If there are two things everyone in America can agree on, even in these divisive times, they’re these: 1) Shark Tank is a great show, and 2) the video package used at the beginning of each episode to introduce the sharks is funnier than most network comedies. I know these are high-powered business types we’re dealing with here, and that they were busy making millions instead of taking theater classes, but man. It’s like the director set up each shot and then shouted “Act natural!” through a bullhorn at a startling volume before rolling tape. What I’m saying is that it’s perfect and I love it.
And so, here’s what I did: I took the little separate video packages for each shark and ranked them from least to most hilarious. Important work we’re doing here.
6) Daymond John
- Looking at sneakers
- Looking at suits
- Holding meetings about sneakers and suits
Daymond has the most reasonable of all the shark intros, because so little of it looks staged. Like, yeah, I could see him having business meetings about sneakers and suits. That’s his job. And even the meetings look legit-ish. It’s all very disappointing, especially compared to the others. They couldn’t have shown him, like, flying a helicopter or drinking scotch and riding around New York in a stretch limo like a supervillain or something? Not even for a little? That’s it. Reshoot the whole thing. This one simply will not do.
5) Barbara Corcoran
- Holding obviously staged meeting
- Closing deal at the obviously staged meeting
- Posing in front of Manhattan skyline
Barbara’s still leaves a little to be desired but gets the nudge above Daymond’s for two reasons: One, because of the arms-crossed shot of her in front of the Manhattan skyline, which seems to imply that she is responsible for the entire thing; and two, because she appears to have just closed a deal in the lobby of her office while everyone involved is standing. It’s like she’s closing deals at such a rapid pace that she’s too busy to invite people into a conference room or even sit down.
“Hi, I’m Barbara. No time for your name. The offer is $300,000. Goes down to $250,000 in five seconds.”
“Okay! I’ll take it!”
4) Kevin O’Leary
- Driving speedboat
- Tasting expensive wine
- Doing… something at the NASDAQ stock exchange
The fun thing about Kevin’s video package is that, if you mute it and follow its narrative literally, it looks like he was elected President of the NASDAQ stock exchange because he is good at driving speedboats and knows a lot about fancy wines. Which, for the record, are pretty decent qualifications for the job, in this reporter’s opinion.
3) Robert Herjavec
- Driving sports car
- Posing in front of other sports cars
- Driving sports car to private plane
- Posing in front of private plane
- Shaking hands with business associate
Robert’s video package is awesome because once the show starts he is an adorable wide-eyed baby woodland creature who will melt all over the floor if you hand him a puppy at the beginning of your pitch, but he’s depicted in his intro as Mr. Badass Leather Jacket Sports Car Man. I half expected him to pull a gun out of his waistband as he was boarding the plane, like he’s Pierce Brosnan or something. In fact, that brings up a good point: Let’s give Robert an action series! ABC can run it right after Shark Tank on Friday nights. Like James Bond meets Miami Vice. Starring Robert!
2) Lori Greiner
- Drinking champagne on boat
- Holding a meeting in room surrounded by her framed patents
Lori’s is not as solid from beginning to end as Robert’s, but she zooms past him anyway in our rankings because hers opens — it opens — with her drinking champagne on a boat. That’s just fantastic. In fact, let’s put her in Robert’s action series, too. She can be the mysterious woman — with potentially devious motives! — who hired him to do private investigative and security work. And the twist is that the target of the investigation is… Kevin O’Leary, the corrupt President of NASDAQ!
I am barely joking about this.
1) Mark Cuban
- Spinning basketball on finger
- Making a free throw
- Crossing arms in a self-satisfied manner
- Posing with NBA Championship trophy
PRODUCER: Okay, so we’re thinking we’ll have you in a suit in your office, maybe looking out a window over the city, and then show you flying in your private pla-…
CUBAN: Watch how long I can spin this ball on my finger!
PRODUCER: That’s great, but we’re thinking more business relat-…
CUBAN: Shoot me draining this free throw!
PRODUCER: What does that have to do with investing?
[Cuban misses 12 straight free throws before finally making one]
CUBAN: Sick! You get that!
PRODUCER: I mean…
CUBAN: Awesome. I’ll send over footage of me posing with a trophy. Gotta jet.
[Cuban leaves, explaining the benefits of his new app CyberDust to a janitor and literally anyone else he sees on his way out]
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: What do you wanna do, boss?
PRODUCER: [rubbing temples] Just use it.