If Paul Teutul Sr. of "American Chopper" were in the tag sale game instead of the bike business, he'd be Brian Elenson, star of "Big Brian: The Fortune Seller," premiering Tuesday, March 22, on truTV.
Brian is the brash, boisterous boss of 2MuchStuff4Me, a company in the New York metro area that specializes in cleaning out houses and selling the contents.
"I don't put on sales; I put on a show," he says in the pilot, in which Elenson and his staff have four days to empty a packed-to-the-rafters home and unload the goods.
Those helpers include Joe, aka "the muscle," whose job description includes protecting the property, whether that's ejecting an overzealous early bird or breaking up a fight between two women over a fur coat. Vinny, who looks like a slightly heftier Howard Stern, is "the picker," unafraid to go into dark spaces in search of hidden treasures -- unlike his fiancee, Anna, the antique jewelry specialist, who frets about spirits and auras and burns sage to keep the bad mojo at bay. In the pilot, her belief that there's a restless spirit in the home is confirmed -- to her, anyway -- when she and Vinny discover a box containing a dead woman's ashes.
That's not the only forgotten item in this house, it turns out. The homeowners are as surprised as Elenson when he discovers a pair of turn-of-the-century canes -- one of which he suspects belonged to Harry Houdini. And Anna gets the shock of her life in the basement when she encounters a hairless cat that's been down there for heaven knows how long. (Yes, it's alive.)
As entertaining as the sorting and picking process is, things really get going when the staff opens the home to shoppers, who line up for hours for the chance to be first. It pays off for those lucky enough to score such finds as a pair of 19th-century rifles (sold to a gun dealer for $15,000) and a George Washington commemorative coin (sold for $2,000).
Some tag-sale pros will stop at nothing to gain an edge, including passing gas or neglecting to bathe in hopes of driving other shoppers away. We don't recommend this technique, though; nobody likes a stinker, least of all Brian and the gang.
Cleaning house is no small endeavor for 'Big Brian: The Fortune Seller'
Joe, Brian, Anna and Vinny (from left)