Reality TV Shows ‘Pawn Stars’ and Hardcore Pawn’ in Ugly Feud

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Reality TV Shows ‘Pawn Stars’ and Hardcore Pawn’ in Ugly Feud

A feud has broken out between the casts of television's two most popular pawn shop reality shows!

The shows are "Pawn Stars," set in Las Vegas and seen on the History Channel, and "Hardcore Pawn," set in Detroit and seen on Tru TV.

"Pawn Stars" is the top-rated pawn shop-themed reality show on American television, and is one of the top-rated shows in all of cable television in the USA.

The show chronicles the day-to-day activities at the family-owned Gold and Silver Pawn, a pawn shop located in a blighted and seedy neighborhood on Las Vegas Boulevard at the end of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Three generations of the Harrison family--grandpa Richard, father Rick and son Corey--run the shop, and the show focuses mainly on historical items that are brought in for sale.

With the success of "Pawn Stars," TV's first pawn shop reality show, copycat shows emerged.


None achieved anywhere near the success of "Pawn Stars" except for "Hardcore Pawn," which is cable television's second-most popular pawn shop reality show and also a top-rated show on cable TV.

"Hardcore Pawn" chronicles the day-to-day activities at American Jewelry and Loan, a family-owned pawn shop located in a blighted and seedy neighborhood near Detroit's infamous 8 Mile Road.

The shop is run by Les Gold and his son, Seth, and daughter, Ashley.

And though many critics accuse "Hardcore Pawn" of being a hardcore rip-off of "Pawn Stars," the shows are vastly different.

While "Pawn Stars" features mostly items of historical or pop cultural interest, such as war memorabilia or autographed items, "Hardcore Pawn" features a much wider range of items brought in for pawn or sale, such as gold teeth, artificial limbs and live animals.

In one noted episode of "Hardcore Pawn," Les bought a used and oddly-shaped gynecologist's examination table for $50 and then turned around and sold it a few minutes later for $500.

In another notable episode, a woman came into American Jewelry and Loan to pawn a gold tooth--that was still in her head!

"Hardcore Pawn" is a grittier and more realistic view of pawn shop life than "Pawn Stars," which is meant to be more educational.

But now, just like so many No. 1 vs. No. 2 battles that have erupted over the years--think Avis and Hertz, Macy's and Gimbel's, Coke and Pepsi--cable TV's top two pawn shop shows are at war!

And it's apparently been brewing for a while.

Appearing Tuesday afternoon on Playboy Radio, a channel on Sirius XM satellite radio, Les Gold was promoting his show when he was asked if he had any relationship with the cast of "Pawn Stars."

Gold replied that he tried to visit them when he went to Las Vegas, but was snubbed.

He then took a nasty pot shot at the physical appearance of the Harrisons, who are all famously overweight.

"We went there once, called them we were coming, and they never waited for us," Gold said. "I think they're scared of us. We're badder than they are. And more fit."

By Tom Somach Staff Writer


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