Pawn Stars - Pawnography Casting Call - HISTORY.com
Pawnography - the game show that wants you to go home a crying sore loser. Yes, this is how the History channel program is billed.
Pawnography pits three stars from the hit reality show Pawn Stars - Gold and Silver Pawn shop owner Rick Harrison, his son Corey Harrison, and his long-time friend Chumlee (Ne, Austin Russell) - against two contestants who are vying to walk away with cash and/or prizes from Rick Harrison's pawn shop. But this isn't your average pawn shop selling stolen tools and jewelry, random used musical instruments, and old dvd movies that nobody watches anymore. Gold and Silver Pawn shop specializes in the unusual and antique, or very expensive and cool.
In every episode of Pawnography (a name randomly pronounced "punography" or even "pornography" depending on who is speaking), Rick Harrison puts up three of his most precious pawn shop possessions in a bid to best two contestants who appear to have been just pulled off the street and volunteered to appear on a game show. So these are not Jeopardy contestants appearing on tv in their best spiffies. But that doesn't mean they aren't smart contestants. The set for the show itself looks like the inside of a rather run-down pawn shop. The host looks and acts like Alec Trebek's exact opposite personality type. Pawnography is the anti-Jeopardy of trivia shows. They want you to lose, and they've put up their best trivia master to make sure that you do lose.
For the most part, this really is just another Jeopardy-like trivia game show. But in the end, the contestant who comes out on top against the other contestant plus the combo team of Corey Harrison and his friend Chumlee (who is the light-weight in trivia questions), is pitted against the combo team of Rick AND Corey AND Chumlee in a face-off match to see who is the trivia champion.
The interesting thing is that this is a blind competition. Each contestant (or team) is asked a serious of 10 trivia questions, but the opposition contestant or team has to stay in a sound-proof booth while the questions are being asked. So only the audience and host knows who did the best at answering the questions. Rick and the contestant then engage in a bidding war in which Rick (who has no idea how well he did versus his opponent), while being egged on by Corey and Chumlee, offers much smaller prizes in order to buy off his opponent and avoid losing the much larger amount. Corey and Chumlee sitting on the sidelines will try to goad the contestant into taking the smaller prize (such as a sum of cash and one of the smaller prizes from the pawn shop, but they usually just offer a small sum of cash such as $700, so the contestant will walk away without taking the whole bundle which can add up in value to as much as $20,000). The contestant will then offer a larger amount (bribe?) than Rick's offer to walk away from the main prize with at least something to show for the effort.
The set is rather dark and tawdry-looking, the contestants are rough-hewn pedestrian types - but in the long run, it makes for a really entertaining show. 5 out of 5 stars.
Here is the host of Pawnography: Christopher Titus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia