The cast speaks out about their newfound fame and the behind-the-scenes action.
You come from a long line of Pawn brokers. What would your grandfather say if he saw an episode of Hardcore Pawn?
My grandfather would be so proud to see what I've done for the industry, how I treat the customers, and what I've done for the pawnbrokers in the nation. We've opened up our doors to people who have never frequented a pawn shop.
What's the craziest thing that's happened to you because of your fame?
This actually happened last week. A gentleman came in with a prosthetic limb in a bag... and gave it to me as a gift. In a brown paper bag. "Les, this is something I think you should have." That was probably the strangest thing I've ever received.
"I love the show... here's one of my legs?"
Right, right! He had both of his legs, I didn't ask him where he got it. He brought it in for me as a gift. Not under the remotest conditions would I ever ask him where he got that leg. Flowers I don't get, but prosthetic limbs, I do.
Do people come in just to get a photo or pretend to be interested in buying something just to talk to you?
Let me tell you something: [I think] the show has opened up pawn shops for America and I'm a different type of character. They like talking to me, being with me, shaking my hands, just being in presence. I guess it's just because I have a different type of personality [than they're used to], and it comes across in the show.
Are more people acting ridiculous in the store now, even without the cameras rolling?
That's a tough question. People sometimes act foolish, and we have to take measures to make sure everyone is safe. And that happens whether or not the cameras are here.
How has the show changed the way the business runs?
It has not. I run the shop whether we have the show or not, because if and when the show ends, we're still going to be American Jewelry.
What do you think will happen this season between Ashley, Seth and yourself?
I can't tell you. But what'll probably happen is that number one, whether Ashley comes back or not, after the place closes for the day, we'll always be family. I hope she comes back, but she'll always be my daughter and sibling rivalry is something you just have to live with.
What's your biggest strength as a negotiator?
You have to understand the product and what you think it's worth. When someone comes in, one of my best strengths is that I know how much I can sell it for. I know how inexpensively I can purchase it. I'm a great talker.
We get a lot of viewer email, but I'd say the most frequent request is: "What is Les's personal style motto?"
[Laughs] Blue jeans and a t-shirt and maybe my sweater. I don't wear glasses anymore, but people said when I looked over my glasses at them I'm trying to intimidate them. If I'm trying to intimidate someone, they know it without me having to do that.