Pawn Stars is a Las Vegas-based reality show that revolves around what happens at World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The show’s premise and the characters made it an instant success. People loved tuning in to see the antics of Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumlee. The cast was just as entertaining as the things that people tried to pawn.
Austin Lee Russell
You may not recognize the name, Austin Lee Russell, but if you are a fan of Pawn Stars, you will recognize his other name, Chumlee. He was the guy who you could always count on to make you laugh.
Chumlee’s Early Life
Chumlee grew up in Nevada, and he hated homework. He hated it so much that in high school, he paid other students to do his homework for him. It wasn’t long before he got tired of paying people to do his homework, and he dropped out of school instead.
It wasn’t just his grades and hate of homework that made Chumlee hate school. It was also his nickname. Chumlee may sound like a fun name, but the reason he got it wasn’t very flattering. The name came from a cartoon called, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. There was a fat walrus on the show named Chumley, which is where the name came from. Kids can be really mean.
Corey Harrison, aka Big Hoss, has been friends with Chumlee since childhood. Growing up, the two hung out at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, which is owned and operated by Corey’s dad, Rick Harrison. Because the two spent so much time there, Chumlee was hired to work at the store when he was 21-years-old.
For the first five years that Chumlee worked at the pawnshop, it was boring, and He was forced to do menial tasks all day, which wasn’t very glamorous. After five years, the cameras showed up, making the job much more glamorous. Who doesn’t want to be on TV?
With each season, the show became more and more popular. This meant that Chumlee became more well-known. He was always there to provide some comic relief and offer a few laughs. Some even said that he made the show.
Chumlee’s interests were evident when you watched the show. He was very interested in rap, sneakers, pinball machines, and video games. Each of these things may be interesting, but they don’t really make for wise investments.
Chumlee has made his fair share of mistakes on the show, and most people find them funny. Unfortunately, he was making mistakes even before the cameras started rolling. While helping set up the shop, he leaned a base guitar against a shelf, and it fell. The guitar broke into pieces, and it cost the shop $20,000. That’s a pretty expensive mistake. Oddly enough, his mishaps made him and the show even more famous.
When Chumlee became famous, he had to bring a bodyguard when he went out in public. He also came up with his own personalized brand of merchandise with his personal assistant. His products were so popular that the rest of the cast started following suit. Despite their best efforts, nobody sold as much of their own merchandise as Chumlee. He even launched his own candy shop on the Vegas strip.
When Chumlee’s father died from pancreatic cancer, he decided to make several lifestyle changes. He started a diet and exercise plan, and he was successful. His transformation was jaw-dropping. He lost a total of 75 pounds.
Chumlee started dating a chef from the Stack Restaurant and Bar at the Mirage named Tanya Hijazi. Chumlee asked her to marry him, and she said yes. The couple celebrated with the whole Pawn Stars gang.
The Trouble Begins
In 2016, things started going downhill for Chumlee. It began when someone filed a sexual assault charge against him, but the charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. After that was behind him, the trouble kept coming. During the first investigation, Chumlee’s home was raided. During the search, the police didn’t find anything to help with the case, but they did make other discoveries. They found marijuana, a gun, and crystal meth. These things put Chumlee on the police’s radar. During another search of his home, the police found 11 firearms, and only four were registered. They found cocaine as well, and Chumlee was arrested.
Chumlee had 20 felony charges against him. Goodbye Pawn Stars; Chumlee pleads guilty. He plead guilty to many counts of unlawful weapons possession, drug possession, and attempted misdemeanor. He didn’t get any prison time, but he was placed on probation for a year. If he could behave, the felonies would be expunged from his record. He also had to go to counseling.