‘Shark Tank’: The Hollywood Story Behind the Man Who Created Hugo’s Amazing Tape

Araya DiazGetty Images

On Sunday night’s Shark Tank, two sisters step on to the carpet to pitch a business started by their father, Hugo Maisnik. The product, Hugo’s Amazing Tape, is a bit of a wonder. It’s strong, holds fast but leaves no residue. It’s reusable and sticks only to itself. According to the company’s website, Maisnik discovered his Amazing Tape when it literally arrived on his doorstep. More specifically, he received a package full of damaged contents at his printing plant. One piece of plastic was unscathed, and he was fascinated by its potential.

But back in 1987, People described Hugo Maisnik in a whole different way. Then, he was an advertising executive and the manager of Angelyne, best-known for her eye-catching billboards around Los Angeles. Decades before the creation of social media and the preponderance of reality television, Angelyne said she was “the first person in the history of this town to become famous for nothing.” (Which People said was “inaccurate.”) The billboards, featuring Angelyne’s blonde hair and pink aesthetic, were part of a multi-year plan to make her well-known.

All these years later, Angelyne is still seen around Los Angeles, driving in her pink Corvette. The plan to make her famous was so successful that it was not until a Hollywood Reporter article last year that the public learned her real identity, Renee Goldberg, daughter of holocaust survivors. In November 2017, THR reported that Emmy Rossum was set to star in a limited series about Angelyne, at the time still being shopped to networks and streaming services.

As for Maisnik, Angelyne told THR in 2015 her relationship with him was always professional, emphasizing that he was married, and a “very eccentric, bored prankster.”

Angelyne
Angelyne on February 3, 2005 in Hollywood, California.Featured image credit: Stephen ShugermanGetty Images

Within a few short years, Maisnik’s daughters would appear on Shark Tank, revealing their father had passed away. On the show, they asked for $50,000 for 50 percent of the company. Long-time viewers of the program would recognize that as a suspicious ask, perhaps indicating they were willing to give up the company altogether. Rarely do entrepreneurs offer to share or give up controlling equity in the company. The sharks have often mused they want an invested entrepreneur, whose commitment remains with the company.

As for Angelyne, it seems she had a lasting impact on at least one of Maisnik’s progeny. Katherine Saltzberg put on a one-woman play in 2009 about how Angelyne’s ambitions cast a shadow on her home and her life.

Shark Tank airs Sundays on ABC.