Shoosh all you “Savage” dancers. After nights of trawling the virtual vortex that is TikTok – and zooming past those attempts at Megan Thee Stallion’s viral hit – we have sourced the coolest cat on the video-sharing platform: a young woman impersonating Carole Baskin.
Some background: Baskin – the fierce rival to roadside zookeeper and patterned shirt enthusiast Joe Exotic – is an animal activist who probably killed her former husband. (By way of “whacking” him and “feeding him to the tigers” if you believe a popular novelty track doing the rounds on TikTok). Baskin has denied such accusations and she and Joe play stars to Netflix’s isolation sensation series Tiger King.
The 58-year-old owner of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary based in Florida, has some funny little tendencies. For starters, she calls her online followers “cool cats and kittens”, has a higher-pitched little nanna voice and smirks and laughs when show producers ask her about the disappearance of her husband as if to show how outlandish the claims really are. (Note: the notion that Baskin fed her ex-husband’s body to the cats is merely a rumour.)
At the same time that Joe Exotic became a household name, TikTok too became the latest pandemic success. And thus came the Baskin impersonations. There were many. There were too many. But none quite as accurate as a woman named Katie Balen, an animated little spirited woman who lives in either Los Angeles or New York (I can’t quite work it out!). Anyway, here is her Carole Baskin best. Follow Katie @kbalen on TikTok – and if you do attempt a Baskin impression of your own, please let Katie school you in the tongue.
Tiger King is streaming now on Netflix.