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September 18, 2018

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Pawn Star Chumlee’s latest obsession? Planking in the USA


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Austin “Chumlee” Russell at the 3rd Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards at The Pearl in the Palms on Dec. 1, 2010.

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Chumlee, Corey Harrison and Rick Harrison at Rob Dyrdek's Street League after-party at Vanity in the Hard Rock Hotel on Sept. 25, 2010.

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A baby planks on the playground.

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Austin "Chumlee" Russell, Rick Harrison and Corey Harrison on the set of Resurrection: The Wrath of Seduction at Las Vegas Rocks Cafe on Nov. 23, 2010.

Editor’s Note: One of today’s guest columnists is Pawn Stars fan favorite Austin “Chumlee” Russell while Robin Leach takes his well-deserved annual vacation to Europe (follow him on his travels at Every day, a new column, plus you never know what Robin will dig up in the wine country north of Rome, so please check back daily.

Is it an Ollie? Is it a back flip? Is it a new 99-cent item at the fast-food restaurant? No! It’s not even the newest thing to hit the scene. It’s called planking. How long will it be popular? Who knows, but it’s not dying out any time soon. You can find planking in almost every city in every state. From cop car planking to building planking to sidewalk planking and even synchronized planking.

Planking is the practice of lying down flat with your arms to the side to mimic a wooden plank, snapping a picture and sharing it everyone. It seems like there’s an unspoken global challenge to plank bigger, better and more daring than the last. Do I plank? Hell yeah, I do! It’s fun, and it makes time fly between shoots and interviews. These days, if you don’t know what a plank is, you must live in a grass hut, wear a grass skirt and hunt your own food. Hahaha, seriously, though, this is huge.

Personally, I like plankers who push the envelope. I’d love to plank a ridiculous location or even see someone else do it. Planking over here, planking over there, put your hands in the air, planking everywhere!

My planking crew is about to do a mini planking tour. I can’t give out all the details, but we brainstormed some really good planks, and I’ll be posting them on the Internet. Planking is so big, there are even sites dedicated just to those who plank. Wow, now that’s a phenomenon.

Hmmm, I wonder if any celebs are planking ...

I’d love to go planking with Rod Dyrdek or the guys from Nitro Circus. Maybe Tom Cruise would plank on The Tonight Show. I know what winning is! Charlie Sheen should start planking! What would really be cool is if Oprah did a plank. Maybe she’ll read this and try it, haha.

Who else? Charlie Murphy or that guy from the “hide yo kids, hide yo wife” videos. No, but seriously, I think everyone should plank at least once in their life just so they can say they did it. It’s a life-changing experience.

Some haters and paranoid, overprotective parents would portray it like a dangerous phenomenon, but people are gonna do stupid things whether they are planking or riding bikes or skateboarding. People have been breaking bones doing foolish stunts well before planking was around. I mean how dangerous could it really be? Even this bitty baby can plank on the playground!

So, as far as planking safety is concerned, your plank is only as safe as you make it. I’m not saying planking can never be dangerous. I’m not saying there aren’t plankers that take risk of physical injury. You just have to use your best judgment and don’t plank something you think is impossible just to be a badass.

Keep your wits, keep your heads, arms and legs tucked in at all times, and have fun, kids!

Austin “Chumlee” Russell stars in Las Vegas-based Pawn Stars on The History Channel.

Tomorrow, welcomes Dashaun Young, who portrays Simba in The Lion King at Mandalay Bay; Wendy Albert, who talks celebrities at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood; and Eric Jamison, who has shot a behind-the-curtain photo gallery of three Strip shows. Guest columnists this year include Holly Madison, Donny Osmond, cast members of Jubilee! and Jersey Boys, Chefs Julian Serrano and Charlie Palmer, plus other surprises, including nightlife analysis by Jesse Waits and Jack Colton.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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