Tag Archives: “Shark Tank”

Despite Myriad Projects, Stand-Up 1st for Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy photo by Brian Bowen Smith/Fox

Jeff Foxworthy has a full dance card of TV and movie gigs of late — not only as a recurring investor on “Shark Tank” and as host of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” but with his role in the big screen sports comedy “Crackerjack,” and his voice work in the forthcoming “Smurfs” movie.  But don’t get the idea he’s aiming to veer away from stand-up comedy.

“Oh, my God — I wouldn’t ever want to do that,” says the nice guy funnyman, who is currently on the road with Blue Collar Comedy cohorts Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy.

“Twenty seven years into doing comedy, we’re filling up arenas and I’m having as much fun as I’ve ever had.  I’ve always said that laughter is like the relief valve that keeps the boiler from exploding.  In a big room, it’s infectious.  If, for a couple of hours, we can make people not worry about stuff and have a shared experience, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

According to Jeff, his “Crackerjack” part as an announcer, widely-touted as his first live-action acting role, is a small one.  “I’m trying to help a couple of guys from my church out,” he says, by appearing in the movie and providing input.  “It’s kind of cool…I always have a heart for the underdog.”

As far as this summer’s “Smurfs” movie in which he’ll be heard along with a cast including Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Katy Perry, Allan Cumming, Hank Azaria, Jonathan Winters and George Lopez —  Foxworthy says, “I don’t know if my mustache will be blue or not.  They’re going to put a mustache on my character.”

Foxworthy is the first to admit he’s not the kind of guy who leaps to mind when “Shark Tank” entrepreneurs are discussed.  When he’s on the NBC show, “It makes me feel like the old ‘Sesame Street’ song: ‘One of these things is not like the others…'”

His involvement came about because Mark Burnett produces both “Shark Tank” and “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader.”  One day, Burnett told him, “‘You know what you would be great on?  You should do ‘Shark Tank.’  I said, ‘Are you kidding me? Those guys are worth a billion dollars!'” he recounts.  But Burnett convinced Foxworthy he has the business savvy, and “It’s fun — something totally different for me.”

And he is very different for “Shark Tank.”  “On day one I came in and they said, ‘Now do your tough guy face,'” he tells us with a laugh.  “But I’m much more of a goldfish than a shark.  Seeing the contestants come in with their ideas takes me back 25 years, when I had the idea for a ‘Redneck’ book, but didn’t know how to advance it.  It’s a very sympathetic place for me.  I think, ‘Look over here.  I know you’re nervous.  I’ll make you relax.'”

‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John ‘Quicker to Go for the Jugular’ These Days

Daymond John ABC photo

“Shark Tank” entrepreneur Daymond John and his fellow shark, $2.5 billionaire Mark Cuban, are working out the details for their planned “Twittch” — that is, Twitter pitch — event April 9 at the Reality Rocks Expo at the L.A. Convention Center.  Business wannabes will have the chance to pitch their products to the potential investors in 140 characters or less while the duo talks about the use of social media to build brands.

The FUBU founder and CEO admits that when he was starting out, he couldn’t have sold an investor in 140 characters.  “I got turned down by 27 banks, so it didn’t matter whether I had 140 words or 140,000.”

Still, he’s into social networking for fun and profit now.  He gets around 200 pitches via Facebook, Twitter and email per week, and “I do look at most of them.  Mark Cuban says he’s backed products by people he’s never met through Twitter and e-mail.  I’m not going to do that.  I want to meet people before I give them any money.”   As for whether any of those pitches have been effective, John says he’s consulting with a handful of people who began with an unsolicited pitch to help them develop their goods or services.  Products from another few “are in my portfolio in case I meet with a company that might work a good deal with them.”

MEANWHILE:  With Season 2 of “Shark Tank” underway, John has sharpened his game.  Now, when he sees a product that he wants that other sharks also want, “whether I have a good or bad feeling about the shark, I’ll go for the jugular quicker.” Now, he has attorneys at the ready “so I’m better equipped to structure these deals.”  John also has “strategic partners in place” to help him carry through deals faster.

He tells us he’s glad for the addition of recurring sharks Cuban and Jeff Foxworthy.  “It makes it more fun and brings more eyeballs.  When Jeff came in, we didn’t know what to expect, his having been in show business for more than 25 years.  But you can’t be an idiot and be as successful as he is.  We were like, ‘Wow.  He gets it.  He understands.  He’s a businessman.’  We were pleasantly surprised.

“And with Mark, we expected him to come in and start throwing chairs and screaming,” he says of the fiery founder of HDNet and owner of the Landmark Theater chain and the Dallas Mavericks.  “But he’s been great.   He also created a different challenge in that he is perceived as Mr. Moneybags.”  But that can be used against him, John believes.  “I’ll say to people, ‘When you have to pay for the gas in his jumbo jet for him to come in for a meeting, what’s that going to do to your budget?’  And when you need to reach him and can only get his secretary, what are you going to do then?’  It’s all about playing a smart game.”

And for the sharks, it really is about the fun of playing the game, for, as John notes, none of them “has to work another day of our lives.”

“Shark Tank’ a Win for Daymond John Regardless of Future

Daymond John

ABC may have left ‘Shark Tank’ off its fall schedule, but executive say the reality show may have life in it yet. No matter what its future, branding expert, mogul and ‘Shark Tank’ shark Daymond John sees the show as a win-win. ‘It’s been very good for my personal brand. Before the show, people didn’t have an understanding of what I do. They expected the FUBU guy to come in break dancing and wearing gold teeth,’ notes the man whose urban fashion line became the cornerstone of a multiple-company empire. ‘When they see me on TV, they see the business aspect. It’s business and not about a color or particular product.’

He also expects to make money from the investments he’s made on ‘Shark Tank,’ although he tells us, ‘I’m not going to see returns on those things for another three years. Getting products placed at The Sharper Image; Bed, Bath & Beyond and other major stores is a huge boon to these people,’ he says of the ‘Shark Tank’ contestants. ‘They would not normally look at products without a background, but due to the show, they’re ready to take them into their stores and test them.’