New Show ‘Wolf PAC of Philadelphia’ on Amazon Prime

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A suspenseful moment from the new Philly-set show ‘Wolf PAC of Philadelphia’ | Courtesy Amazon Prime

A pack of wolves is running through the streets of Philadelphia, but fear not — they’re not a threat to your safety.

Amazon Prime released on Jan. 12 a new four-episode show called “Wolf PAC of Philadelphia” that pays homage to NBC’s long-running hit “Shark Tank,” sharing some similarities, but also revamping the format.

Over the course of a one-hour “Shark Tank” episode, the five would-be investor “sharks” hear pitches from four different entrepreneurs, then decide whether to fund them. But on “Wolf PAC,” with episodes lasting 30-35 minutes, the five “wolves” hear only one pitch, offer more advice and work as a team (the sharks generally compete against each other).


For example, in the first episode Flying Pie Guy food truck operator Michael Peacock is selling a well-received Australian meat pie, but is quick to admit he doesn’t know how to scale his business.

Over the course of the episode, the wolves hear his initial pitch, speak with a Peacock supporter (cheesesteak magnate Tony Luke), sample the pies, visit his food truck and then interview regular folks eating the pies. This all occurs in the first 12 minutes.

As the episode, much of which is shot at Lincoln Financial Field, progresses, we hear from Philadelphia Eagles spokesman Dave Spadaro about possible partnerships with Peacock and also with the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.

Finally, it’s time for the wolves to get down to business, with the remainder of the show spent discussing Peacock’s financial ask and how — and whether — they’ll help him.

“The Wolf PAC is more like venture capital firm than ‘Shark Tank’ is. We work together, not at odds,” said Leonard Lodish, an entrepreneur and Wharton School professor who is dubbed the analytics wolf.

Both Lodish and creator and Executive Producer Craig Shoemaker — a longtime comic — provide a Jewish background to the show.
Lodish, who is a member and longtime member and former president of Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood, co-founded Management Decision Systems, Inc. with $2,500 in bar mitzvah money.

And Shoemaker, who lives in Los Angeles now, but grew up in Mt. Airy and Springfield, Montgomery County, has a Jewish father. He joked that the often-concurrent holidays of Passover and Easter were confusing in his house.

“Was the empty chair for Elijah or Uncle Ray?” he said.
Shoemaker’s balanced a standup career with various stage, film and television acting and writing roles, but said he’s always been an entrepreneurial guy — he helped developed “on hold” advertising and founded the nonprofit LaughterHeals.org.

Although he’s lived on the West Coast for years, he retains a love for Philadelphia, which is apparent in the show. Numerous Philadelphia landmarks are referenced and familiar faces make cameo appearances.

“This show needs Philadelphia to be its own character,” he said.
Philadelphia plays a key role in the first four episodes, which feature a beauty salon operator, a natural energy food bars inventor and an entrepreneur in the sports collectibles market.
Shoemaker said another six Philadelphia-centric episodes are planned before the show heads in future seasons to Boston, Chicago and perhaps beyond.

Cleveland native Lodish said the show is designed to show that business can be fun despite the struggles would-be entrepreneurs often face.

“We want to motivate people to start businesses and own businesses,” said Lodish, a co-founder and partner with Musketeer Capital LLC and co-leader of Wharton’s Venture Initiation Program in San Francisco.

agotlieb@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0797

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