screen only five years after he started working there. We are willing to bet that he much prefers working with the cameras on him.
Can’t Help It
The show continued to earn more fame and success with each season that they filmed. Chumlee found himself in the comic relief role. He is always there to make jokes and earn a laugh out of everyone.
Not The Best Buys
His interests came through when it comes to the things that he liked to look at on the show. He was very interested in rap, pinball, sneakers, and video games! There is no denying that these things are all fascinating, but it is not always wise to invest in them.
Making Many Mistakes
Did you know that Chumlee makes quite a lot of mistakes on the show? To be fair, they say that this happened even before Pawn Stars was on the air. There was a time when he rested a stand-up bass against a shelf, only for it to fall and then break into fragments! It cost them $20,000.
Popularity For His Mishaps
The other cast members actually like to poke fun at him for those mishaps. Anyone who watches the show will know that he is pretty consistent about these things. This was what made him such a huge hit among the fans of Pawn Stars!
Quite The Popular Guy
In the beginning, Chumlee actually began to get so famous that he brought in a bodyguard for the times they appeared in public. If you ask us, this is enough proof that someone has made it big!
Enjoying The Fame
During the early days, he enjoyed the attention that they were giving him. He and his personal assistant even worked on his own brand of personalized merch. The rest of the cast followed in his footsteps.
You should know that no one managed to beat Chumlee when it comes to sales, however. It seems like he truly is the most popular Pawn Stars cast member! He also launched a candy shop on the Vegas strip.
Quite The Private Person
Chumlee is not the type of person who would randomly disclose the amount of money he makes. What we do know is that he got $155,000 in 2010. He sold half of his Gold & Silver shares to Rick back then.
Surprisingly Business Minded
He decided to do this so that he can focus on selling his merchandise. You should not be fooled by all the bumbler tendencies he has. As you can see, he has quite a lot of business sense as well.
Time To Make A Change
Apart from that, he has also started to work on himself in a number of ways. Two weeks before Pawn Stars came on the air, tragedy struck in his personal life. Let’s find out what happened.
A Healthier Lifestyle
In 2009, his father died of pancreatic cancer at the young age of 54. Chumlee himself was not a fit person whatsoever. The death of his father was the push he needed to start living a healthier lifestyle.
The Mind And Soul
For starters, he started to get some exercise every single day. He mostly accomplishes this by going to the gym and doing yoga. When it comes to his mind and soul, he practices mindfulness and meditation.
Taking The Necessary Steps
As you can see, Chumlee had a great plan on how to reach his goals. He hit the gym 6 days out of 7, avoided red meat, and drank fruit smoothies every morning. Let’s see if he accomplished his dreams…
It was a pretty intense health plan. The good thing about is that it resulted in a jaw-dropping transformation. Perhaps you should do the same thing if you are interested in doing the same thing!
Healthy And Happy
Chumlee pulled this off in only a year from 2012 to 2013. He managed to shed a lot of excess pounds in that span of time. We have to admit that we could not believe it ourselves.
A Major Change
Do you know how much weight he dropped? He shed 75 pounds in total. We are happy for him because he seems to be happier in general. This metamorphosis turned his life around for the better.
Turning His Life Around
We cannot deny that it can be euphoric to finally fit into old clothes after losing a significant amount of weight. However, this was not the best part of the transformation for Chumlee. Nope. For him, that would be the fact that he can finally ride the hovercraft!
Aside from that, he also started going out with Tanya Hyjazi, a chef working at the STACK Restaurant & Bar at the Mirage Casino. As you can see, he has been able to build and strengthen new relationships!
They recently got engaged. Yes, Chumlee finally got down on his knees and asked her the question! She said yes, and they celebrated the good news twice. Once at the Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki and another time at the Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas.
The Whole Gang
The couple celebrated the good news with their closest friends and family members. Of course, it would not have been complete if Corey and Rick Harrison, his friends and Pawn Stars costars, were not there!
Where Things Went Wrong
With these things in mind, no one thought that things would begin to fall apart for Chumlee. It was in May 2016 that the first sign of trouble appeared. Are you ready to hear what happened?
All Charges Were Dropped
It was the time that he was a suspect in a sexual assault investigation. What made it worse was that the allegation was made by someone in the shop. The case got dropped because of insufficient evidence.
Just The Beginning
While that case ended as well as it could for him, that was certainly not the last time he got in trouble with the law. After he got charged, he found himself in hot water once more…
The Results Of A Police Raid
This time, the investigation happened after they raided his home. It gave him a lot of problems! They did not see anything that would help them with the case, although they did make a number of discoveries.
Illegal Substances Abound
The authorities discovered marijuana, a gun, and crystal meth in his house! As you can imagine, these contraband items gave the police officers more than enough reasons to keep an eye on the TV star.
Even More Incriminating Things
They conducted another raid and turned up more illegal things. To be specific, they were worried about the 11 firearms they found. It would be fine if they were all registered. However, only 4 of them were.
Not only that, but they saw even more drugs in his things. Aside from that, the police officers also saw evidence that suggested cocaine use. What was going to happen next? Well, he got arrested, of course.
At The Very Least
A couple of months after this happened, Chumlee had 20 felony counts to his name. He must have been relieved to hear that the court did not have any substantial evidence to go with them.
For one thing, the firearms in his house did not seem to be involved in anything illegal. If they were, things would have been a lot worse for him. He can at least take comfort in that!
Justice Being Served
The TV star pled guilty to the counts of unlawful weapons possession, drug possession, and attempted misdemeanor. This got him out of prison time, even though he would be placed on probation for a year.
The Worst Is Behind Him
All Chumlee has to do is to behave properly during this time. If he did that, the misdemeanor charge will be the only thing to appear on his record. He is also required to go through counseling.
A Rough Patch
Could this be the end of his bad luck? We shall see. However, it is important to know if the scandal made things any different for his career. We are glad to say that this does not seem to be the case!
A Hard Year
During an interview in 2016, the TV star talked to his fans about everything that he was going through at the time. Chumlee talked about how rough of a year it had been for him.
Thanking His Supporters
Aside from that, he managed to show his gratitude to fans who gave him the support he needed. If it were not for them and their messages, there was no way he could have gone through all of that.
Chumlee went on Instagram to post this photo. The caption read, “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
Let’s first find out what the fate of Pawn Stars is. In the past, a lot of people speculated about what was next for the show. Did it get canceled? Or did they renew it?
Back To Normal
If you are a fan of the show, you must be relieved to hear that it is still on the air. Moreover, Chumlee is still on the cast as well. We hope that everything returns to normal soon enough.
Chumlee had to go on a break from Pawn Stars when he was sorting through his legal issues. At the time, he chose to focus on himself. We are sure that this was the best thing to do at the time.
Pawn Stars is doing quite amazingly to this day. In fact, they recently celebrated the 500th episode. This was the caption Chumlee added to his Instagram post: “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
Chumlee is a huge part of the show’s success. Pawn Stars would not be this big if it were not for him! He has a kind heart and lively personality that have proven to be popular among the viewers.
The show has done so well that History made several spin-offs. Here are the 9 series it spawned: Counting Cars, Cajun Pawn Stars, Pawn Stars: Pumped Up, Pawnography, Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Queens, Pawn Stars Australia, Pawn Stars UK, and Harcore Pawn: Chicago.
Money, Money, Money
Chumlee has done very well for himself, hasn’t he? This is one guy who knows how to make money. We would love nothing more than to live in his Las Vegas mansion. It cost him $1.5 million, you know!
Back And Better Than Ever
We can only hope that everything soon returns to normal for Chumlee. The reality TV star might have gone down the wrong track in the past, but he has returned better and stronger than ever!
A Stable Life
Chumlee continues to work on improving himself every single day. He enjoys a stable home life with his adorable dog and lovely wife. We all know that stability is the key to a great life!
Chumlee might be a mainstay on the Pawn Stars cast, but he also tries out new business ventures every now and then. We are sure that he will be here to stay so make sure to keep your eyes on him!
Did you know that “Pawn Stars” is the number two most-watched reality show in North America? “Jersey Shore” used to hold the top spot, followed by “Pawn Stars” and it still stands strong at number two.
Had To Hire New Employees
The fan-favorites of “Pawn Stars” aren’t actually allowed to serve as real behind-the-counter employees anymore because of strict privacy laws. Since they’ve become so famous, fans and tourists are always coming into the store to take pictures of them, which puts the privacy of whoever is at the pawn counter at risk.
PBS did a special on the pawnshop, which of course, caused the business to jump. Rick started to pursue the idea of doing a reality show after this; HBO expressed interest first, and they developed a pilot, but their focus was on the negative aspects of the shop, which the employees didn’t want. The show ended up coming to fruition with The History Channel but took off in a completely different direction.
They Hired Help
Since their skyrocket rise to fame, Corey and Chumlee have hired their very own personal assistants. Corey once stated, “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.” At least he’s honest about the work!
Since Corey and Chumlee have been friends for so long, Corey has many embarrassing stories about his buddy. One of these stories goes into further detail about the bass incident. What happened from Corey’s perspective was that after a customer came in to pawn a stand-up bass, Chumlee leaned it against a shelf and walked away. By accident, the bass fell and shattered into pieces. Chumlee put the pieces into a box with the pawn number written on it. When the man came to pick it up, he opened the box and saw the surprise. As expected, “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 embarrassed by this and had no explanation to give.
Other Business Ventures
If you are a fan of “Pawn Stars”, you may know that Rick has always been an ambitious entrepreneur. At one point in time, he even went on to purchase a Quizno’s Sub franchise! Corey and Chumlee ran this shop together, but it eventually didn’t work out. The team is now hilariously famous for their love of Subway sandwiches.
Corey’s brother Adam used to work at the pawnshop, too — but it didn’t last very long. He was not interested in being on the show, and he also did not want to dedicate his entire career to working at the pawnshop. Adam works as a plumber for his full-time career, so I wouldn’t plan to see much of him.
The stars of the show are known for doing silly, and sometimes quite questionable, things on-screen. The most dangerous thing Chumlee has ever tested out was a blunderbuss, which is a super old type of gun. He said, “A flame shot out, and I did get burned up my arm.” We hope he learned his lesson!
The hit TV show was actually originally supposed to be called something different! “Pawn Stars” was originally signed on to be titled “Pawning History,” until an employee at the production company suggested that they change the title of the show to what it is famously known to be today. We think “Pawn Stars” is much better.
“Pawn Stars” isn’t just a popular TV show in America; in fact, it has become an internationally-loved television show. It is currently airing in dozens of countries around the world, including countries such as 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 pretty wide array of TV shows that he can’t live without. He always makes sure not to miss the newest episodes of “Boardwalk Empire,” “Sons of Anarchy“ and “Breaking Bad.” Rick, on the other hand, has a completely different outlook on how he wants to spend his free time. Instead of sitting in front of a television, Rick would rather be reading. “Television is so mind-numbing to me,” he boldly stated, for someone who stars on a TV show.
Bon Jovi Loves Them
It’s not every day that you’ve become such a big celeb that Bon Jovi and his family request to meet you! Jon Bon Jovi once requested to meet the famous “Pawn Stars” crew backstage at one of his concerts. They went to the meet and greet for the famous band because Bon Jovi’s children are huge fans of the hit show. Chumlee stated, “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
Since the show aired on television, Rick said that he often gets kicked out from a lot of garage sales and swap meets because people are worried he will catch onto something that’s worth a lot of money or that he will find the skills to negotiate prices down as low as possible. He said that right when people recognize him, they usually take away items he has his eye on!
Chumlee Loves Shoes
Did you know Chumlee has a side hobby other than his candy shop and working at the pawnshop? Yep, that’s right! Chumlee absolutely loves collecting shoes. He owns over 200 pairs of shoes, and his collection just keeps growing every day.
The Show Impedes On Business
When the cast of the show shoots an episode, the store has to close down, and often times they lose out on a lot of business because of these delays. Not only does filming for the show get in the way of interacting with customers and making business sales, but because of the high popularity of the series combined with how many tourists and fans are always visiting Las Vegas, most of the people that enter the pawnshop are not there to actually sell or buy anything, but rather, they’re there in hopes of meeting the stars.