Richard "The Old Man" Harrison, one of the central figures on History's Pawn Stars, passed away on Monday, leaving behind some of the most iconic moments in reality TV history.
Harrison co-founded the Gold & Silver pawn shop with his own father, according to a report by Las Vegas Weekly. He brought up his son in the family business, and almost a decade ago he found himself the unlikely star of one of America's favorite reality shows.
Pawn Stars was an instant success. It became History's top rated show within two years, and jumped up the list to become one of the most watched shows on cable TV. It even took the title of number two reality show for a time, second only to Jersey Shore.
Behind this success was Harrison's family. "The Old Man" was the beloved straight man to his family and employees' antics. His son and grandson worked in the shop with him as well as Chumlee, his grandson's childhood friend, and a rotating cast of experts and employees.
No matter what they threw at him, Harrison could be counted on for his cutting wit and his fast response. He had a self-assured, no-nonsense attitude that made him impressive and intimidating, but he also had the perspective to back off and laugh at himself when the situation demanded it.
The fact that Pawn Stars centered around a family business was a huge part of its appeal, and without the guiding influence of Harrison, it is sure to suffer a bit. The "Old Man" gave so much of himself to the acclaimed show -- not just by starring in it, but by building the store it was set in from the ground up, an raising his son and grandson to run it.
Here is a look at some of "Old Man" Harrison's greatest moments on screen.
Richard Harrison Sr. picked up the nickname "Old Man" at the relatively young age of 38, according to him. In season 1, episode 15 titled "Fired Up," a trivia card played before and after a commercial break, confirming that he was only 38 years old when he acquired the moniker.prevnext
One Small Step for the Old Man
In a 2013 clip, Harrison and his son appraise a copy of National Geographic's moon landing special issue from 1969. He was clearly interested in the historical piece of media, but he was distracted when he took some insults from Rick.
"Where were you when they landed?" Rick asked.
"I was at work, and we were all watching it," the "Old Man" answered.
"They had TVs back then?" shot back his son.prevnext
'Old Man's Booty'
It's no secret that Harrison has an abiding love for classic cars. In season 1, episode 15, Rick and Corey took Old Man's beloved 1966 Chrysler Imperial and had it restored as a gift to mark his 50th wedding anniversary. However, in the time that it was gone, they led him to believe that they had sold it for a mere $1,000, to a customer who intended to turn it into a low-rider.
"Both of y'all are fixing to get the wrath of God from me," he said in the midst of the prank. "I'm so g—damn pissed I can hardly talk.prevnext
In season 3 episode 14, Harrison is shown a rare B&Z Electra-King electric car from the 1960s. The "Old Man" is interested in the forgotten technology, but rather than noting that it was ahead of its time, he suggests it should be converted into a golf cart.prevnext
Old Man Santa
In one Christmas-centered episode of Pawn Stars, Chumlee strutted into the shop in a full on Santa costume to mark the holiday. While he got a few laughs for his appearance, Rick told him that the "Old Man" had already beat him to it. Harrison was sitting at his desk in head to toe Santa gear, doing his work as if nothing were different.
"The Old Man is the grumpiest Santa you've ever met," Rick said in a confessional. "So if you bring your kid in here, don't try to put him on Santa's lap. Because the kid's not going to like it, and neither is the old man."prevnext
No Sick Days
Another "Old Man" trivia card played before and after a commercial break informed fans that he had not taken a sick day since 1994. It played during season 2, episode 13 titled "Big Guns," which aired in 2010. This means that Harrison didn't miss a day of work for at least 16 years.prevnext
During an early episode of Pawn Stars, the shop hosted a Halloween costume contest amongst its employees. Despite his generally straight-faced demeanor, Harrison may have put more work into his costume than anyone when he dressed up as Rooster Cogburn from True Grit.
"The original or the remake?" Rick asked.
"They remade it?" asked the "Old Man" by way of answer.prevnext
Benjamin Harris Presidential Handkerchief
In season 5, episode 18 Harrison and his grandson appraised a handkerchief handed out in Benjamin Harrison's 1892 Presidential Inauguration. The old cloth was most likely given away as memorabilia, they said, but the woman who brought it in was asking too high a price for it.
Still, in the conversation, Harrison revealed that he was actually related to Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.prevnext
Old Man vs. Chumlee
Of course, the "Old Man" persona is never more on display than when Harrison is interacting with Chumlee. The show has put some of their wackiest moments together — particularly the ones where Harrison comes out on top — in a montage that has gone viral on YouTube. The video puts Harrison up against novelty shirts, rice cakes and ambiguous pricing.prev