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The "experts" on Pawn Stars

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by ElectroVibe, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    Does anyone else think that the various experts associated with the show seem to have an amazing amount of expert opinion?

    For example, the long haired guitar expert always seems to know if a certain instrument was authentic. And what it's worth.

    The book expert knows if a certain book is authentic.

    The history expert can authenticate any historical item just by examining it for a minute or so.

    Can these people really have so much knowledge at their fingertips?
  2. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    I suspect they’re actors but that’s just a guess. The words they say might be mostly correct even if they come from Wikipedia.
  3. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    One thing that surprises me is that they will often show some "make or break" detail on an item, which authenticates it. All with a camera close-up shot. But it's also the kind of detail that seems like it could be easily counterfeited. And here they are broadcasting it to the whole world.
  4. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    There is a guy that authenticates old magic stuff like harry houdini and alike, he is an actual performing magician in vegas. I think some , maybe not all are legit. keep in mind this has all been researched prior to any airing of the show so there is some basis in reality, but not spontaneous as they would make it look.
    Root 5, Salicete, TNCreature and 2 others like this.
  5. fauxtoe

    fauxtoe Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Southern California
    All reality shows have producers.

    All reality shows have writers.

    With that said, that doesn't mean what they are presenting on screen isn't factual. It's only being represented as an on-the-spot assessment or appraisal, which it definitely is not. The director can say cut, they re-do lines, and they arrange things to fit a narrative or to dramatize a scene while on the editing room floor. Reality television only shows you what they want you to see in order to make some sort of story or flow with the content given.
    TNCreature and GregC like this.
  6. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA

    They're real experts, and the valuations/authentications are probably their own. But they're not done on the spot. They're professionals, all with reputations and some with clients, so they're not going to agree to go on TV just to lay an egg. I imagine they take as much time as they need for research between the time the shop alerts them to an item and the time they show up on camera.

    I've been around the filming of a reality show or two. It's reality in the sense that the stuff actually happens and the people are actually not actors, but it's almost always re-shot and edited. The camera people and producers know what will look good in their production, and if they see it happening, they'll make sure they get it even if it means a second (or third) take.
    JimK, dwm74 and LBS-bass like this.
  7. bassistkll


    Sep 23, 2007
    Ventura, CA
    Root 5, Thornton Davis and westrock like this.
  8. Kinda what Picton said. Matt on the Texas Toast Guitars channel on YouTube mentioned one time that they had a friend who was on a reality tv show and that everything on the show actually happened but it wasn’t all filmed as it happened.
  9. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Pawn Stars is entirely scripted. The experts are real experts, and the customers are real customers, but everything is set up and scripted. The pretty book expert lady isn't there for her expertise. If there were more attractive female experts in and around the Las Vegas area, they'd have more attractive female experts on the show. It's not The History Channel. It's The "History" Channel.
    StereoPlayer likes this.
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It's known that these shows are scripted, and the people have enough advance knowledge to do their research before being on camera.
  11. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    We stopped by the pawn shop back when it was really popular on TV, got there about 9:00 am and there was a line around the block to go in, we passed
  12. ElectroVibe


    Mar 2, 2013
    I believe the customers are real 99% of the time, but there was one episode where I think the customer must have been an actor. I can't find it right now but it had to do with a guy trying to sell baseball cards (maybe) that he had had for a long time, but Rick rejected them and explained that even old stuff people have had for a long time could be fake. He got upset as he was leaving and said, Is my cat real? Is my wife real? Do I even know what's real? The other guys didn't do a good job reacting to him, so I think it was an actor.

    I think it's funny how people will bring in an item that they think is real just because it was sitting in their grandmother's house for as long as they remember. But then they learn that it could have been just a cute gift that she have received in middle age (before the customer was even born) that she might appreciate because the giver thought it would remind her of her childhood, stuff like that.
  13. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Then there are actors who are just actors. Steve Carrell was in an episode once. He must've been in Vegas for some reason and someone brought up the idea of him being on the show.
    ElectroVibe likes this.
  14. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I think all those shows are just shows and that there is nothing real about them.
  15. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    If you watched actual reality on TV, you’d be bored to tears. Everyone in this show is carefully selected for ‘appeal’; results are tightly controlled. Ever watch Hoarders? Practically all the cases end up with some level of positive results, you rarely see any failures. There’s a similar story arch to all of the segments, it’s like clockwork, and there’s usually some magical breakthrough in the attitude of the person in question. The mess gets cleaned miraculously just in the nick of time...most of the time. It’s cliffhanger formula. Never forget, the bottom line here is entertainment, perhaps education and inspiration will happen to the viewer, but that’s way down the priority list. Plus the circus freakshow/shock value of seeing some very messed up people, but nothing has topped Honey Boo Boo in that department.
  16. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    You guys ever see Hard Core Pawn? It makes Pawn Stars look like Citizen Kane.
    StereoPlayer and Lesfunk like this.
  17. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    I've thought the same thing. Perception is definitely reality, and sometimes I feel bad for the people who learn their beloved item isn't authentic. It's obviously something that meant a lot to them for many years, and to have that perception destroyed is kind of sad.

    Another hard lesson that a lot of customers learn: not everything that is "old" is worth money. My parents have tons of stuff in storage collecting dust because they've convinced themselves it's worth something because it's old. They still have the china they received as a gift when they got married in the late 60s/early 70s, and they thought it had value because it's 50 years old. I did some research for them, and discovered it was worth almost nothing. They don't use it, so I suggested getting rid of it, but nope. It's like they didn't believe me. So it'll be my job to get rid of it at some point.
    ElectroVibe and Ostie like this.
  18. True story. Rarity is much more important than age when determining value. That’s why their China is almost worthless. It was mass produced.

    Getting back to the “experts”, I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the experts that appear on the show would be card-carrying actors and would be paid as such because they appear on the show frequently?
  19. If you want a view into Rick Harrison and company way before Pawn Stars. Dave Attell (my favorite comedian) used to have a show called "Insomniac" where he would wander around town after he did a comedy show to see what there was from 11:00pm to 6:00am. He stopped by the Pawn Shop in one episode. This was 2003. Sorry for the quality:
    ElectroVibe and fauxtoe like this.
  20. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    I've seen their history guy in non-History channel documentaries. I think his real expertise is civil war era; but like with many things, the more educated one gets in a niche, the broader your base grows in tangential subjects. He's pretty knowledgeable about American history in general.

    I watched it for a while. I never thought it was on-the-spot. Not even for a second. My interest was probably about the same as Antiques Road show. I just like seeing and learning about stuff. TBH there is a small part of me that knows (or hopes) that some day something I learn from shows like that could get a really nice flip since I do enjoy garage/yard sales and shop at thrift stores often.

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