'Pawn Stars' host on why KFC's Colonel Sanders portrait is worth thousands

Rick Harrison is hitting the road for season 2 of 'Pawn Stars Do America'

When it comes to splurging, Rick Harrison has a craving for the strange.

In the upcoming episode of "Pawn Stars Do America" airing Wednesday, Nov. 8, his crew came across a rare original portrait of Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Sanders in Lexington, Kentucky.

Not only was it the real deal, but it was purchased for $1,900, as viewers will discover, along with the portrait's surprising backstory.


A split side-by-side photo of Colonel Sanders and Rick Harrison

An original portrait of Colonel Sanders (left) caught Rick Harrison's eye this season of "Pawn Stars Do America." That episode airs Nov. 8. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

"All this pop culture stuff is really collectible," the host told FOX Business. "Look at classic Pepsi or Coca-Cola stuff. It’s a window to the past. It brings people back to that happy place. It brings back happy memories."

"And that’s why people buy them," he added.

The 58-year-old has been hitting the road across the country in search of treasure. Season 2 of "Pawn Stars Do America" follows his crew as they travel across the country in search of historical finds and equally valuable collectibles. Local fans are on site to present their heartfelt heirlooms for the chance at an in-person appraisal to make some coin.

Rick Harrison driving an open top car with his Pawn Stars co-stars

Rick Harrison admitted he spent "a lot of money" this season on vintage cars. (Clara Mokri / Fox News)

"There’s a lot of cool stuff this season," said Harrison. "I spent too much money on cars in Detroit. I bought a lot of cars this year. But I get to go to cool places, buy cool stuff and they pay me to do it. Can you think of a better job?"

"Pawn Stars," which follows the Harrison family and its successful pawn business in Sin City, premiered in 2009. After more than 600 episodes, "Pawn Stars Do America" premiered in 2022.

In the spinoff, Harrison and his team investigate stories behind prized possessions, determine whether they’re legit and decide if it’s worth dishing out the cash. Trusted experts share their opinions, historical analysis and hands-on training.


A stack of Pokemon cards

Pokémon cards continue to increase in value every year, said Rick Harrison. (John Keeble/Getty Images / Getty Images)

But if you don't have a finger-lickin' good portrait of the Colonel hanging around your attic, don't fret. You just gotta catch them all. Pokémon cards, that is.

In the new season, viewers will see how, in St. Petersburg, Florida, co-star Chumlee gets a lead about a local collector who’s looking to sell certain packs from his rare Pokémon collection worth $1.2 million.

"There are million-dollar Pokémon cards out there," Harrison explained. "I know nothing about them, but Chumlee does. He knows where to buy and sell all these trading cards. I’m lost in the whole thing because we certainly didn’t have Pokémon cards when I was a kid, but we sell a lot of them at my shop. We’ll probably do over a million dollars this year just in Pokémon cards."

A hand holding a deck of Pokemon cards

According to the Guinness World Records, the most expensive trading card sold at auction in 2022 for $900,000. Offers started as low as $75,000. (John Keeble / Getty Images)

"Next year I think we’ll do a lot more," Harrison added.

Pokémon cards are in demand now more than ever, he stressed. Rare cards can easily go for thousands of dollars. A first-edition card in pristine condition was up for auction in 2020 with a minimum bid of $50,000. According to the Guinness World Records, the most expensive trading card was sold at auction in 2022 for $900,000. Offers started as low as $75,000.


"Older collectibles, like Pokémon cards, were bought by kids," Harrison explained. "They were generally abused, and then they threw them away. No one ever really thought they were going to be worth money. So, the ones that did survive are worth money. Lots of it. 

"And the rule of thumb is, what was really, really cool when you were young? Something popular in your teens or preteens could be worth a lot of money when you’re in your 50s. But now, what used to be cool when you were a kid is worth a lot of money if you’re in your late 30s, or early 40s. Pokémon cards, for example, were a craze with kids."

Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison and Chumlee all wearing printed shirts, blue jeans and cowboy hats

Rick Harrison (center) said there's a chance you can earn top dollar with classic pop culture memorabilia.  (Clara Mokri / Fox News)

"It’s adults wanting to relive their childhood," Harrison continued. "I never thought it would be this extreme, but there are million-dollar Pokémon cards out there. And people are willing to buy them."

Like Pokémon cards, Harrison said sports cards always go up in value and old movie posters "are super hot right now."

But Swifties may want to hold onto their beloved merch.

Taylor Swift in a sparkling one piece looking away from a crowd in surprise

Taylor Swift's net worth has surpassed $1 billion; The Eras Tour and her recent rerecorded albums have pushed the pop star to a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to Bloomberg. (Mat Hayward/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management / Getty Images)

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour famously crashed Ticketmaster’s site and re-sale prices became astronomical. The tour, which has included nearly 60 shows so far, has grossed $780 million, Forbes reported. But memorabilia connected to the singer/songwriter and her stadium shows are only worth big bucks in your wildest dreams.

When Rick Harrison was asked how soon fans can expect their prized possessions to earn top dollar, he replied, "Maybe a thousand years from now."

"Here’s the thing. Taylor Swift is an incredible success story," Harrison explained about the 33-year-old singer/songwriter.


Taylor Swift in a blue strapless dress being embraced by fans

Taylor Swift attends the "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" Concert Movie World Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 Oct. 11, 2023, in Los Angeles. (John Shearer/Getty Images for TAS / Getty Images)

"But when you look at the mass market, the stuff’s not rare," he shared. "It’s very, very common. There’s just so much Taylor Swift stuff out there. And chances are people are keeping them. If you’re one of those people who’s thinking, ‘Let’s buy the stuff now and sell it in a few years for a lot of money,’ it’s probably not going to happen. There’s just so much of it out there."

That's not the only thing collecting dust these days for him.

"Old Hollywood autographs are getting harder to sell," Harrison said. "People don’t know a lot of these older celebrities, so they’re just not collecting those autographs. Vintage guitars are also going down a bit."

A close-up sign of the Pawn Stars shop in Las Vegas

Rick Harrison's Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is located in Las Vegas. (Denise Truscello/WireImage / Getty Images)

As for cars, Harrison said he’s always looking. He noted that Detroit was a "buyer’s heaven." Some of his big-ticket items being highlighted this season include a 1971 Super Bee worth $54,000 found in Providence, Rhode Island, and a 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $40,000.

"I think I need to go into therapy with my car thing," he joked.

And like anyone else, Harrison sometimes has buyer’s remorse.


Rick Harrison wearing a printed blue shirt, jeans and a cowboy hat

Rick Harrison admitted to having buyer's remorse. (Clara Mokri / Fox News)

"I’ve got this Egyptian head that’s really big," he said. "When I looked it up, it was supposed to be worth something. But it’s been sitting in the shop for 20 years. … That’s probably the worst."

But there is something out there that Harrison has coined his "ultimate holy grail."

"Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Declaration of Independence," said Harrison. "It’s missing – it’s been missing forever. … That could be worth probably $15 million. A ridiculous amount of money. But the fun thing about my job is that things just show up."

A bright orange sign advertising the new season of Pawn Stars Do America

"Pawn Stars Do America" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the History Channel. The Wednesday, Nov. 1, episode will be a special treat for Pokémon fans. (History Channel / Fox News)

Today, Harrison hopes audiences will be entertained by his latest finds.

"It’s one of the last family shows on television," he said. "It’s one where the grandparents, parents and kids can all sit down, watch together and learn something."