‘Tiger King’: Carole Baskin Fooled Into Interview by YouTube Comedy Duo

Carole Baskin gained international notoriety through the documentary series Tiger King. Among other things, Tiger King chronicled her early life, her romantic relationships, and her passion for big cats. Baskin hasn’t been too happy with the series.

Regardless, some Tiger King fans were still interested in hearing more from Baskin. A pair of YouTubers took matters into their own hands. Here’s how they fooled Baskin into giving an interview and how Baskin reacted when she learned she’d been duped.

Carole Baskin Big Cat Rescue PETA
Carole Baskin | Netflix

The hoax ‘Tiger King’ interview which went viral

Baskin is a star but she seemed a touch media-shy. Many outlets tried to get a hold of her for an interview and failed. Perhaps this is due to the negative reception she’s received from fans of Tiger King. Somehow, a YouTube duo managed to accomplish what several major media outlets could not.

Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, two British YouTubers, wanted to interview Baskin. They fooled Baskin into thinking they worked for Jimmy Fallon. Pieters and Manners told Baskin that Fallon would interview her through a Zoom conference call. To make her think she was talking to Fallon, they played her soundbites from Fallon’s show.

What Carole Baskin had to say

Baskin opened up about how her zoo is doing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. She said the pandemic forced her to lay off some of her staff. Some fans were sad to learn Baskin might not hold tours at her zoo.

Baskin said “Unfortunately, due to the loss of tourism revenue, we’ve had to let go of about half of our staff. Thankfully, all of our animal care is by volunteers, so the animals are still getting their daily care, but it means all of us are having to work double-time to make sure all of that happens.” She added “After COVID-19, I just don’t know if we are ever going to be able to do tours again.”

However, the big cats at her sanctuary are fine. She said that before the quaratine began, she was able to get enough food for them to live comfortably.

What the hoaxers, Jimmy Fallon, and Carole Baskin thought of the interview

Manners classified the prank as cringe comedy but felt he and Pieters didn’t disgrace Baskin. “We go heavy on the cringe and the reason it’s cringeworthy is because she’s being interviewed by a robot and she doesn’t realize. We didn’t do anything too humiliating.”

Tigers | Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The internet had a field day with Baskin’s fraudulent interview. People reached out to Fallon for comment on the matter but he could not be reached. We might not know what Fallon thinks of the ordeal but we do know what Baskin thinks about it.

Baskin didn’t have an issue with the hoax. She felt it was clever without being meanspirited. Baskin revealed she was somewhat skeptical of the interview, as the questions were all taped. Ultimately, she found the prank funny.

Pieters and Manners certainly deserve credit for managing to get a sought-after interview. Duping Baskin into an interview could have been taken the wrong way. However, Baskin took no issue with it.

Also see: ‘Tiger King’: Miranda Lambert Says Why Joe Exotic Helped Her Once