It’s hard not to be charmed by the daffy oddity that is Carole Baskin in Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, And Madness. With her big cat-themed wardrobe, hippie-cum-space-cadet persona, and beatific smile, she stands out even in a documentary series that is essentially nothing but eccentric characters. So it’s understandable that people would be clamoring to interview her in the wake of the series’ massive popularity—especially given her very vocal dislike of the way she was portrayed. And it turns out, even if you pretend to be Jimmy Fallon and trick her into giving one of her first major interviews since the show came out, she’ll be pretty cool with it. Oh, also, a lot of people are still convinced she murdered her previous husband. Just saying.
Over the weekend, a couple of YouTube pranksters, Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, fooled Baskin into believing they were from The Tonight Show, and got her to do a full interview under that misperception. (Pranks are still the absolute worst thing on the planet, coming in just ahead of coronavirus.) But despite the charade, Baskin turned out to be a very good sport: In a statement given to CNN, the advocate for big cat protection even offered up the assessment that it was fun. In unrelated news, many have offered up the assessment that she murdered her second husband, Don, and disappeared his body.
“It gave us a very welcome good laugh,” Baskin says of the prank, which used pre-recorded sound of Fallon to create the impression she was filming an interview for the late-night host. “I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don’t feel was in any way mean spirited.” And overall, Pieters and Manners—real Prankasaurus Rexes, those two—managed to make their prank minimally odious, allowing the owner of Big Cat Rescue sanctuary and organization the chance to discuss caring for animals during this pandemic, and how people can support the Big Cat Safety Act, legislation that works to end abuse of big cats by private owners.
Of course, that also means they didn’t spend much time asking about the allegations that Baskin killed her ex-husband, and possibly fed his body to tigers, or maybe dumped it into the ocean. Really, there’s a couple of possibilities to the end of that hypothetical but nonetheless extremely plausible scenario, one to which many of us may or may not subscribe.