Netflix’s Tiger King became a viral quarantine sensation in mid-March, making star Carole Baskin a household name! Since the seven-part documentary series premiered, however, the Big Cat Rescue founder has repeatedly denied interview requests — until now. The 58-year-old received a number of emails inviting her to appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last month, however, it turns out the requests weren’t from producers, but YouTube pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners!
The hilarious duo came up with quite the scheme, emailing Big Cat Rescue and posing as a third party production company which books celebrity guests on the popular late-night show. In various emails showed in Josh and Archie’s video — which they dubbed a “worldwide exclusive” — Carole, and her husband Howard Baskin, repeatedly denied the invitation due to how she was portrayed in the series. “They devoted an entire segment to 23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting I was involved in my husband Don [Lewis‘] 1997 appearance,” an email, allegedly written by Carole, read
(of note, Carole has never been convicted of any crime). Eventually, the Florida resident changed her tune and agreed one one condition: they only talk about cats.
After an initial phone call where they discussed the interview, and an email from her husband Howard — also her lawyer — confirming a date, the duo were ready to rock ‘n’ roll! From there, Josh and Archie scoured the internet for clips of Jimmy talking about cats to cut together video clips as “questions.” Carole called into the scheduled Zoom call as planned, and Archie worked his magic. “You’ll only be able to hear [Jimmy], but he will be able to see you because of the cameras in his house — you can’t talk too much,” Archie explained, as Carole hilariously responded, “Something every husband wants!”
“I’m doing great, my daughter Jamie [Murdock] suggested I do this interview with you, she says hi. And we are working every day with the in the sanctuary,” Carole explained to “Jimmy”, noting that the cats have been keeping her busy in quarantine. “My husband and I live about five miles from the sanctuary and my daughter lives next door to us. My daughter and I still come in to the sanctuary every day as we have to take care of all the big cats here…we have so many cats depending on us, we don’t have a choice in the situation,” the Big Cat Rescue founder and CEO said.
Like many businesses, Big Cat Rescue was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced much of America to social distance. “Unfortunately, due to the loss of tourism revenue, we had to let go of half of our staff,” Carole revealed. “And thankfully, a lot of our animal care is being done by our volunteers. Our animals are still getting their daily care, but it means all of us are having to work double time,” she also said, noting that she wasn’t “sure” if they would ever be able to have tourists again. Carole also sent Josh and Archie a number of never-before-seen photos, which they cut into a hilarious montage titled “Baskin’ In The Glory.” At time of publishing, Big Cat Rescue has yet to acknowledge the prank on both their website and social media platforms.