It’s no doubt that the reality television phenomenon is still going strong today. From when it re-emerged after a failed attempt in the eighties, this branch of entertainment has been dominating the ratings and doing quite well for itself since the late nineties.
And with the world rapidly changing, particularly the world of entertainment and the way people watch their TV, the reality genre has changed right along with it. Many viewers are watching their favorite television shows and getting their fix of “reality” on social media, file sharing websites, and, of course, the phenomenon known as Netflix and other sources like it.
But many are still on network television and doing quite well, with many viewers still tuning in to watch the action unfold. Case in point: Counting Cars, which airs on the History Network. The channel has a plethora of amazing reality shows that do quite well with viewers and this show is no different, despite a few controversies every now and again.
The show is filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is considered to be one of three spin-offs of another popular reality show, Pawn Stars. Counting Cars showcases a real-life business, Count’s Customs (owned by Danny Koker), and the band of characters that work there restoring cars and vehicles of all sorts.
To say that the show is entertaining would be quite fair and the 22-minute episodes pack a lot of vehicular mayhem. But the show isn’t without a few controversies, as the cast has been in the media from time to time, and we’ll get into that below. But most of all, we’ll be taking a look at those pesky rules they have to follow and some of them may surprise you.
25 DON'T MENTION DANNY'S FATHER
Danny was very close to his father and when the man passed on, it was very difficult for Danny to get over. In fact, the loss is still very present for him. When his dad did pass, he left him his extensive car collection but Danny is very reluctant to work on those cars. He can't bring himself to work on them and if anyone suggests it, he gets pretty frustrated, the pain of his loss rushing back to him all at once. Those that are closest to him and those that work with him know better than to hint at restoring the cars or simply mentioning them or his father at all.
24 DON'T TALK ABOUT HIS BANDANNA EITHER
Hey, a sensitive subject is sensitive for a reason. Some men are sensitive about their bald spots, or even maybe about a tad more paunch at their midsection. But for Danny Koker, there are indeed a few subjects to avoid and one of them is his bandanna. Many have rocked the look before; even giants in the entertainment field like Hulk Hogan, The Macho Man Randy Savage, and even Little Steven from The E Street Band (Bruce Springsteen's backing band). Danny wears his bandanna proud and he is rarely seen without it, the look suiting him quite well. In fact, without it, he looks almost completely different.
23 THE SHOW IS DOCTORED - SO KEEP UP WITH THE CHARADE
By now, we would hope that fans of reality TV don't believe all that they see when it comes to what they see unfolding on TV screens. Many reality stars have come forth stating that situations are predetermined and set up at the start of filming from day to day. Stars like Hulk Hogan, who was the star of his own MTV reality show, Hogan Knows Best, are very vocal about this. And those fun-loving Jersey Shore characters and the magnitude of incredible situations that unfolded on the screen were not only scripted but acted out rather aggressively. For Counting Cars, the same old story is apparent for this cast, as well, and the members of the cast must all play their part.
22 NO POLITICS ON SET
If you have ever undergone any bartending courses, then you know that there are two subjects to be barred from ever speaking while serving drinks to the general public. One of them is religion. The second is politics. These days, these are sore subjects for many and with the sensitivity on social media felt from day to day, the aforementioned subjects are even more taboo. But the same goes for the set and location of Count's Customs. They pretty much stay away from politics. But of course, this wasn't always the case, as Danny Koker was very clear about his support for the current leader of the States and that caused a bit of an issue, so the rule was set securely in place.
21 DON'T TRUST THE SECURITY TEAM BLINDLY
Furthermore, even a more severe rule has been set in place and that is that the cast isn't allowed to trust the security staff implicitly. One would think that a show that makes as much money as this one does—with a giant network behind it—would be able to trust the men and women it employs to keep the location safe, but apparently not. The cast members have to keep their own eye out and make sure that the cars and other materials are kept safe while the cameras roll and while they don't. "Sleep with one eye open." It's pretty creepy if one thinks about it long enough but these guys employ the old adage literally.
20 DON'T MENTION DANNY'S FAMILY ON SET
Many celebrities are quite private about their personal lives and that's to be understood. Many civilians wouldn't like it if the media or a complete stranger were to pry into their lives and homes, so why should we expect that these people be okay with it just because they're in the public eye? But Danny takes it a step further and doesn't like his family being mentioned by cast and crew—even at work. He likes to keep himself and his loved ones where he feels they belong and that's away from the prying eyes of fans, press, and even coworkers.
19 SCOTT JONES: PERSONA NON GRATA
Scott Jones was the manager and bookkeeper for Count's Customs. He was responsible for the money, essentially, and was reportedly quite good at his job. But he mysteriously left the show in between the second and third seasons and the old internet rumor mill ran rampant with theories trying to explain his departure, as fans were definitely left in the dark. Many felt that it was quite possible that Jones had embezzled money from the company but many others argued that he was just fatigued of being on camera and working with Danny.
18 VINCE NEIL: PERSONA NON GRATA NUMBER 2
Vince Neil: the man, the myth, the...well, we really can't call him a legend. Even though Motley Crue, his band, has had a few Number Ones in the genre of hard rock over the years (particularly the eighties and early nineties), with a quiet comeback over the course of this millennium, in no way does the band, nor its members, hold court with the likes of the giants in the industry, such as Metallica, Aerosmith, Journey, or even The Scorpions. And as far as frontmen go, the man pictured here isn't very liked by many people—even fans of the band, go figure! His sordid past and his behavior sure have a lot to do with that and although he appeared on the show, producers suggested that he shouldn't return.
17 JOSEPH FRONTIERA: PERSONA NON GRATA NUMBER 3
A former employee did manage to get away with money from them, though, and quite a pretty penny at that: 75,000 big ones! The story reads like a getaway scene from a blockbuster summer movie starring a young Hollywood star with ripped abs and great hair. The truth of it is, though, he grabbed a large amount of cash, bought some plane tickets, and tried to flee. By the time the people in charge found out what had happened, they sued the placement agency that had hired Frontiera in the first place. And no, no high-speed car chases were involved in Frontiera's apprehension.
16 BE CAREFUL WHICH CELEBS CAST MEMBERS ASSOCIATE WITH OFF-AIR
By that same token, this is why a rule was supposedly set in place letting all cast members know about the people who they spend their time with off-air, as well. Especially when we consider the scope of social media and the effect it has on people, many are sensitive in this day and age and if these people associate with the wrong person, it can mean a lot of trouble for the show and the network, ultimately affecting the flow of money. And when it comes to networks, that's the big picture at the end of the day. So if you don't see the boys hanging out with Lil' Wayne, we're sure you'll understand.
15 EACH CAST MEMBER HAS TO LIVE A STRAIGHT-ARROW LIFE OFF-SET
Well, gone are the days of going out and being a stereotypical celebrity and partying until the wee hours of the night. Gone are the days of trashing hotel rooms and partying so much that the tabloids never miss it. These days, celebs have to be all the more careful when going out for a night on the town. Best behavior definitely wins out these days, as social media and the quickness of the news cycle these days can absolutely end a career in one fell swoop, as we've most definitely seen. So the cast members at Counting Cars definitely have to be on their best behavior on their downtime.
14 THEY ALL HAVE TO BE DECENT PERFORMERS
As is the case for anything that's filmed these days, these guys have to be quite good in front of the camera. That means loads of charisma and yes, even acting talent is a must. Many reality stars learned that early on and the younger bucks coming up these days are catching on as well. Performing for the camera definitely gets these shows a lot more viewers as the most successful stars will tell you. These days, even people with their own online channels know that charisma is key, as the most successful channels will definitely show you. For example, the star quality that these individuals bring to the table, such as Logan Paul, distinguishes them from others (as do 18 million subscribers versus a few thousand—you be the judge).
13 BE AS ORIGINAL AS POSSIBLE
These individuals are also urged to be as original as possible, especially when it comes to the automobile designs. These days , and after many shows have risen and fallen to the challenge, Counting Cars definitely rises to the challenge, trying to bring very original builds and modifications to the screen. They definitely deliver and there is stress put upon them to keep up the good work, so to speak. Out-thinking their last endeavor and even outsmarting the competition is not only encouraged, but stressed. After all, it is for the betterment and lasting future of the show.
12 KEEP UP WITH THE CHAOS OF PRODUCTION
Of course, reality television isn't as easy as it would seem. The filming portion of it and the preparation that goes into it both require extremely tedious work and keeping up with that schedule, all the while keeping up productivity for the company, is quite difficult. But the cast is urged to keep up, and if they can't. well, we can all imagine what could happen to someone who can't keep up with the goings on at Counting Cars and, of course, the affiliated company. Who knows, maybe that was why Jones decided to call it a quits after just two seasons, after all.
11 TRY TO KEEP A LOW PROFILE
People who recognize reality show cast members during their daily lives want to get close to them and when an individual becomes a celebrity because of reality TV, the public believes that these individuals are more approachable. Thus stems their comfort at approaching a reality star over a star like, say, Brad Pitt. That fear and shyness isn't there all the time in fans when it comes to reality stars, so the cast members are urged to keep a low profile at home and when out in public, as some fan and cast member encounters can definitely get strange. The cast members are better off keeping to themselves and maybe even kind of disguising themselves when out. It isn't clear if each of the cast members follow this rule but it would make sense.
10 DON'T CORRECT "THE BOSS" IF HE MESSES UP HIS CAR LINGO ON-SET
Now, this is probably very good advice for anyone working for any type of boss out there. If you happen to be at work and you should be working with your boss rather closely—maybe even in a shop like the one featured on the show—whatever you do, don't correct him if he ever makes a mistake; especially in front of other people. Now, we're not telling you to be "Yes Men" but please, for the sake of job security, let it go. As it turns out, Danny doesn't like to be corrected and no matter how nice he seems, he's pretty serious about it, so we would hope the cast respects this rule.
9 MULTI-TASKING IS A MUST
It goes without saying that these dudes need to be pretty good at managing their time. At the end of the day, a badly executed schedule is the best way to mess up any plans of accomplishing anything during your planned workday, your week, or even your long term plans down the line. Learning to master your time ratio is key to success in any field, even in the arts. Novice musicians learn this quickly enough at the start of their careers, learning to deal with recording, writing, and the cruel demands of the road. Well, as it turns out, the same goes for the men at Count's Customs, as these people need to be very good at multi-tasking and managing their time.
8 PICK YOUR CLIENTELE WISELY
A huge part of the show is acquiring the cars that the team will be working on and doing so is intricate work, as knowing who to approach is key. On the show, Danny has been seen going up to many people and offering them money for their cars but many of those instances are fabricated or pre-arranged for the show (more on that later). In reality, the cars that are purchased are bought and paid for even before the cameras start rolling and the director yells: "ACTION!" This is much safer than just going up to random strangers and asking for their cars. If there have been any instances where the cast, or Danny himself, seems to be bartering with a complete stranger, we're more than sure that they know that the car owner is approachable.
7 GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT
This rule was pretty much established after the first few seasons went on air. In the initial episodes of the show, many viewers caught the cast and yes, even Danny Koker himself, misusing certain words and blurting out inaccurate facts about cars and even mechanical terms. This was very surprising and pretty embarrassing at the same time. So, this problem was nipped in the bud quite quickly and each cast member must measure their words carefully when using mechanic's lingo around the set and when the cameras are rolling.
6 SECURE LOCATION
There have actually been quite a few thefts reported on the set and at the Count's Customs warehouse and facility, and so security has been bumped up over the years. When a business operates solely as a business without the public eye scrutinizing everything a company does, it's easier to be a tad more relaxed and at ease throughout your day, operating the business without too much worry. But when all eyes are on a particular business, that changes the whole game, as we're sure. Danny and company have figured this out as the show has matured, eight seasons in.
5 THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT
Most businesses must stick to this old rule of thumb. In fact, many businesses rely on it as a focal point to good servitude and success moving forward, especially restaurants and other service-based businesses. But as it turns out, this rule resonates quite loudly in the garage and work area at Count's Customs. And if we really think about it, it makes sense. After all, if a certain client is paying big bucks for a car and a custom car at that, then he or she should be getting exactly what they pay for. After all, it wouldn't make much sense to argue about color, design, or even mechanical specifications when someone wants what they want.
4 WORKAHOLICS WANTED
We're pretty sure that many companies out there prefer workaholics to the opposite, which would probably be lazy, inconsiderate employees who have no ambition and work ethic. That's pretty safe to say, wouldn't you agree? This is especially so when it comes to companies that produce something specific, or fabricate something that sells for a decent amount of money. When it comes to these guys, the more vehicles they produce, the more money they make over the course of time. So it would make sense that they would employ workaholics as opposed to the formerly mentioned lazy employees.
3 STAY ON BUDGET
Something else that these people have to watch out for is how much they spend. That's a huge sector that cannot be overlooked and each of the mechanics needs to watch out. It's very easy to go over budget, especially when mistakes are made or if designs are a little too over the top. Danny and gang need to make sure they know the market on parts and any other service or product they need to take the particular vehicle they're working on from where it begins to the awesome ride that it turns out to be.
2 TAKE YOUR TIME WITH EVERY PROJECT, YET STILL REMAIN AS PRODUCTIVE AS POSSIBLE
As stated, multi-tasking is very important and speed is also a big and important factor when executing the type of work these guys are known for. But at the same time, it's very important for them all to know that particular care needs to be taken with every project on the lift or in the shop. What does this mean? Can they take their time with every project, moving slowly and halting production? Hardly. But the time that's necessary is necessary and they all know it, and there's a way to take care, all the while moving quick enough, and these guys seem to have mastered that.
1 IT'S ALL ABOUT "THE HAGGLE"
Haggling or negotiating is important in any facet of business. Every good businessman should definitely study it or at least practice it and perfect their skills as they move along in business. When dealing with vehicles like the ones that these dudes deal with every day, haggling becomes a pretty big part of the purchasing and selling of vehicles, especially if you want to buy low and sell high. So yeah, we'd say this one here is a pretty important rule and one that makes total sense.
Sources: Wikipedia, Answers Africa, and ecelebrityfacts.