Fan-favorite Pawn Stars cast member Austin Russell (AKA “Chumlee”) is probably not dead, despite what you read on Twitter or this ridiculous website called eBuzzd.
EBuzzd (which apparently has the exclusive on this story despite the fact that no one has ever heard of them) reports that Chum died of an apparent heart attack despite his well-documented efforts to lose weight and get healthy (see Exhibit A):
— Austin Russell (@chumlee_) March 11, 2014
The article goes on to say that while the History Channel has not yet released a statement on Chumlee’s death, fans of the reality star are already mourning his loss on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
This claim is half true.
While eBuzzd provides tweets from Pawn Stars‘ lead Rick Harrison and anchorwoman Katie Couric (Why her? I don’t know) which route to their respective Twitter accounts, they’re really just PNG images and not actual tweets.
There are, however, many on Facebook and Twitter who have been duped by eBuzzd’s story. The article itself has been shared 1,800 times on Facebook, and a number of people are tripping balls about it on Twitter:
— Stephanie Gibbs (@virginhunter) March 12, 2014
— cindy caplinger (@cindycaplinger) March 12, 2014
Some Internet users are really getting the hang of the whole hoax thing though:
thank god chumlee isnt dead. i love that dude
— always the loser (@IslesCrew) March 12, 2014
Remember: Death hoaxes usually start at sites like eBuzzd, which seem legit despite the fact that they have zero credibility and you’ve likely never heard of them. Mainstream media outlets always get stuff like this first, and are pretty much never outfoxed by littler fish which lack the connections and resources required to compete with the big guys.
“But what makes eBuzzd not credible, Dusten?” Well, Betty White is still alive, Tom Cruise wasn’t tortured by Scientologists, and Hoffa’s remains are still MIA (the most recent search turned up zilch).
We’ve reached out to eBuzzd for comment:
We’ll update this post if and when Chumlee confirms that he’s still alive. Until then, share this post with your crestfallen Pawn Stars fan friends.
UPDATE: From Chumlee’s Twitter account, 12 minutes after we hit “publish” here. We also placed a call to Gold Silver Pawn in Las Vegas, and they confirmed that Chum is alive and well.
May we live long, Rich forever.
— Austin Russell (@chumlee_) March 12, 2014