‘Pawn Stars’: Chumlee Is a Resident McDonald’s Expert

by Amy Myers
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Way before Chumlee became a pivotal part of Pawn Stars, he worked behind the counter at a McDonald’s. The Gold & Silver Pawn shop worker has come a long way since then, and his net worth has even reached $5 million. Still, his roots in the fast-food industry have come in handy at the shop from time to time, especially when sellers walk in with Golden Arches memorabilia.

On a past episode of Pawn Shop, a seller walked in with a fairly large piece of treasure from the early days of the McDonald’s franchise. A woman named Debbie carried a huge Ronald McDonald head to the counter, announcing that it was an “authentic Ronald McDonald helium head.”

Back in its prime, the collectible would hook up to a helium tank and fill balloons from the nozzle in its mouth at the restaurant. Surely, kids would gather around the plastic piece, hoping to carry a yellow or red balloon back to their Happy Meals. The seller told Pawn Stars shop owner Rick Harrison that she bought the piece at a yard sale and just “had to have it.”

Unfortunately, now she was moving and needed a little extra cash. The woman hoped to get $500 from the collectible, but Harrison wasn’t so sure it was worth all that much. So, he called the in-house McDonald’s expert over for a consultation.

Hear what Chumlee has to say about the piece in the clip below.

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While Chumlee wasn’t much help to his Pawn Stars boss in terms of pricing, he did offer a bit of insider knowledge to the franchise. Chumlee revealed that in his experience, kids didn’t come to the restaurant for the food. Rather, they came for Ronald McDonald and all of his cartoon friends. In fact, children loved the red-headed icon so much, that some parents would ask for a Happy Meal without the meal.

“They just wanted to buy the Happy Meal for the toy,” Chumlee explained.

The Pawn Stars team member also described what birthday parties were like at the fast-food chain, as that was most likely where the helium head originated from.

“The kids would eat a couple of bites of their burger, throw their French fries everywhere, poop in the slide and be gone,” Chumlee joked.

Harrison ended up purchasing the bizarre helium head for $250, half of what the seller originally asked for.

To celebrate the new item at the Gold & Silver Pawn shop, Chumlee decided to put it to use and hooked it up to a helium tank. When Harrison walked into his office, he was greeted by a colorful array of balloons.

“You called me in as an expert, so I thought I’d show you my expertise,” Chumlee proudly told Harrison.