If you've been waiting for a tell-all interview from Carole Baskin after the Netflix hit Tiger King, we're certainly not getting one now. Joe Exotic's rival cat rescue founder has been pointedly media-shy ever since the release of the documentary series, saying it portrayed her in a bad light. However, she decided to give Jimmy Fallon a chance as long as they spoke only about her cat rescue and not what went down on Tiger King. The interview was set up over Zoom as late night hosts are currently conducting their shows remotely. While Baskin couldn't see Fallon, she could hear his questions. The only problem? It wasn't Jimmy Fallon.
Using audio from previous Jimmy Fallon interviews, the pranksters were able to assemble what sounded like a real conversation between the host and Baskin. The questions themselves were pretty tame since they came straight from past Fallon remote interviews, and revealed that Big Cat Rescue has taken a huge hit from the pandemic. While Baskin said she had to let go of half of her staff, she and the volunteers have been working double-time to make sure the cats get the care they need.
Per an email Baskin sent after the interview (that she posted publicly in the YouTube comments once the fake interview went live), she was immediately suspicious that she had been pranked.
"Well that was weird," she wrote. "I couldn't see Fallon during the interview, and when they had his voice on the questions they didn't sound like it was specific to the topic. He'd just say things they could have recorded from any other interview; like 'What are you doing during quarantine?'"
It turns out, she was kind of...charmed by the whole thing.
"I was suspicious as we were doing it because the questions appeared taped," she told Us Weekly. "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."