Carole Baskin was somehow the person who came out of the Tiger King craze with the biggest target on her back. And because of that, she's remained very quiet since the release of the show. Until she was tricked into giving an interview.
Josh Pieters and Archie Manners, two British pranksters who often trick celebrities into thinking they're being interviewed by some of the most popular late-night hosts, somehow got ahold of Carole and convinced her that Jimmy Fallon wanted to interview her via Zoom.
How did they trick Carole Baskin into giving a fake interview?
In the video, which they posted on YouTube, Josh and Archie explain their entire process. It involved pretending to be part of a company that sets up interviews with late-night hosts, combing hours of footage of Jimmy Fallon looking for appropriate sound bites and questions for Carole, and gradually gaining Carole's trust through a series of emails and phone calls.
It all sounded very legit. They even sent a legal contract over to Carole's lawyer, her current husband Howard Baskin. After lots of back-and-forth, Carole finally agreed to the interview, her first public interview since the release of Tiger King.
Archie and Josh got Carole to agree to be interviewed "by Jimmy Fallon" even though she wouldn't be able to see him, due to some technological issue. Of course, she wouldn't be able to see him because he wasn't really there.
What did Carole Baskin discuss during the fake interview?
The only way Josh and Archie could get Carole to agree to the interview in the first place was by agreeing not to mention Tiger King or any of the controversy surrounding her story.
Carole mainly agreed to do the interview to promote the Big Cat Public Safety Act, a new piece of legislation that she is backing that would stop the breeding of big cats in captivity. She also talks about what she's been up to during quarantine and introduced the "audience" to some of the cats in her care.
So the interview itself is... not very juicy. I suppose Josh and Archie consider it a win because Carole has been so quiet and removed from the media ever since the Tiger King storm started.
But the interview itself is very straightforward. They did convince her to introduce the cats at her sanctuary with her signature phrase: "Hey all you cool cats and kittens," and they did convince her that she really was talking to Jimmy Fallon when she was actually responding to pre-recorded questions and comments he'd said in interviews with other people.
So, the prank was technically successful. These two young men tricked Carole Baskin into a fake interview with "Jimmy Fallon." But the info Josh and Archie got out of Carole was harmless, and the only real consequence of this prank is that Carole probably won't be too keen to agree to any more interviews for a while.
In a statement to ET Online, a rep for Big Cat Rescue, the organization run by Carole Baskin, said on Carole's behalf, "I was suspicious as we were doing it because the questions appeared taped. But had no idea it would turn out to be such a fun prank. It gave us a very welcome good laugh."
The statement continued, "I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don't feel was in any way mean-spirited."
You can watch the whole video below. Josh and Archie take us through the whole process of securing the interview and then films the interview itself.
With pranksters like these guys, it's hard to understand what their goal is and why they do what they do. Sure, they convinced a woman whose basically in hiding due to death threats to give an interview by setting up an elaborate, fake company.
It seems they got the attention they were after. So congratulations to them, I guess.