YouTuber Josh Pieters managed to trick the one and only Carole Baskin from hit Netflix show Tiger King into participating in an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" – and it went off without a hitch.
Carole Baskin has been the subject of enormous internet debate ever since Netflix's hit documentary Tiger King exploded in popularity. It follows the story of Joe Exotic and his gigantic collection of tigers, and his ongoing feud with the Big Cat Rescue owner over the ethics of keeping the felines in captivity.
YouTube prankster Josh Pieters and his sidekick Archie Manners have been known to fool celebrities for videos, and the cats rights activist is their latest victim, baiting the 58-year-old into her first public interview since the TV show aired.
YouTubers bait Carole Baskin
Obviously getting the real Jimmy Fallon in to interview the "Tiger Queen" was impossible, so Josh and his trusty sidekick did the next best thing – they used his voice from previous show recordings to impersonate him and to trick her into thinking she was really talking to the TV host via Zoom.
Carole agreed to the appearance provided that it would strictly be about cats and wouldn't mention Tiger King or Joe Exotic in any capacity. Archie contacted her by phone to confirm before the call, under the guise of "Matthew" from "Invisible Object" – the production company they'd told her was working on the show.
The American told the prankster that she had a very specific way she wanted to be introduced on air – the "Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue" – and stated that she was "very grateful" it wasn't going to be "that b**ch Carole Baskin."
(Timestamp 3:43 for mobile viewers.)
The day of the interview came, and "Matthew" emailed the TV star a link to the Zoom call. They were afraid she might not show, but she came through to her word and they got her to list off a few types of cats she likes in order to "check the sound levels" and explained why she would be able to hear "Jimmy Fallon" but not see him – because he was being filmed on proper cameras in his house.
"Thank you so much for being on our show. We appreciate it, we love you, how are you?" the host asked by way of a sound clip from a previous episode. "I am doing great!" Carole replied. "I am doing great, my daughter Jamie suggested I do this interview with you, so she says "Hi!" and we are working every day with the cats of the sanctuary."
She then revealed how the organization had to let around half of their staff go due to lack of tourism during the current world situation, but said that the animals are fine and well looked after, though she wasn't sure if they'd "ever be able to do tours again."
The pranksters even got the animal rights activist to say her famous phrase "Hey, all you cool cats and kittens, it's Carole at Big Cat Rescue" before showing off some never-before-seen photographs and videos of daily life in the sanctuary. They even convinced her to wear a "haku lei" flower crown on her head – something she famously wore a lot during Tiger King.
They couldn't resist ending the prank by trolling her once more by asking her to remove her headwear for the last part, before changing their minds and getting her to put it back on again.