We keep wondering when the “Pawn Stars” phenomenon will subside.
So far, the answer is, “Not today.”
The Gold & Silver Pawn juggernaut just keeps rolling along, and has signed on for 40 new episodes for Season 17, premiering in October on History channel.
The new set of shows is the equivalent of 80 episodes under the series’ original, 30-minute format. It’s the largest commitment of time in the history of “Pawn Stars,” which on July 19 notches the 10th anniversary of its premiere.
“It’s confirmed, and each year we try to switch it up a bit,” series founder and Gold & Silver owner Rick Harrison says. “We’ll be traveling around the world, looking for items of interest.”
It used to be, the world came to Gold & Silver. But the pawn industry’s holy trinity of Harrison, his son, Corey Harrison; and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, have gone worldwide. On cable TV, the sun never sets on Chumlee.
Vinny G’s return
“Chippendale’s” has announced its summer blockbuster, and he is Vinny Guadagnino. The co-star of “Jersey Shore” and “Double Shot at Love” attracted enough business to merit a return July 26-Sept. 1 (Fridays through Sundays) at the Rio. The show has invited myriad guest stars to the stage (including Tyson Beckford, Ian Ziering and Joey Lawrence), but Guadagnino is the only one to bare all.
This, in the show’s shower scene, the steam obscuring any body parts that might get the hotel in … hot water.
And, know this: Guadagnino’s return to “Chipps” coincides with the scheduled July 29 opening of Thunderland at Excalibur, the new home of rival male revue “Thunder From Down Under,” along with magician Hans Klok and the Australian Bee Gees. We expect there will be enough bachelorrette parties to go around …
The lineups are locked in for Saturday night’s Battle for Las Vegas Charity Softball Game, hosted by Vegas Golden Knights right winger Reilly Smith. The benefit for Imagine Dragons’ Tyler Robinson Foundation is set for 7 p.m. at Las Vegas Ballpark. The team pits athletes and celebs led by Smith, and former Raider great Marcus Allen.
On the roster for Team Reilly Smith: Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds; former big-league slugger and current Bigfoot tracker Jose Canseco; Smith’s VGK teammates William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, Erik Haula, Deryk Engelland, Ryan Reaves and Shea Theodore; Brendan Smith of the New York Rangers; ex-UNLV Runnin’ Rebel great Anderson Hunt; and UFC star Megan Olivi.
For Team Marcus Allen: Former Raider and Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson; current Raiders Trent Brown, Vontaze Burfict, Maurice Hurst Jr., Arden Key Jr., and Josh Jacobs; ex-big leaguer Shane Victorino; UFC star Gina Mazany; and KSNV Channel 3 broadcaster Kevin Janison.
Nelson to roll in
Announced Thursday, Willie Nelson is headlining “Vegas On My Mind” at the Venetian Theatre, at 8 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 22, 23, 25 and 26. Tickets are onsale 10 a.m. Friday (prices start at $59.95, not including fees, at Ticketmaster.com, venetian.com, any box office at the Venetian or by calling 702.414.9000 or 866.641.7469).
Nelson remains the only interview subject in my career to offer me a “pre-roll” marijuana cigarette. This happened in February 2017 at a launch event of his Willie Nelson Reserve line of cannabis products at the since-closed Exile Boutique in the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas.
“We have a good product, and I think they’re having fun,” Nelson said, lighting up some of that product and pushing it forward. I politely declined. I’ll stick with the music product.
As we say, “Eddie Griffin’s (stuff) is fire!” Can’t use the actual saying in a family publication, but Griffin is one funny individual, and certainly not for the meek.
The longtime Las Vegas headliner is taping a comedy special over two shows Tuesday at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas. Show times for the special performances are set at 7 p.m. and 9:30. Griffin is shooting for Netflix or HBO with these performances. Project director Brian Volk-Weiss has such relationships, through his Comedy Dynamics company.
Volk-Weiss has produced stand-up specials, TV projects and albums for such comics (and occasional Vegas headliners) Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Tiffany Haddish and Craig Ferguson, among a host of others.
Away from his unvarnished, N-word-peppered stage act, Griffin has developed as an adept and busy film actor. He’s cast in the remake of “The Comeback Trial,” alongside Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Zach Braff and James Marsden. The film is due this year.
Griffin is the rare stand-up who has developed a specialty cocktail. He imbibes from his mix of Veuve Clicquot champagne and Patron tequila is dubbed Liquid Blunt. As he says, “You don’t go up, and you don’t go down.” We’ll believe him.
Marie Osmond is planning a holiday TV movie, and has been recording vocals for music in the project at the Studio at the Palms. More to come on this, of course.
Cool Hang Alert
The Baritones of Love, a counter to the many “Tenors” singing groups, is a passion project from College of Southern Nevada music professor Dr. Mark Wherry and “Zombie Burlesque” star Enoch Augustus Scott. The comedy-vocal group highlights Las Vegas Little Theatre’s Fringe Festival at 10 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:15 p.m. Sunday. The festival wraps this weekend at Las Vegas Little Theatre at 3920 Schiff Drive, near the corner of Spring Mountain Road and Valley View Boulevard.
Randal Keith (late of “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” and “Baz”), Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson, David Villella and Colin Cahill fill out the BoL lineup. The crew sings six original songs, Keith takes on “That’s Life,” and as Scott says, “Our ‘Impossible Dream’ is no joke.” Gotta love that Enoch Augustus Scott. Accept no substitute.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.