RECAP — Tiger King is on top of the meme food chain

Myah Elliott
Story by Myah Elliott • CBC Kids News • Published 2020-05-08 17:25

Prank involving Carole Baskin means the series is trending again

It’s hard to have missed all that’s been going on since Netflix launched its docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

And now a YouTube prank is giving fans even more to chew on.

On May 3, a couple of YouTubers from the U.K. tricked one of the show’s stars, Carole Baskin, into giving them an interview by pretending to be late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon.

Let’s be clear: Tiger King, an American true crime documentary, is rated 16+ because it includes references to murder, violence, drugs and sex.

But if you go anywhere near the internet, you’ve probably seen the memes and jokes — they’re hard to miss.

Just because you’re too young to watch the show doesn’t mean you should miss out on the fun, so in this week’s RECAP, we’re filling you in on the gossip without all the gore.

You can find the episode on the CBC Kids News YouTube channel and be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

Also on this week’s RECAP: Award shows are going virtual. What were some highlights from the 2020 Shorty Awards? A coronavirus update from around the world and here at home.  From Elon Musk’s new baby to Tom Cruise filming a movie in space, things are getting out of this world! Plus, some sidekicks share their Mother’s Day wishes. Awww.

What in the world is a ‘Tiger King?’

Tiger King is a documentary series about a man named Joseph Maldonado-Passage, a.k.a. Joe Exotic, and his exotic animal park in Oklahoma.

One of the main themes in the show, launched on March 20, is his rivalry with Baskin, who is an animal rights activist.

According to Nielsen ratings, the series has been watched by more than 34 million people in the U.S. within the first ten days of its release — that’s almost the entire population of Canada!

Phew, that’s a lot of tiger fans.

The seven-part series is breaking records and going viral.

One of the stars of the show is the Tiger King himself, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who goes by his stage name, Joe Exotic. (Netflix)

The people featured on the show are quirky, opinionated, very controversial and even more memeable.

The internet and TikTokers grabbed hold of their best viral moments, and the rest is meme history.

According to RECAP sidekick Ethan Berkeley-Garcia, Tiger King has gone viral because of how often the plot changes and how “unbelievably unreal” the whole series feels.

RECAP sidekick Saadia Zahra has avoided watching it because she heard it was too sad.

RECAP sidekick Saadia Zahra says the memes of Tiger King mostly focus on the ‘tacky nature of Joe Exotic: his sequined 90 blouses and the very loud belts and jeans.’ (Allison Cake/CBC)

“During the pandemic, I have been mostly watching comedies, musicals and light-hearted movies,” she said.

But she has seen the memes.

Why do we keep talkin’ tigers?

This week Tiger King was once again back in the news because of a prank on Baskin.

Apparently, Baskin thought she was giving her first public interview to Fallon, when, in fact, she was being tricked.

According to a video on their YouTube channel, Josh Pieters and Archie Manners used clips from previous Fallon interviews to make it seem like he was the one actually doing the interview.

Talk about a tale — a tale that has now been viewed more than five million times on YouTube.

Carole Baskin was led to believe she was being interviewed on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. (Josh Pieters & Archie Manners/YouTube)

CBC Kids News reached out to Baskin for a comment on the prank.

We received a statement that said: “I was suspicious as we were doing it because the questions appeared taped.... I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don't feel was in any way mean spirited.”

CBC Kids News also reached out to pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners for comment but hadn’t heard back by publish time.

Why Tiger King is king of the binge watch

According to TV writer and senior editor of Slate Magazine, Sam Adams, Tiger King is particularly bingeable at this moment in history.

“People are mainly watching it to escape from the world outside,” he said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Day Six.

With the world “turning upside down” in recent weeks, Tiger King is the only thing that is “weirder than real life,” Adams said.

Speaking of weirder than real life, somehow Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande are now involved?

Well, sort of.

Bieber and Grande enter the picture

Carol Baskin submitted a video of herself dancing, hoping to be included in Bieber and Grande’s music video for their new track Stuck with U.

That was quickly shut down by Grande after Bieber posted about it on Twitter.

Baskin and her husband do not appear in the music video, which features other fans, family and front-line workers dancing.

Want to hear more about Tiger King, including who might play Joe Exotic in a film version? Be sure to tune into the latest episode of RECAP, you cool cats and kittens!


Top photo: (Allison Cake/CBC), with files from CBC Radio

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About the Contributor

Myah Elliott
Myah Elliott
RECAP Host
Myah Elliott is the host of RECAP, a weekly video roundup of buzzed-about news and pop culture that is powered by CBC Kids News. She’s one of the biggest movie fans you’ll ever meet and she also loves music. You won’t catch Myah relaxing too often because she’s on a gap year and fills her time with a part-time job, thrifting, TikToking and learning all she can about marketing and social media. Episodes of #CBCRECAP are uploaded right here every Friday and are also on CBC TV and CBC Gem on Saturdays.