Joe Exotic's mortal enemy Carole Baskin has been relatively silent with major media sources ever since the Tiger King craze took over popular culture. 🤫
One of the likely main reasons is her hesitation to discuss the mysterious 1997 disappearance of her ex-husband Don Lewis, which many fans of the docuseries suspect she had a hand in coordinating.
Yet, Baskin's reclusiveness didn't prevent YouTubers Josh Pieters and Archie Manners from tricking her into doing an interview with them under the guise that she was going to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Over the weekend, Pieters and Manners launched a three-part quarantine-themed series where they pretended to be a late-night host interested in speaking with celebrities. After posing as James Corden of the Late, Late Show, they wanted to end with a bang, likening their hunt for "bigger prey" to a tiger's.
So, they reached out to Baskin and convinced her to participate in a Zoom interview on the basis that they would only talk about cats. To make the talk feel real, they cut audio clips from past Fallon interviews and used them for each question. They further covered their bases by explaining that she wouldn't be able to see Fallon on video.
These dudes should think about starting their own live stream production company after watching how smoothly the fake interview ran. Baskin discussed what it's been like caring for her big cats while in quarantine and why people should support the Big Cat Public Safety Act.
Since becoming a cultural sensation, Baskin has given a couple of real interviews.
Most recently, she acknowledged the YouTube prank in an Us Weekly piece and seemed welcoming to the whole experience.
"I was suspicious as we were doing it because the questions appeared taped," she admitted. "But had no idea it would turn out to be such a fun prank. It gave us a very welcome good laugh. I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don’t feel was in any way mean-spirited.”
In another conversation with the Tampa Bay Times, she revealed she's been receiving so many prank phone calls and death threats that she doesn't feel comfortable riding her bike to work. Her husband, Howard Baskin, also described an intense "feeling of betrayal" after seeing how the producers of Tiger King portrayed his wife.
In response, Eric Goode, co-producer of Tiger King, told the Los Angeles Times that Baskin "certainly wasn't coerced" and willingly offered information about her personal life.