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Carole Baskin, who was featured in Netflix’s popular Tiger King docuseries, has given few interviews since the show became a hit, citing her displeasure with the way the show portrayed her. But she recently fell victim to a prank by YouTubers pretending to be Jimmy Fallon interviewing her for The Tonight Show.
Pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners posted a video Sunday on their YouTube channel showing how they pranked Baskin. The duo pulled clips of Fallon asking various questions about cats that would not cause suspicion on Baskin’s part.
“Here’s a chance where we could perhaps interview some high-level talent because we are going under the guise of being a really famous show. And we thought, why don’t we take a shot in the dark and go for the most exclusive, hard-to-reach person in the world, with absolutely no hope of it working?” Pieters told Insider, adding it took multiple attempts to finally get Baskin on board.
Baskin has previously said she doesn’t like how Tiger King implied that she had a hand in her late husband’s death. However, Pieters and Manners convinced her that “Jimmy Fallon” would ask only about her big cats.
They told her she wouldn’t be able to see Fallon during the interview, being conducted via Zoom, and explained how they handled moments where they were stuck without an appropriate audio clip of Fallon’s voice.
“There is often a moment where there isn’t a clip that’s suitable,” Pieters told Insider. “But that’s luckily where I have Archie on standby who can come in and act as the producer and say, ‘Oh we’ve got a quick change there, Jimmy’s just doing this,’ or ‘Jimmy’s just doing his makeup,’ and then it sort of explains why something sort of went wrong.”
During the interview, Baskin talked about how she’s been taking care of her animals amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, noting she’d had to lay off half her staff “due to the loss of tourism revenue” and that volunteers are still helping take care of the cats, and also asked viewers to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act, one of her most passionate causes, which she also spoke about on the Netflix show. She also sent them several never-before-seen images.
On Sunday, Baskin told Us Weekly that she wasn’t upset by the prank and thought something was amiss during the interview.
“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. I appreciate their cleverness and that they created their video in a way that I don’t feel was in any way mean-spirited,” she said.
Pieters and Manners previously pranked British pop star Craig David, TikToker Holly H, Love Island couple Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury and magician Julius Dein by using voice clips from James Corden.
Watch their interview with Baskin below.
Updated 5:03 p.m. Sunday, May 3: Added response from Baskin.
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