‘Tiger King’ Cast Spoke With David Spade Because They Love ‘Joe Dirt’

After Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness premiered on Netflix in March, the participants in the docuseries started doing further interviews with all the talk shows. David Spade got in on the Tiger King love. The quarantine had already started, but Spade was doing remote episodes of Lights Out with David Spade from home on video chat. 

Comedy Central: David Spade
David Spade | Kevin Mazur/Comedy Central

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Spade appeared on The Howard Stern Show on May 18 promoting his Netflix film The Wrong Missy. He discussed his interviews with the Tiger King folks and his thoughts on giving them more publicity. 

David Spade only interviewed the ‘Tiger King’ cast for fun

Spade interviewed Kelci Saffery, Rick Kirkham, John Reinke and John Finlay from Tiger King

Tiger King
Kelci Saffery | Netflix

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“I did interview some of those people for the show just for fun, just as a lark,” Spade said. “It was fun once I talked to them. The first time you see it, you’re sort of laughing because the characters are so crazy. After a while you start to figure out what’s really going on and it gets a little too rough. Then the seedy backstories.”

The ‘Tiger King’ crew were big ‘Joe Dirt’ fans

Those were four pretty good gets from Tiger King. It turns out Spade had an in with them. His 2001 comedy Joe Dirt was quite popular with Joe Exotic’s zoo staff. In that film, Spade has a mullet and satirizes southern stereotypes.

“They all watched Joe Dirt and so they said they will talk to Joe Dirt,” Spade said. 

That might be how Spade got roped into casting rumors to play Joseph Maldonado-Passage himself. Dax Shepard and Edward Norton actively wanted the role.

Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic | Netflix

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“I think it just was popular that people said they gotta do something,” Spade said. “Then I kinda look like this little squid so of course everyone’s like, ‘David Spade should play this gross guy.’ I’m like, thanks? That’s my big in? Then they’re like no, it should be these people. Everyone just had fun because they’re bored. Vote. Let’s all vote. Let’s all figure it out.”

David Spade thinks a ‘Tiger King’ movie is a bad idea

There are several Tiger King projects competing now. Nicolas Cage will play Joseph Maldonado-Passage in one miniseries. Kate McKinnon is playing Carole Baskin in a separate project. Spade isn’t sure of the comedy potential.

“To make a comedy, I was thinking of how we would even do it. It’s sort of like a hat on a hat, that comedy term which means it’s already funny,” Spade said. “How am I going to make that funnier than it is. They’re playing it like an SNL sketch. Carole Baskin is crazy. He dresses crazy and funny haircuts.”

Tiger King: Carole Baskin
Carole Baskin | Netflix

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If anyone can do it though, Spade has faith in McKinnon, who was on SNL many seasons after him.

“Kate McKinnon I heard is doing something with Carole Baskin and she’s very good,” Spade said. “So maybe she’ll think of a dramatic way to do it or some other way, a different angle to come in on it to make it worth doing.”