Twitter Reacts To Joe Exotic: The Tiger King

It's official. About a week following its release, Netflix's Tiger King claimed its rightful place on the throne as the "most popular" TV show in the US, according to Variety's interpretation of Rotten Tomatoes scores. That doesn't just go for the streaming platform's individual rankings — it goes for everywhere, although the series has enjoyed a spot in Netflix's top 10 since its debut.

Tiger King, which premiered on March 20, 2020, has been met with extraordinary ratings. It's one of the rare times critics and audiences agree. At the time of this writing, it holds a 94% critics rating and 92% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's no small feat, but it's also not surprising considering the series reads like a documentary created by Saturday Night Live's Stefan. [SPOILER ALERT] It's got mullets, exotic pets, a polygamist wedding, cat-themed country songs, a cult, a former drug kingpin talking so casually about murder it's like he's doing yard work, political campaigns, suspected spousal homicide, and doctor of "mystical science" (whatever that means). Are we forgetting anything? Basically, the series is wild enough that a woman getting her arm ripped off by a tiger is the least interesting thing to happen — and that says a lot.

Needless to say, Tiger King has given people a ton to talk about. And it's not just your average, un-exotic Joe who's utterly baffled by the show's unabashed mayhem. Celebrities have been taking to Twitter to try and make sense of the madness.

Who makes the better Joe Exotic?

Tiger King is so beloved that the week following its release, celebs were already fighting for the chance to play Joe Exotic in a potential biopic. While our bets would've been placed on David Spade — since Exotic's aesthetic is pretty much Joe Dirt in sequins and leopard print — Dax Shepard and Edward Norton duked it out on Twitter for the coveted role.

"If I don't get cast as Joe Exotic in the eventual biopic, Hollywood is broken," Shepard wrote. Norton swiftly replied, "Um, step aside, pal. You're way too young and buff and you know it. You could probably pull off Maldonado still, actually. Wouldn't that be fun?"

It's hard to imagine that anyone is as well-versed in crazy roles as Norton, who starred in both Fight Club and American History X. A Tiger King biopic could be exactly what he's been training for, but Netflix actually seemed more into the idea of Shepard taking on the role. "I'm liking what I'm hearing," the streaming service replied to the Parenthood star's tweet. Sorry Norton, move aside. The first rule of Tiger King is that everyone is talking about Tiger King.

Michael Ian Black will take two, please

Michael Ian Black has been laying low for the past couple of years. The last we saw him, he had a small recurring role in the Netflix dramedy Insatiable, but it doesn't look like he's going to be laying low for long. Tiger King has inspired the star to consider following in Joe Exotic's footsteps, which is anything but a quiet life.

"Craziest thing about Tiger King is how cheap it is to buy a tiger. Two grand? I'm definitely getting a couple tigers," he tweeted.

Apparently, the whole plot behind We Bought A Zoo wasn't all that expensive. Do you get a discount if you buy in bulk? Here's hoping that Black inexplicably has an EMS jacket on hand in case his new pet decides to bite off his arm. Someone has to be in charge in an emergency, right?

Jared Leto cosplayed the Tiger King

Jared Leto better have gotten some good meditation in during his 12-day silent desert retreat, because he's going to need it once he finishes Tiger King. While he was busy relaxing and reflecting without the luxury of WiFi, the rest of the world was watching Tiger King's trailer and bracing themselves for insanity. Leto was thrown right into the lion's den when the show premiered a couple of days after he announced that he had rejoined civilization. All in all, it seems like he's handling it quite well.

Leto has always been a fan of good cosplay, whether he's dressing up as the second coming of Christ alongside Lana Del Ray at the Met Gala or diving so deep into his role as the Joker that he found it appropriate to gift Margot Robbie a live rat. This time around, he decided to try on his best Joe Exotic and tweeted out a bunch of photos of himself in a cowboy hat and a gold and purple Western-style button down while holding a stuffed puma. "#JaredLetoTigerKing," he captioned the post.

At this point, we wouldn't doubt Leto to dive so deep into this that he finds himself lip syncing over country songs despite his booming music career. 

Talk about an understatement

Leave it to Kim Kardashian West to be so woefully out of touch. One day she's casually explaining how her totally normal bathroom with her totally normal sink works for those of us poor enough that our houses don't look oddly cavernous. Another day, she's letting her six-year-old accessorize with a $10,000 Hermes Birkin Bag like it's normal. She's the queen of understatements, and it's certainly apparent in her response to Tiger King.

Two days after the Netflix series' premiere, the star so boldly asked her 64.4 million Twitter followers, "Has anyone seen Tiger King on Netflix?!?! It is crazy!!!!" Yes, Kim. Yes, we have. And four exclamation points doesn't cut it. We need at least one per tiger. To her credit, she has been stuck inside, homeschooling her four children, which she described to Jimmy Fallon (via People) as "insanity." Okay, but is it feeding your husband to tigers kind of nuts? The reality star later realized her mistake, and followed-up, "Wow the amount of texts I've gotten about Tiger King since I tweeted about it all have mentioned their belief that Carol killed her husband! What are your thoughts? Do you think Carol killed him?"

Detective Jerry O'Connell has solved the great Tiger King disappearance

Actor Jerry O'Connell is in deep with Tiger King. The star threw out a hot take on one of the show's most debated conspiracies: Did Carole Baskin kill her husband? For those who've only waded in Tiger King's kiddy pool, Baskin's late husband, Don Lewis, mysteriously vanished sometime in the '90s.

"Just tested positive for thinking Carole Baskin fed her husband to those tigers," O'Connell tweeted, adding the #TigerKing hashtag. 

So, where's the evidence? Well, it's slim. Joe Exotic's music video for "Here Kitty Kitty" depicts someone resembling Baskin feeding what's implied to be human meat to a tiger. The video is captioned, "There is one way to get a message across and that is with music. Everyone loves music. It is believed that in 1997 a women [sic] in Tampa Florida killed her husband and fed him to the Tigers in order to get all of his property and money. People Magazine even did a story on it." Does Exotic know something we don't? Considering Exotic was convicted of ordering multiple hits on Baskin, which landed him his 22-year prison sentence, he's not exactly the most reliable narrator. Baskin has also denied the claims, but why wouldn't she?

What does Tiger King mean for America?

For former Bachelor contestant Wells Adams, Tiger King had some serious implications — and we're not talking about murder or the very real concern of animal abuse. We're talking about the future of the nation, and it's not all fun and games and lip synced country songs with Oscar-worthy visual effects. Sarah Hyland's fiance had the very depressing revelation that the headline-grabbing cast are, indeed, voters. At least the ones that haven't been convicted of felonies.

"You know what's crazy? The people in #TigerKing can totally vote. Like in elections and stuff," Adams tweeted.

About a week later, Adams seemed to be less concerned about his grave comments. The star was fully embracing the Tiger King life. "Am I learning 'Here, Kitty Kitty' on the guitar whilst wearing a wig on a Sunday morning? Yes. Yes I am," he tweeted. Move over Dax Shepard, Adams is actively rehearsing.

Cardi B wants to free Joe Exotic

When Netflix asked Cardi B if she was still watching, she undeniably answered with a resounding, "How dare you, of course I am." Honestly, same. The rapper has been taking us along on her Tiger King journey, which is filled with flip-flopping opinions and eye-opening revelations.

The star first embarked on her journey with some Netflix and chill. In other words, she admittedly got a little lost somewhere during Episode 2 because she "started f***ing." She also presumed with a tweet for Carole: "Carol you think you're a slick b***h." Clearly, she's one of the many Exotic stans who think Baskin did, indeed, feed her murdered husband to the family pets. As the hours crept past midnight, the rapper expressed her support for Exotic, tweeting, "They did Joe so dirty over and over again." About an hour later, Cardi shifted gears again, tweeting, "Who you think is more wrong? Narcissist joe? Or Greedy Carol? And why?"

Ultimately, none of her fans could convince her to take Baskin's side. The "Money Moves" singer came back to her original conclusion: Exotic was treated unfairly. Though the Tiger King is worth an estimated $10 million, Cardi considered giving him some financial support. "Bout to start a gofundme account for Joe. He shall be free," she wrote, which prompted many users to point out instances of animal abuse he allegedly perpetrated. 

Wiz Khalifa thinks efforts to Free Joe Exotic just aren't genuine

Wiz Khalifa was among the many celebs watching Tiger King, and he certainly used it as an opportunity to slam the age old practice of clout chasing once again. (For reference, Urban Dictionary defines  a clout chaser as "a person who tries to feed off others popularity to benefit themselves.") Khalifa still seems to have the concept on his mind after releasing his collaborative track "No clout Chasin" in early 2019, and if there's anyone who has clout right now, it's Joe Exotic, the star of the most popular TV program in the United States.

"At tha rate we're goin a lawyer gon take joe case for the clout and really free the tiger king," Khalifa tweeted, playing on the lion's share of tweets urging for Exotic's release. Perhaps Kim Kardashian West is available? She has a pretty good track record.

Lucy Lawless wants the whole Tiger King cast fed to the zoo

In the run-up to Tiger King's premiere, New Zealand-based actress and singer Lucy Lawless had her sights set on live-tweeting The Bachelorette's New Zealand spin-off. But she took a bit of a reprieve to turn on Tiger King and check out what everyone has been talking about. As it turns out, she's not really a fan unless she's watching it in the way you'd watch a train wreck, in which case, we are totally guilty as well.

The thing about Tiger King is that almost none of the characters are particularly likable. We have Joe Exotic, who was recently sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder-for-hire; Carole Baskin, who some people think murdered her husband; Mario Tabraue, who allegedly ran a $75 million drug ring and casually glossed over murder; and "Doc" Antle, who may or may not be the leader of a big cats-themed sex cult. Rather than Baskin's husband being the sole person in the series possibly fed to the tigers, Lawless felt like it should probably just be everyone.

"Please God, let the tigers eat every last one of those folks. Horrible," she wrote. Hey, someone had to say it.

Meghan McCain has so many questions for Tiger King

Meghan McCain is a woman known for her strong opinions. She wouldn't have her cushy job on The View if she wasn't prepared to ask tough questions — and Tiger King is absolutely brimming with them. Like most of us, the star was left completely bewildered and confused after she watched the Netflix doc, particularly at the pure passion of the employee who returned to work days after his amputation. What? There's not enough money in the world.

"I have literally LIMITLESS questions, opinions and observations about #TigerKingNetflix and the cast of characters/conspiracy theories/people who get their arms bitten off but return to work," she tweeted. "Also are all exotic animal people this...bizarre? I have so [many] questions!!"

Sorry, McCain. None of us actually have the answers. We're just as confused as you. Whoopi, care to weigh in?

Thandie Newton is just trying to make sense of it all

Like all of us, Westworld actress Thandie Newton was filled with confusing feelings after watching Tiger King. In order to help us all make sense of the nonsensical, the star posted a handy chart on Twitter with the caption, "Just finished ep 2. Oh. My. Land." Yes, it only took two episodes to get to that.

The reposted chart meme, titled "Watching Tiger King," depicted numerous thought processes regarding the show's insanity. The longer you watch, "desire to have a tiger" takes a nosedive but "how the *% is that legal?!?" and "pure, unadulterated insanity" swiftly rise. Other feelings are much more calculated. The "# of likeable protagonists" remains at a stagnant low and the "# of big cat sex cults + straight men in gay marriages + gay men in straight marriages + definitely murdered husbands" incrementally jumps up.

Basically, yeah, the whole thing is nuts, but it does somehow fit nicely into a graph.

Tiger King hit Simu Liu a little too close to home

Simu Liu is undoubtedly on a high. In July 2019, the actor joined the Marvel universe for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, where he's set to star as the eponymous superhero, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apparently, all it took to bring him back down to earth was watching the Tiger King in action. Liu was forced to face some uncomfortable realities about himself, and he was not thrilled.

"Watching #TigerKing gives me intense anxiety as someone who has exhibited attention-seeking behaviour their whole life," he tweeted, adding, "I need to watch whatever the opposite of this show is like right nowwww."

Perhaps try The Great British Bake Off? We've also heard Kim's Convenience is pretty good, too.

The Stallones suited up as the Tiger King cast

Sylvester Stallone is already casting his own Tiger King biopic with his family. Honestly, the guy played Rambo and Rocky Balboa. Of course, he'd be an excellent casting choice in any potential biopic, but what's more surprising is how his kids fit in. In a tweet captioned "TIGER KING fever has taken over," Sly linked his fans to his hilarious family Instagram video.

In the video, Stallone's daughters don a cowboy hat, fake facial hair, and fake tattoos while they pose as Joe Exotic, John Finlay, and Erik Cowie. The girls' mother Jennifer Flavin Stallone poses as Carole Baskin, and Sly, who's in the final cut, mean-mugs as Jeff Lowe. They even dress up the family dog as a lion, which is not quite right, but we're assuming they're working with what they've got. Perhaps Sylvester could get Al Pacino to take on the role of Mario Tabraue, the kingpin who allegedly inspired his Scarface character (or so Tabraue claims in the doc).

It's kind of catchy, isn't it?

YouTuber Hank Green has uncovered the true tragedy of Tiger King – or at least whatever tragedy comes second to murder-for-hire, a missing persons case, amputation, divorce, and possible animal abuse. It's Joe Exotic's music career, but not because it's so bad. It's unfortunate that it's so bizarrely good.

"The second most upsetting thing about Tiger King is that his songs aren't bad," tweeted Green.

Green should rest-assured knowing that, according to reports, Exotic's music career wasn't actually him so it's unlikely that he'll release an album from prison. Yes, he still stood on a truck in a cowboy hat in the middle of a CGI storm. We can't ever take that blessed moment away, but Vanity Fair reports that the Tiger King commissioned two musicians — Vince Johnson and Danny Clinton — to write his hits, and they took on the project pro bono before knowing he'd pull a Milli Vanilli. In fact, Exotic's former producer Rick Kirkham told Vanity Fair that the star "couldn't even hold a tune. It was just so ludicrous."