‘Pawn Stars’ spoof clatters and clowns, but stays average

What’s the difference between a “locals” show and a “tourist” show?

“Pawn Shop Live!” helps us figure it out, but not so much because it started as a community-theater spoof of the “Pawn Stars” and wound up at Golden Nugget. Turns out that’s kind of coincidental.

The real line of demarcation is how feasible it is to catch a buzz at 4 p.m.

The show turns out to be the rough stage equivalent of a “Scary Movie” flick (Cheech and Chong if you’re older, or Will Ferrell for everyone willing to meet in the middle). If you’re on vacation, the old cliche is that Vegas has no clocks. An audience that’s had sufficient time to chug or spark one will be primed for precious comic nuggets such as “Everybody you know is a fart-knocker!”

This sketch-based comic revue may also work for rabid fans of the Gold &Silver crew. As silly as it gets, it does manage to pay the boys their due respect while delivering, as the Rick Harrison character (Sean Critchfield) promises, “some cheap laughs and some fart jokes.”

But if you headed straight from the office — as in, a direct line, and also straight — you’ll find the spoof, well, loud.

Amplifying the volume on every little piece of business is a sure sign that even a scant hour’s running time still isn’t as stuffed with jokes as it needs to be.

So, in this retelling of the rise to fame for “Pawn Stars,” a city councilman character (one of many played by Enoch Scott) isn’t allowed to be just a comic foil. No, he becomes a cackling, cartoon villain trying to wring laughs from lines with no punch lines.

Aided by video clips, the spoof uses Harrison’s written memoir for a basic thread of how young Rick grew from “a smart smartass” to an unlikely TV star. “Who wants to watch a reality show about a bunch of nobodies running a pawnshop?” he asks in one of the many nods to the audience.

The backstory is a valid building block for director Troy Heard and the cast. Most of us just started watching “Pawn Stars” at some point without knowing the Harrison family history. At several points of this send-up, we ask ourselves, “Is that really based on the truth?” So they’re onto something there.

And it’s surprising how quickly we accept Critchfield and Garret Grant as stand-ins for Rick and Chumlee. The same chemistry that endears us to the TV gang somehow grounds the silliness here. (Gus Langley’s Corey character, perhaps true to the show, cedes the laughs to Chumlee, while the Old Man becomes a sculptured puppet given an overblown Foghorn Leghorn voice by Scott).

But the center is hard to hold. It’s the Mad-magazine detours — where the show can, and should, step out to lampoon the likes of “The Hangover” or “Jersey Shore” girl Snooki — where the creators don’t trust themselves to rein in the broad clowning and hit you at other comic frequency levels.

Little bits that almost work — such as Anita Bean playing Criss Angel, coming in to pawn an illusion — just don’t pay enough attention to detail beyond wigs and physical posturing. Angel’s “Lon-guy-land” accent makes him an easy celebrity to imitate, but Bean doesn’t get close.

But shows like this are all about the jokes, and the tone. If “Pawn Shop Live!” is given time, the former will surely multiply and the latter will even out. From the rehearsal phase, the creators already were wise to go back to the TV source, adding more material related to the business of dickering over the value of odd things.

And as far as finding its audience? “Pawn Shop” might as well wait another 20 minutes and start at 4:20, the mythological stoner time. The magic hour already gets acknowledged in the show. A crowd that rolls in ready to laugh — for whatever reason — can only help. And for those with the munchies, the theater is right near the buffet.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like