At this point in the self-isolation process, if you’re still not familiar with Joe Exotic, we’re almost impressed.
But now that you’ve basked in our praise, go and binge all seven episodes of Tiger King, because holy lord, you have no idea what you’ve been missing out on.
The Netflix documentary series is one of very few recent pop culture phenomena that genuinely lives up to its considerable hype.
In the weeks since the bonkers saga of big cats, murderous hillbillies, and a whole lot of red state swingers made its debut, each of the major players has spoken out to elaborate on their storyline or complain about their portrayal — except for one.
Joe Exotic is currently in prison serving a 22-year sentence on murder for hire and animal abuse charges.
As is that weren’t bad enough Exotic is currently in isolation after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Those circumstances might have silenced a lesser man — or at least one who’s less fond of the spotlight — but not Joe Exotic.
On Friday, Netflix tweeted a short video (below) of Mr. Exotic participating in a phone interview from prison.
The conversation took place on March 22, but for some reason the streaming service sat on the footage until today.
Perhaps they decided to wait for the Tiger King buzz to build — but like the coronavirus, Joe Exotic fever probably hasn’t peaked yet.
The unseen interviewer began by asking Joe what he thinks of his newfound fame.
“You know it would be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I’ve seen these same four walls for a year and a half now,” he replied.
In a rare moment of self-reflection, Joe says the experience of being imprisoned has led him to feel remorse over the number of animals he kept in cages over the years.
“Go it in a cage with your animals for a week,” he said.
“I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I—I’m ashamed of myself,” Joe added.
Exotic went on to say that despite the fact that they’ve been separated for the past 18 months, his relationship with Dillon Passage is still going strong.
“I can’t thank my husband enough for standing beside me,” he said.
And of course, no conversation with Joe Exotic would be complete without asking the 57-year-old how he feels about his longtime rival Carole Baskin.
Does Joe still think Carole murdered her husband and fed him to her tigers?
Does he still blame her for his imprisonment?
Is he determined to seek revenge?
Well, prepare yourself for what may be the final major twist of the Joe Exotic story — it turns out the man is prepared to move on from his long-standing beef with Baskin.
“I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga,” Joe told the interviewer.
“It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges.”
Of course, if he does get released Joe will be entering a world that’s very different from the one he left behind when he got locked up back in 2018.
One major difference, of course, is that Joe is now a celebrity — and not surprisingly, he has some very big ideas about where his career should go from here.
Tiger King filmmaker Rebecca Chaiklin recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she’s had conversations with Joe about which actor should play him in a movie about his life.
“He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him,” Chaiklin said, adding:
“He doesn’t refer to David Spade as David Spade — he refers to him as Joe Dirt.”
Well, we guess Mr. Exotic is nothing if not self-aware.
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