'Pawn Stars' Hero Chumlee: 'Corey Lost 30 Pounds'
By Matthew Shepatin Posted Aug 16th 2010 04:13PM
Big Hoss just might be downgrading to Little Hoss. Corey Harrison (above left), star of unlikely cable hit 'Pawn Stars,' has shed 20 to 30 pounds, says longtime best friend and co-star Chumlee.
"Everybody will be surprised to see how good Corey looks," Chumlee tells PopEater. "He's looking fit these days. It's a noticeable difference." Viewers got their first glimpse at the new, slimmed-down Corey Monday night, when two new episodes from the third season brought the show back for the first time since July 12.
While Big Hoss's waistline is shrinking, the opposite is true of the reality show. 'Pawn Stars' captures the wild-and-wooly world of a Vegas pawn shop run by Richard Harrison and his sons, Rick and Corey, along with Chumlee, and it couldn't get much hotter, averaging 5.5 million viewers per episode so far this season. Read on for our exclusive Q&A!
The show's giant following has had an unforeseen effect on the Harrisons' shop, Gold and Silver Pawn, turning it into one of Sin City's hottest new tourist destinations. The Golden Nugget hotel-casino brags that it's only a half mile down the strip from the pawn shop, not the other way around.
In short: They used to come to Las Vegas to see Frank, Dino and Sammy, and now they come to see Chumlee. We chatted with the lovable, super-sized clown about his love for Snooki, why the Old Man is always busting his chops and Corey's dramatic weight loss.
You say Corey lost around 30 pounds. How was he able to do it?
Working out and eating right. A combination of both will work miracles. He's been going to the gym five days a week. So, dedication and hard work.
Have you noticed a change in his eating habits?
Oh yeah. He tries to stay away from the fast food. Instead of eating at Roberto's, which is a local taco shop, he'll go to a cafe and get a turkey or chicken breast and some vegetables.
Has Corey's weight loss inspired you to go on a diet?
Of course it has. I just don't know if I have the dedication. I'm way out of shape. I'm beyond out of shape. I've been working out a couple of times a week. Nothing major.
'Pawn Stars' is one of the country's top-rated cable shows, yet you don't get nearly the amount of coverage as shows like 'True Blood' and 'Jersey Shore.' Does that bother you?
No. We get the appreciation from everybody and that's all that really matters. It's kind of a good thing not having people following you around everywhere you go.
Most people would be shocked to learn that 'Pawn Stars' is just as popular among adults ages 25-54 as 'Jersey Shore.' How do you explain it?
It's one of the rare shows that young people can watch with their parents. It also gives everyone an opportunity to laugh and have a good time while they're learning.
Does this mean young people like Chumlee as much as Snooki?
I got nothing but love for Snooki. She's doing her thing. You can't be mad at her.
How about The Situation?
That's my man there. He's doing his thing, too. I'm all about my GTL [gym, tan, laundry] all day, every day.
What would happen if you and Corey hung out for a few days on the Jersey Shore with the whole gang?
Oh, you know. We would go creepin' with them down the boardwalk. What else are you going to do?
You could get fall-down drunk in the middle of the day with Snooki.
Oh, no. I don't think I would partake in the drinking. I'd watch them get belligerent and act the fool. I like watching drunk people when I'm sober.
How has the show affected your relationship with Corey?
Corey and I have been friends for the better part of 15 years. We've had our ups and downs. There's nothing that could break us apart. We're working a lot more and don't have as much time to hang out now, but he's still my best friend. I know he's always there for me and he knows I'm always there for him.
What's been the impact of the show on the shop?
It's crazy now. We do a customer a minute. That's an average of a thousand customers a day. It's big change from when we had 200 customers a day.
How has being on the show changed your life?
Ten years ago, I was just a regular guy working in a pawn shop. Now I have my own bobblehead.
Did you say your own bobblehead?
Oh yeah. We have plenty of Chumlee merchandise. Several different styles of shirts, Chumlee shot glasses, Chumlee coffee cups, Chumlee golf balls, Chumlee cigar cutters.
How does it feel to suddenly be this pop culture icon?
Sometimes I'll be in the back and I'll hear a hundred people in the store room chanting "Chumlee!" It doesn't get much crazier than that.
Can I assume the girls are throwing themselves at you now?
You must have never seen a picture of me. They've been throwing themselves at me for years.
If you could meet one person now that you're on a hit show who would it be?
You might think it's crazy, but Dr. Dre.
I imagine he has plenty of pricey bling he could bring to the pawn shop.
He probably does.
What's the hardest part about going from a staff of 13 to 47?
It's a lot harder getting along with 47 people. More people telling me what to do. More bosses to deal with. But I've been there for so long I know the routine. I know how to write up a pawn ticket. A lot of these people are new and still need to be trained. But you'd be surprised how close we are -- a lot of them are family members or relatives. It's still a tight-knit crew. We all get along real well.
Who's tougher to work for -- Rick or the Old Man?
Oh, that's not a tough one at all. The Old Man. Any day. At least Rick will cut you some slack. The Old Man cuts me no slack at all. He's old and cranky.
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