Watch Jimmy Fallon play Nicolas Cage playing Tiger King Joe Exotic

There's a lot of railing against Carole Baskin, and even a country song.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper

The real Tiger King. 


Nicolas Cage is playing Tiger King Joe Exotic in a new show about the animal park owner, a representative for Cage confirmed on Monday. But why wait to see just how the Oscar-winning actor will pull off the role? Talk show host Jimmy Fallon, filming from his home for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, managed to don a mullet, sunglasses and an appropriately glitzy shirt to give viewers a preview.

Fallon's obviously familiar not just with Cage's sometimes overly dramatic style of acting, but Joe Exotic's tangled life. Fallon-as-Cage-as-Joe rails against nemesis Carole Baskin, tries to recruit grandmas and babies to pet tiger cubs, and naturally throws in a twangy country song, all while sounding like Cage. 

Cage is taking on his first-ever television role to play Joe Exotic in the upcoming eight-episode scripted series. It's not yet known where or when the show will air, but it's based on a Texas Monthly magazine article about Joe and his universe. The real Joe Exotic is serving a 22-year sentence in a Texas prison for attempting to kill Baskin. His story was told in the immensely popular Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which premiered March 20 on the streaming service.