So you’ve watched Tiger King. Now what?
by Fran Winston
Who would have known at the beginning of March that we’d all basically be under house arrest and obsessed by a redneck, mullet-wearing, gay, polyamorous, exotic animal owner who goes by the name of Joe Exotic. But yep – this is our life now. At this stage you’ve probably watched the entire series, plus the bonus episode hosted by Joel McHale that dropped Easter Sunday (Sidebar: am I the only one questioning how he is suddenly not hot! What happened between Community and this show?) and shared all the Memes and GIFS that have been generated (let’s face it, it’s a meme goldmine!) So how can you keep your obsession going until our Lords and Masters let us travel further than 5km again (or Joe gets the radio show he’s apparently in talks to do from prison). Well, there are plenty of more places to get your Joe fix.
The Life Exotic: Or the Incredible True Story of Joe Schreibvogel
This 2016 film directed by J.D. Thompson actually premiered at The Underground Film Festival in Dun Laoghaire in Dublin a few years ago. Focusing primarily on the work of the zoo it still manages to show Joe in all his weird and wonderful glory. Although it touches on his husbands and some other elements that feature in Tiger King it doesn’t fully explore them the way that the series does. But with a running time of just under an hour and a half, it serves as somewhat of a prequel to the hit show – even if it is unintentional.
Joe Exotic TV
Throughout Tiger King you will have seen clips from Joe’s self-funded and self-produced reality show Joe Exotic TV. These often provided some of the more outlandish moments as he embraced his inner reality TV star giving performances that make the cast of Made In Chelsea look like shrinking violets. The show’s director Rick Kirkham actually features in Tiger King giving his personal insights into Joe but don’t just take his word for it because the whole series is on YouTube for your viewing delight. And each episode is more bonkers than the last.
You can start at episode one here –
Lights Out with David Spade
Widely touted online as a possibility to play Joe when the inevitable Tiger King movie is made, comic actor David Spade has already been getting in on the action with his pop culture news show Lights Out. Spade admits to being obsessed by Tiger King and he just managed to get in under the wire with his commentary as Lights Out has since been cancelled. However, if you felt Joel McHale didn’t delve deep enough when he interviewed the stars of the show in his special then this may sate your appetite. He has interviewed several of the key people featured and the clips are available as “best ofs” on YouTube.
Joe Exotic: Tiger King
This podcast was originally part of the Over My Dead Body series but has (unsurprisingly) been rebranded in light of the success of the Netflix show. Over a glorious 12 episodes of varying length, this analyses his feud with Carol Baskin while also including some bonus featurettes. Available on Spotify you can find the links here https://open.spotify.com/show/5z8vxzseV4vy0wZpQyYrXa
OK, so this isn’t part of the Joe Exotic story but if you like colourful characters, polygamy, big cats being kept by people who probably shouldn’t even be trusted with a hamster and questionable spousal death at the paws of one of the aforementioned cats (and of course you do – you’ve watched Tiger King) then you should also appreciate this. Made back in 2008, when Tiger King was a mere twinkle in some Netflix execs eye, this HBO documentary directed by Harris Fishman follows Ron Holiday (yes it’s a stage name) as he tells the story of his life and career as one-half of the Cat Dancers with his wife Joy. When a third person, Chuck Lizza enters their act and lives things become complicated. This isn’t very balanced as we only get Ron’s side of the story but it is brilliantly bonkers and yet another “you couldn’t make it up” tale. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.