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‘Chumlee’ of ‘Pawn Stars’ touts little brother’s success


Austin “Chumlee” Russell, a high school dropout who struck it rich on “Pawn Stars, is giving his little brother the VIP treatment for getting his diploma.

After a week-long family outing in San Diego next month, Chumlee will take his brother and some friends to Kauai, Hawaii, to celebrate his bro’s graduation and 18th birthday.

“He’s the first one to graduate in our family,” Russell said.

His brother, Sage, lives out of state with their sister.

Chumlee, who turns 32 in September, got his high school equivalency diploma through a GED-like program. Chumlee had a confession: He goofed off so much he paid fellow students to help him get better grades.

Not long ago, “Some girl came up to me and said, ‘You paid me $80 to do your homework in math class in junior high.’ ”

Now he’s so popular he’s scoring five-figure deals for personal appearances. He’s heading to San Francisco on April 29 for Chumlee bobblehead night. After hosting a pre-game Giants antique show featuring historical team items brought in by fans, he’ll throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

WHEELING AND DEALING

After a rep from Guiness World Records last week confirmed The Linq’s High Roller as the tallest observatory wheel in the world, Caesars Entertainment exec Karlos LaSane accompanied a group on the towering attraction.

When talk turned to the possibility of the Republican National Convention in Las Vegas, Brian McAnallen, vice president of government affairs for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, had a question for LaSane.

“Has Boehner requested a tanning booth for his cabin?”

The reference was to the perpetually tanned U.S. Rep, John Boehner, R-Ohio and speaker of the House.

If the GOP convention lands in Las Vegas, Boehner could find himself with a most unusual venue for politicking: wheeling and dealing with a captive audience on the High Roller.

I had a question of my own, given the High Roller’s height has been advertised at 550 feet night.

Did it sink a foot?

“No, they measured it wrong,” LaSane said.

I checked with the Caesars Entertainment PR department.

The wheel’s actual height, said Emily Wofford, is 549 feet, seven inches, so they rounded it off to 550 feet.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

After her second season of covering the NBA, her first love, Green Valley High grad Molly Sullivan got a nice surprise. She’s joining NBA on TNT and NBA TV for the first round of the playoffs. She’s working the Atlanta-Indiana sidelines for Games 2 and 3. Sullivan went to work for Comcast SportsNet/NBC in April 2012 as a sideline reporter for the Philadelphia Sixers. She’s making a name for herself in the No. 4 TV market. …

Joining Mark Shunock at 9:30 tonight at “Monday’s Dark” inside Body English at the Hard Rock: the cast of the “Million Dollar Quartet,” Jon Robert Hall of “Glee” and “Rock of Ages,” the Bella Electric Strings, comedian Shayma Tash, and Graham Fenton of “Jersey Boys.” The theme: “Movie Night: Soundtracks Live.” The evening benefits The Miracle League.

SIGHTINGS

Chef Gordon Ramsay and the Beckhams, David and Victoria, hiking in the Grand Canyon last week. Victoria celebrated her 40th birthday on Thursday. … Nicolas Cage and Vince Neil, dining at N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Thursday before attending the Motorhead/Megadeth concert at The Pearl. … At Tao Asian Bistro (Venetian) on Friday: Actress and pop singer JoJo, “True Blood” star Ryan Kwanten, joined by Emily Osment of “Hannah Montana” and Rex Lee, who played Lloyd Lee in “Entourage.”

THE PUNCH LINE

“Every year, the IRS collects over $950 billion in taxes. There’s more money coming at them than a stripper at Charlie Sheen’s house.” — Craig Ferguson

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.