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Mark Cuban — TV mogul, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star — hasn’t gotten where he is in life without a few failures.
And one of those was his 2004 ABC reality show The Benefactor. The series, in which contestants competed to win $1 million from Cuban, debuted only months after Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, and many critics noted the similarities between the two shows at the time. While The Benefactor lasted only one season, NBC continues to air The Apprentice, which has morphed into an all-celebrity cast.
But after The Benefactor underwhelmed, Trump found it necessary to reach out to Cuban and offer his … condolences?
On Wednesday’s The Tonight Show, Cuban — who noted that the show “tanked” — read a letter that Trump sent him in October 2004.
“I am truly sorry to hear that your show has been canceled for lack of ratings,” he read. “When I initially called you to congratulate you on The Benefactor — little did you or I realize how disastrous and embarrassing it would turn out to be for you. If you ever decide to do another show, please call me and I will be happy to lend a helping hand.”
When host Jay Leno noted that Trump was being “very nice,” Cuban quipped: “Can I just say, Donald, how’s that working out for you, now?”
The Tonight Show airs at 11:35 weeknights on NBC.
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