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PAWNEE, OKLAHOMA - There’s what it’s worth and then there’s how much somebody is willing to pay for it. The History Channel’s Pawn Stars doesn’t merely give pie in the sky appraisals to people for their heirlooms like the Antiques Roadshow. The Harrison family of Las Vegas’ The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop tells dreamers how much grandma’s wedding ring is worth in cash from the register.

Richard Harrison is the patriarch of the family who founded the store. His son Rick is has grown up in the business. Decades ago he hustled counterfeit designer bags. Now he has to break it to people that their antiques are worthless. Son Corey is learning the ropes while his buddy Chumlee gets tangled up in them.

In anticipation of the new season starting Nov. 30 on the History Channel, Rick Harrison called up the Party Favors to chat about life at the Pawn Shop, breaking bad news and why people can’t pawn their timeshares. We disclose the source of Chumlee’s nickname. Also I get the harsh news about my Hedge Fund that invested heavily in Pokemon cards.

Here’s our conversation:

DOWNLOAD: (right click to save)
Party Favors: Joe Corey Chats With PAWN STARS (MP3 format)

Remember to tune in and watch people cry when they discover grandpa lied to grandma about her solid gold wedding ring.

YES WE DID IT!

People often wonder how much power is there in the Party Favors. We’ve put Amish curses on Blockbuster and Yahoo for screwing us. Can an entertainment column on the internet make positive things happen? We’re proud to announce that the Party Favors Campaign to Get Gordon Willis A Life Achievement Oscar has been shut down. Remember the column when Chuck McCann promised to get the ball rolling at the Academy?

http://asitecalledfred.com/2007/05/01/interview-chuck-mccann/

It happened! Willis now has his little golden man. We can proclaim victory in Hollywood.

Willis was the cinematographer on The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II, Annie Hall and Manhattan. What do those four films have in common? Amazing cinematography that wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Are we really supposed to believe the cinematography of Earthquake, The Towering Inferno and Murder on the Orient Express was better than his Prince of Darkness’ signature work on The Godfather, Part II? Manhattan was bumped for 1941 and The Black Hole. Remember that you are nominated by your peer group. Thus Willis was the victim of West Coast cameramen bias. This slighting needed to be fixed. Which is why Chuck McCann was begged to put in the good word for Willis.

We don’t know how much Chuck McCann’s effort led to Gordon Willis getting his due, but we at the Party Favors are eternally grateful to him for his help.

They presented the lifetime Oscars at a non-televised ceremony last weekend. This made me feel like Willis had once more been screwed along with fellow honorees Roger Corman and Lauren Bacall. The Academy posted video of the dinner and ceremony on the internet and I was wrong. It was the perfect night. It was about enjoying the company of the trio and not merely the crowd wanting the ceremony to go faster so they can discover if they’re winners. We would have been denied Caleb Deschanel’s tribute with the time constraints of Oscar night. This new ceremony was an evening for careers and fine food to be savored.

http://www.oscars.org/video/watch/ga_2009_08_bridges_willis.html

If only it was this easy to get Todd Rundgren into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

BACKSEAT BIKER

On the recent Sons of Anarchy where the guys ended up in jail, they were all so nervous about getting sodomized by other inmates. The bikers should have been more worried about one of their own. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) has a history from when he was a 15 year old having rump ranger action with the mayor of Baltimore (Aidan Gillen) back in Manchester, England. Shocking? Underneath that blond beard lurks the babyface hero of the original Queer As Folk.

In case your curious on seeing the early days of Jax, episodes of his Queer As Folk are now on Hulu at

http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi3150774809/

You might not want to watch it with your Hog in the room.

GAMESHOW LEGEND PASSES

We send our condolences to the friends and family of Ken Ober, the host of MTV’s Remote Control. He was ringleader of the last great TV quiz show. There in his parent’s basement he hosted a show with Colin Quinn and Marisol Massey (replaced by three other gals over the years). I truly wanted to be a contestant, but they mainly pulled people out of New York colleges. Spurting out pop culture trivia while sitting in a recliner and flicking a remote is my natural state. In case you need to remember the sheer coolness of the show and Ober’s wit, here’s a clip:

Back in ‘87, I had dreams of Marisol caressing my fridge and promising cool CDs inside. I also had nightmares of Colin Quinn stealing my Trans Am. Mostly I had daydreams of Ober shocked as I dominate the dial with my TV knowledge.

Ken Ober will be missed by those who enjoyed a great gameshow. His headshot deserves to be enshrined with the other legendary quizmasters that were on the wall behind him on the wall. Was he buried in a Craftmatic Casket?

DOUBLE THE OFFER!

Because of his money troubles, I’m willing to double by offer to $40 if Nic Cage will play me in my Christmas video. Granted I need to jack up the rate since he’ll have to work opposite a baby. So drop us a line, Nic Cage if you want the tempting gig. There will be turkey and you can work without a toupee to match me. If you’re really good playing me, I’ll toss in the Elvis Trivia Game. Nic, this will look better on your resume than Bangkok Dangerous.

BLU-RAY HEAVEN

Scrubs: The Complete Eighth Season - Blu-ray brings more definition to Zach Braff’s stubble beard. After NBC canceled the show during the 7th season, ABC revived the medical comedy in hopes of transplanting the vital characters. This season would allow Braff to transition off the show and a new group of residents to learn the world of medicine at Sacred Heart. Aziz Ansari started off as the new Turk, but skipped out for Parks and Recreation. Courtney Cox took over for Ken Jenkins as Chief of Medicine. While she’s alluring, she massively cut throat. “My ABC’s” features a visit from Elmo, Grover and Oscar the Grouch. “My Finale” is a two-parter that takes us through what’s supposed to be Braff’s final day at the hospital. Will he get the big send off? The 19 episodes are spread over 2 discs. The bonus features include bloopers, deleted scenes and alternate lines. They also toss in the webisodes. The highlight is a clip show of all the nasty things John C. McGinley has called Braff over 8 seasons. The new season is slated to start Dec. 1 on ABC. Braff is set to appear in half the episodes. So it wasn’t really his finale after all. The 1080p image makes you want to sanitize your hands before pressing play.

DVD SHELF

Hogan’s Heroes: The Komplete Series, Kommadant’s Kollection brings together all six seasons of the greatest sitcom about Nazi POW camps along with a fresh bonus DVD. This is the series that launched the career of Bob Crane as Col. Hogan. Below Stalag 13 is an underground Allied operation that constantly sabotages the Nazi’s latest plans. Col. Klink (Werner Klemperer) has no idea and Sgt. Schultz (John Banner) remains in complete denial. “I see nothing!” is his mantra. Hogan’s crew includes Cpl. Newkirk (Richard Dawson), Sgt. Kinch (Ivan Dixon), Cpl LeBeau (Robert Clary) and Sgt. Carter (Larry Hovis). The 28 DVD set is loaded with fresh extras including an extended version of the pilot with the network introduction. There’s clips of Werner getting his Emmys. Ever wonder how this show played in Germany? There’s an episode with the Allied speaking like their captures. They even have the Mad Magazine spoof. For those who want to see the uncut episodes instead of the messed up versions on TVLand, this boxset is a must buy.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XVI (Limited Edition) brings the holidays home with a miniature Tom Servo. First off there’s the Mexican seasonal hit Santa Claus. This might be one of the few holiday flicks to have Santa battling Satan. Talk about the perfect viewing for Christmas Eve. They even include “Santa Clause Conquers The Devil: A 50-Year Retrospective” which gives amazing details about the film’s history and release. Night of the Blood Beast includes the amazing bonus feature of all the introductions of Turkey Day 95 for the MST3K marathon. You can see the movie with the original Turkey Day debut breaks or the breaks that were included with the reruns. Warrior of the Lost World is a out of control Italian action film starring the guy from The Paper Chase and the Bald Woman from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Prepare your eyes for the glory of Megaweapon! Director David Worth contributes an interview to explain how film was birthed after he’d shot two Clint Eastwood films. The Corpse Vanishes is another first season episode with Josh Weinstein as the voice of Tom Servo and Dr. Erhardt. This Bela Lugosi classic has him as a Mad Scientist that must sacrifice young virgin women to keep his aging wife beautiful. If you want to boost your holiday spirits, get yourself a vat of egg nog and the limited edition version of MST3K: XVI. The mini-Tom Servo looks perfect on top of the Christmas tree.

The Merry Gentleman is Michael Keaton’s directorial debut after three decades of being a movie star. Luckily he used his showbiz connections to hire Michael Keaton to be the lead in his film. He’s an efficient hitman who gets the job done without being flashy. Kelly McDonald (Trainspotting) gets out of an abusive relationship and finds a new life. Their paths cross when he suspects she makes him on a hit. He wants to clean her off the slate to keep her from talking to a police sketch artist. When he puts his sights on her, he can’t quite pull a trigger. Does he aim for her head or heart? They are connected by more than just a crime angle. This is worthy addition to the hitman genre. Keaton has created film that mirrors his patient and low-key assassin. The main bonus feature is a 15 minutes behind the scenes documentary that shows Keaton making his big move behind the camera.

Is Anybody There? gives us Michael Caine without him being a servant to Batman. Edward (Bill Milner) is a young boy growing up in his parents’ retirement home. It’s a world where every few weeks he gets to find another dead tenant. Things aren’t happy. Clarence (Caine) is a magician that moves into the house, but isn’t happy at his elderly fate. He’s still got a few tricks up his sleeve. The kid gets the old man to rejuvenate his act. It’ll be interesting to see if Michael Caine gets a Best Actor nomination since he’s got that Caine charm working when he’s pulling items out of the air. He can still do more than iron the Dark Knight’s cape. Bonus feature is deleted scenes.

My One and Only is part of George Hamilton’s life. Before he achieved an amazing bronze tan and played Evel Knievel, this future icon had a messed up family life. His mom (Renee Zellweger) is a Southern debutant that’s been transplanted to New York City. She gets sick of her cheating band leader husband (Kevin Bacon). Instead of a prolonged divorce, she hits the road with George (Logan Leman) and his brother Robbie (Mark Rendall). The point of the trip is to find a new husband. She finds prospects in Chris Noth (Sex and the City) and Steven Weber (Wings). The film explains how George Hamilton found his true compass. Zellweger comes off credible as the mother of two older boys. This gets my Doug Wilson seal of approval. The DVD is only available at Target.

Humpday is a great small film. Mark Duplass has settled down with his wife, Alicia Delmore. They’re working on having a baby. His old college buddy, Joshua Leonard arrives in town and reminds him of his wild times. During a drunken party, they hear about an amateur porn festival. The blitzed Duplass swears they can win it with a video featuring him and Leonard having gay sex even though they’re not gay. When he sobers up, he still wants to make this project happen and not let it be merely talk. His wife isn’t really supportive. Can they pull off this “gay for first prize” video? Humpday is the bastard child of Patti Rocks. This film shall grow in stature over the years as a charming shaggy buddy flick.

The Canyon reminds us once again of the perils of visiting vacation spots and saving a few bucks by not going as part of a tourist package. Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) and Eion Bailey are on their honeymoon after an elopement. He dreams of taking his new wife into the Grand Canyon on a mule ride. The thing is you have to plan ahead to get on a legit mule caravan to the bottom of the canyon. The Rangers like to know who is inside the region. Eion hooks up with a grizzled local (Will Patton) who swears he can deliver for less than the official tours. When they get to the canyon floor, the couple discover something else about their guide. This is a pure honeymoon from hell that remind all couples that they should spend those post-nuptial days ordering room service instead of adventuring in the great outdoors.

Melrose Place: Fifth Season, Volume 2 ought to include a U-Haul truck since so many of the regulars depart on these episodes. Grant Show, Marcia Cross and Laura Leighton turn in their keys. Which makes me ponder, did they get back their security deposits or did all the debauchery stain the carpet? Moving into the complex is Alyssa Miano. Still running the place is ball buster Heather Locklear. She makes sure things don’t get too normal in the 14 episodes over 3 DVDs. Actually in the final episode Laura Leighton has a bit more dramatic departure than just driving off for her honeymoon in “Who’s Afraid of Amanda Woodward?” Strangely enough, she and Heather Locklear are now on the CW’s revival of the series.

Beverly Hills, 90210: The Eighth Season is all about Kelly and Brandon’s wedding. The gang have now gotten out of college life and are into the real world. Or as real of a world that can handle Ian Ziering’s hair. The season starts with Donna dragging everyone to Hawaii. Near tragedy hits when Kelly gets shot by a drive-by shooter in the LAX parking lot. She recovers with a nasty bit of amnesia. This memory loss helps them grow as a couple cause she can enjoy his sideburns like the first time and without memories of Luke’s sideburns. The 30 episodes are spread over 7 DVDs. Only two more seasons left till the tale of the zip code is completed. Season 9 is slated for Feb. 2.

Janky Promoters reunite Friday’s Ice Cube and Mike Epps, but instead of just hanging out and smoking weed, they’re two hustling concert promoters. After working on the low as Janky Promoters, they get their major chance at the big times when they book Young Jeezy. If they can work his concert right, they might be able to go legit or at least not be viewed as slime. It’s nice to see Ice Cube playing a character that doesn’t seem like it was originally written for an Eddie Murphy kiddie movie. You should watch this with a chilled bottle of St. Ides.

Kobe Doin’ Work: MVP Limited Edition is an extended version of Spike Lee’s documentary on the Lakers’ star point guard. He has dozens of cameras focused on the player for a single game. The concept is lifted from Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. In that film, French soccer hero Zidane is only heard by what he says on the pitch. However Spike let Kobe narrate the video and it’s ultimately a man who is in love with his own publicity. We don’t get a fresh examination of the star who only a few years ago was fighting a rape charge (which was settled out of court) and is now sold as America’s new sweetheart. Spike allows Kobe to control the ball and the narrative. For a non-Kobe fan, this is rather annoying. Maybe because TNT cameras are always focused on Kobe during a game, there’s nothing major revealed about his style or demeanor. Bonus features include a video from Bruce Hornsby and an ESPN behind the scenes of the extensive cameras at the game. This is ultimately a sloppy wet kiss from Spike to Kobe that will please Lakers fans. It includes his trading card.

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