The perfect storm of people sheltering in place, a serendipitous release date on the most popular streaming service in the world, and an unbelievable story with one incredible character after another has led to Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness being the biggest entertainment phenomenon of the year (averaging 19 million viewers in the first 10 days, which is the same number of people who saw Hobbs & Shaw theatrically in North America during its three-month release). The last time so many people were so collectively interested in something not sports-related on the small screen was possibly the question of who shot J.R. Ewing on Dallas, 40 years ago.
Pseudo water cooler chats have occurred on Twitter, Facebook, Zoom, and anywhere else that humans are virtually congregating during the attempt to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin memes are all over the internet. Professional critics and casual viewers alike are debating whether this subject or that subject is the primary hero or main villain of Tiger King, or if there are no good guys at all. The mystery of Baskin’s late husband and the way the documentary series leans into her guilt has some fans playing judge, jury, and executioner. Celebrities are calling for Joe’s release from prison. Websites are fan-casting the inevitable Tiger King movie. This thing is everywhere.
And what happens when any sort of media is this big? Hollywood and various segments of the entertainment and news industries exploit its success as far as they can take it. We’re no different. We attempt to catch and help those in need of what to watch next. We publish our own takes on the program and its menagerie of characters. But there are different levels of getting in on the fun, whether it’s Joe Exotic face masks or a distributor promoting a related movie that had come way before Netflix’s series as “the O.G. Tiger King” (Roar, by the way, is on our list of movies to watch after Tiger King) or producers rushing out their own versions of the same story.
In the last week, social media has been abuzz about the possibility of more Tiger King, whether it’s in the form of an extra episode of the Netflix series itself or a “sequel” from another outlet or TV specials promising new angles. With so much going on, reports being sporadically posted, and lines being crossed, we would like to offer the world a guide to what’s been rumored, what’s been officially announced, and what’s already out there in terms of how to keep going with the Tiger King circus train and all its wild creatures — by which I mean, of course, the humans, not the big cats and other animals. If need be, we may update this list as we learn more.
One More Episode of Tiger King
Update: Following an unofficial claim from Jeff Lowe (see below), Netflix has confirmed that there will be a bonus episode of Tiger King, which will arrive on Sunday, April 12th. This will be an update with many of the docuseries’ characters recently interviewed anew by none other than Joel McHale. The “after-show” will feature Lowe, his wife Lauren, reality show producer Rick Kirkham, and Joe Exotic’s ex John Finlay, Joe’s campaign manager Joshua Dial, and Joe’s zoo employees Saff and John Reinke. Check out McHale’s announcement via Twitter:
The Tiger King and I — a Tiger King after show hosted by Joel McHale and featuring brand new interviews with John Reinke, Joshua Dial, John Finlay, Saff, Erik Cowie, Rick Kirkman, and Jeff and Lauren Lowe — will premiere April 12 pic.twitter.com/8fbbNdaiDA
— Netflix (@netflix) April 9, 2020
Previously: Netflix hasn’t confirmed nor denied there will be a bonus episode of their hit series, but that’s the claim made by Tiger King character Jeff Lowe in a Cameo video that was addressed and forwarded to then shared by Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner and his wife. In the clip (watch it below), Lowe states the streaming service is dropping one more episode “next week” after filming at his place this week. Of course, Lowe isn’t the most trusted person following his portrayal by the series so far and so many fans are taking this claim with a grain of salt until something official is announced or suddenly released in what was meant to be a surprise.
🚨BREAKING NEWS FOLKS🚨
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) April 4, 2020
The Tiger King “Sequel”
If you’ve heard the claim that a Tiger King sequel is in the works, that’s not exactly true. But another documentary is being produced about the characters from Netflix’s series titled Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic. Just at the cable channel Investigation Discovery. They have pushed the program as the “definitive sequel” and the “inevitable sequel,” but it’s made by different people, save for those appearing as subjects in both. ID’s take on the story will attempt to answer lingering questions, offer more evidence about the case of Baskin’s missing late husband, more details about Lowe, and additional secrets uncovered about Joe Exotic and fellow private zoo owner Doc Antle.
Ask Tiger Rick
Depending on when and if the new episode of Tiger King actually arrives, this could be the first available spawn from the series’ success. “Ask Tiger Rick” is an interactive special focused on Rick Kirkham, the longtime Joe Exotic collaborator who produced the zookeeper and presidential candidate’s web series and was developing a potential reality series about the unique personality. Kirkham will be answering questions live and sharing unseen footage while giving his unedited side of the whole story. This isn’t free, though; you’ll have to buy “a ticket” via All Things Live for the event, which is happening Saturday, April 11th, at 11 am PT.
Before Tiger King
As you wait for those efforts to continue the story, there’s already plenty of content out in the world to cater to your Tiger King fix. Netflix’s series was not the first documentary made about its characters. A number of shorts and features and TV specials and episodes already exist that focus on its main subject, Joe Exotic, including one from 2016 called The Life Exotic: Or the Incredible True Story of Joe Schreibvogel (available to stream free on YouTube). You’ll find a lot of similar footage in those. Then there’s The Tiger Next Door, a feature documentary from 2009 (currently discounted significantly on DVD and VOD) about Dennis Hill, seen briefly in Tiger King as the exotic animal breeder who sold Baskin and her late husband their first tiger in 1995. If only every character from the series, major or minor, had already received their own solo documentary. Perhaps now they all eventually will.