'Tiger King's Carole Baskin tricked into giving first interview by YouTubers posing as Jimmy Fallon

Two YouTubers have tricked Carole Baskin into giving her first interview after her controversial appearance in Netflix series Tiger King.

While Baskin thought she was going to be chatting with late-night host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, she was actually being asked questions by YouTube pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners.

The pair posed as producers and used Zoom calls and old TV sound bites to find out if they could trick celebrities into thinking they were being interviewed on real late-night TV shows.

Photo / YouTube

Pieters told Insider magazine they got the idea from watching shows like Good Morning Britain, and they wondered whether the guests could always see who was interviewing them.

"From there came the idea of just playing the talent recordings of their interviewers and seeing if they would notice," Pieters said.

In two previous videos, they used voice clips from James Corden and tricked UK pop star Craig David and Love Island couple Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury into fake interviews.

After their first few pranks were successful, they knew they were ready to take it to the next level.

"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," Pieters told Insider.

Photo / YouTube

"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?"

The pair pretended to be from a production company that books celebrities for late-night talk-show appearances. Carole initially declined but agreed on the provision that the interview would only be about cats.

They then found a bunch of clips of Fallon interviewing guests and talking about cats, and had them at the ready on an iPad.

"Jimmy Fallon has interviewed people named Cat, he's interviewed the cast of Cats and he's actually interviewed a real cat," Pieters said.

Photo / YouTube

Pieters' off-sider Manners said they even had an excuse ready as to why Fallon obviously wouldn't be appearing on screen himself, telling Baskin it was because he was filming himself at home due to lockdown restrictions.

During the interview, Baskin talked about how her life has changed during the lockdown, and how she's struggling with losing revenue due to the tourism impact of coronavirus.

Baskin finished the interview by asking people to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act and not pay to see tiger cubs.

"We really did not expect it to work," Pieters said of the prank. "We still can't really believe we managed to interview Carole Baskin."

Photo / Netlix

Animal rights activist Baskin featured in the Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, due to her acrimonious relationship with Joe Exotic, a private zookeeper.

But another strong storyline for Baskin has been the many questions about her spouse Don who went missing in 1997.

He was declared legally dead in 2002 and after Exotic alleged Baskin killed her husband, True crime network ID have decided to make a new documentary with a focus on Baskin and Don.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.