Anyone who watches Pawn Stars will know three key things about Rick Harrison. One, he’s a savvy entrepreneur. Two, he’s a master haggler. Three, if you spray-painted him purple, he would look exactly and precisely like iconic Marvel supervillain Thanos (which is why it was pretty exciting when someone brought an Infinity Gauntlet prop into the shop that time).
But this is just scratching the surface of all things Rick. Here are some other highly important facts all fans should know about the big guy.
1 He’s worth $9 million
Yep, Rick has come a long way since he and his dad founded their shop back in 1989.
Thanks to the runaway success of Pawn Stars, he’s now rich. Proper, 'I have 29 cars' rich (that’s an actual quote by the way). While he’s always been ambitious operator, he never imagined how what a phenomenon the show would become. 'I was hoping to get a season or two to help our business,' he once said in an interview. 'I never thought we'd be in 152 countries and 38 languages.'
2 Epilepsy put him on the path to riches
Brace yourself for an origin story worthy of a movie. When Rick was a young boy, he was stricken with epilepsy. Severe, debilitating epilepsy which made him feel like a 'thousand power lines' were zapping and crackling inside his skull, and confined him to bed for weeks at a time.
In those pre-Netflix, pre-Playstation, pre-YouTube-rabbit-hole days, bed-ridden Rick devoured books. Lots of books, particularly John D Fitzgerald’s 'The Great Brain' series, about a plucky kid’s zany money-making schemes. Think Del Boy, only younger and more from Utah. Reading about this prepubescent entrepreneur had a huge impact on Rick’s world view, encouraging him to pursue his own business success. Imagine if Harry Potter had been around then; Rick would presumably be some sort of warlock now.
3 He was a pawn star before Pawn Stars
Think Pawn Stars was Rick’s first time on telly? Well, you wouldn’t just be wrong – you’d be wrong twice. Rick and the pawn shop were filmed for a PBS documentary way back in 2001. Then, in 2003, an episode of Comedy Central’s Insomniac series saw comedian Dave Attell take a tour of the shop. The footage is on YouTube, so you can see how different Rick looked back then (while also having the terrible realisation that 2003 is now so far in the past, it’s basically like watching a Dickens adaptation).
4 He tried to make a show set in the White House
We know Rick always thinks big. But he really went all the way a few years ago, when he came up with the idea of a documentary set in the White House. 'I wanted to talk to the gardeners, the housekeepers, the curator of all the historical items around the White House,' he later said in an interview. This wasn’t just some passing shower thought either – Rick used his celebrity clout to pitch the idea to the White House Director of Strategic Communications. Sadly, it didn’t come to anything, so we’ll just have to wait until Rick gets even bigger clout by becoming Governor of Nevada. On that point…
5 He’s considered/is considering running for Governor of Nevada
Rick has openly pondered the prospect of a career in politics, although he also recently said he was 'leaning towards no'. One thing he definitely won’t be doing is running for mayor, for an excellent reason. 'The city council meetings would drive me crazy.'