For nearly a month, the only TV show everyone could talk about was Tiger King. The chaotic docuseries caught everyone's attention when it dropped on March 20, thanks to its off-the-wall characters who seemed too wild to be real. Now Netflix, has brought a handful of those people back to give fans a much-needed update on their lives with a newly released episode. The Tiger King and I aftershow provided new details on the strange story, and revealed how the popularity of the show has changed the lives of its stars.
On Sunday, April 12, Netflix released a surprise eighth episode of the Tiger King phenomenon: An aftershow in which comedian Joel McHale called up several of the people who worked with Joe Exotic to give updates on their lives, Exotic's life, and things the docuseries didn't show. Neither Exotic himself nor his arch-nemesis Carole Baskin appeared in the new episode — Baskin is still running her sanctuary Big Cat Rescue in Florida, and Exotic is serving a 22-year prison sentence for charges of animal mistreatment and attempting to hire a hitman to kill Baskin. However, McHale managed to interview nearly every other key player in the Tiger King story, and they all spilled a ton of details on what the show got right, what it got wrong, and how it has changed their lives.
To get a good idea of what fans learned from the new special, here are the biggest takeaways from The Tiger King and I:
1. Pretty much everyone is glad Exotic is in prison.
Although Tiger King made it seem like Exotic had a close band of supporters among his G. W. Zoo employees, the aftershow revealed nobody was really that fond of him. Zookeeper Erik Cowie and Exotic's former TV producer Rick Kirkham both said they regret ever meeting Exotic, and guessed that he'd probably die in prison. Likewise, former zoo employee John Reinke, Exotic's former political campaign manager Joshua Dial, and Exotic's ex-husband John Finlay all agreed Exotic got what he deserved. The only person to partially stick up for Exotic was Kelci "Saff" Safferty, who pointed to the Thanksgiving meals the former zoo owner made each year for the community as proof he had a good side.
2. Exotic is apparently terrified of tigers.
Perhaps the biggest bombshell of the whole episode came from Kirkham, who claimed that despite his title of "Tiger King," Exotic was actually terrified of big cats. According to him, Exotic apparently would pose only with blind or tranquilized tigers for his photo shoots, since he knew they wouldn't be as much of a threat to him.
3. Exotic visited a shaman after Travis' death.
Exotic's campaign manager Dial expressed his need for therapy after witnessing one of Exotic's husbands Justin Maldonado shoot himself, but Exotic apparently took a more spiritual approach to recovery. Dial revealed Exotic spent time with a shaman following the death of his husband, but Dial isn't convinced that did much good for his mental health.
4. Exotic apparently killed a horse donated to his zoo.
Kirkham told a particularly gruesome story about Exotic that was not part of the docuseries. The producer recalled a time when a woman donated on old horse to Exotic's zoo, hoping the animal could live out its final days in peace, but right after the woman left, Exotic apparently shot the horse and fed it to his tigers.
5. Jeff Lowe has a lot of dirt on James Garretson.
There's presumably much more to Garretson's story than just an illegal lemur. In the docuseries, Lowe's former business partner was revealed to be the FBI informant who helped take Exotic down at the end of Tiger King, but Lowe revealed Garretson's story about being persuaded to work with the FBI left out some key details. On the aftershow, Lowe implied Garretson had broken more laws, although he did not get into specifics.
6. Exotic used Saff's tiger attack in a safety video.
Apparently, the gruesome footage of Saff's accident stayed around for a long time, as Saff revealed Exotic even put it in a G. W. Zoo safety video. Thankfully, Saff seems to have no issues talking about the incident, and still has full trust in all the animals featured on this wild, wild, show.