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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Diane Werts, Newsday

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: America can’t get enough of those Pawn Stars guys — owner Rick Harrison, son Corey and dimwit pal Chumlee — so here they are for another weekly hour, doing what they do. Rick knows all, Chumlee’s dumber, Corey tries to keep up.

Out from behind the counter and into a TV studio with host comic Christopher Titus, the guys match trivia wits with two challengers eager to win some of Rick’s shop stash — vintage pinball machine, NBA championship ring, Soviet high-altitude suit. Fastest ringer-in answers multiple-choice queries about swords, landmarks, Scout badges, Caesar salads or magazine swimsuit models. There’s also an isolation booth for a 60-second final round of top challenger vs. Rick. Then there’s negotiating — gotta have that “final offer” — over who goes home with what.

MY SAY: Brand extension. That’s “Pawnography.” I had to write down the rules to get them.

But the low-budget gameplay is hardly the point. Rick drops historical facts. The guys goof. The host reacts and riffs. (Nice to see fleet-tongued Titus back on TV.) And the contestants exploit their own 15 minutes of (minor) fame. This week, meet “a mean Asian Elvis.”

BOTTOM LINE: Build the brand, boys.

Photo: Gsloan via Flickr

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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