There may not be a doctor in the house, but you can find one in a pawn shop.
Dr. Joseph Neiman, an Amherst dermatologist, appeared in Monday night’s episode of “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel. The reality show based in a Las Vegas pawn shop features a family of pawn brokers, but the real stars are their colorful customers, who trade their treasures for cash.
Neiman pawned a childhood toy, an old BMC pedal tractor he discovered years ago when cleaning out his mother’s apartment on Long Island. Its original cost in 1947 ranged from $9.95 to $34.95, but after researching its value online, Neiman believed he could get $300.
He accepted $60.
“I haggled for a bit,” said the dermatologist, who specializes in hair transplants. “I told him if he gave me a good price, I’d give him a good deal on a hair transplant, but they edited that part out.”
The series is shot at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in downtown Las Vegas. Operated by three generations of the Harrison family – grandfather Richard, son Rick (who shaves his head) and grandson Corey – the pawn shop itself has become a tourist attraction.
To get on the show, which he says he watches occasionally, Neiman sent a photo of his rusted metal pedal tractor along with a brief history. Within days, he said, he heard back from “Pawn Stars” with an invitation to bring his childhood toy to the shop.
“I happened to be going to Vegas for a dermatology conference,” Neiman explained. “We had [the tractor] wrapped in bubble wrap, and packaged in a box, but the box was too big and they would not take it on the plane. It was embarrassing, but we got the tractor onboard.”
The show, Neiman said, is far from reality.
“They actually told me to curse on the show,” he said, “and then they cut it out. The place itself is a dump in a real seedy area. You wouldn’t want to go there.”
The episode also featured an ex-wife of former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman, who pawned Rodman’s game-worn jerseys. She wanted $8,000 to $10,000, but netted $4,300.
“I’m selling the jerseys today to pay for my daughter’s tuition,” said the tattooed platinum blonde.
A juror’s questionnaire from the O.J. Simpson trial, meanwhile, netted the owner $60.
“Pawn Stars” is in its third season. The “Spare the Rodman” episode that featured Neiman will be repeated at 8 p.m. and at midnight next Monday.
“I never ever thought they would even take it,” Neiman said of his pedal tractor. “I wish I still had my Lionel trains. They’d be worth something, but I threw them out.”