Tiger King’s Joe Exotic is Country Music’s Underdog

A closer look at the 'gay, gun-toting cowboy's' greatest hits

The cat is out of the bag.

Netflix just dropped a fresh seven-part documentary series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness (directed by Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode), chronicling the story of exotic big cat zoo owner Joe Exotic and the all-out car-crash of a life he’s lived.

Alongside his many tumultuous feuds with a colourful cast of characters, horrific workplace accidents, and presidential campaigns, Joe also fancied himself a country music star.

Much to the unadulterated pleasure of us all, Joe Exotic TV produced a string of fantastic music videos in the mid 2010s, all available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. These are a few of our precious favourites.

I Saw a Tiger – Joe Exotic, 2013

Best lyric: “Call it Armageddon, such a painful loss. When they kill all the tigers in the holocaust.” 

Bleach-blonde mullet beneath a snake skin cowboy hat and a pair of handcuffs for a belt, Exotic shows off one of his many soft sides. It’s a soothing light-rock ballad about a man who shares a lifelong bond with gentle beasts, precisely the cuddly persona he wanted the world to buy.

 

Pretty Woman Lover – Joe Exotic, 2016

Best lyric: “Everybody got booty, I’m a sugar cane. I ain’t no turtle I’m a supersonic plane.”

Pure poetry. Joe clearly has a bad-boy side and it’s in full bloom here. Despite being a married gay man, Exotic plays the part of a tattooed, chopper-driving, lady killer who has a tour bus with the words “Tiger King” written on the side for a lair. He truly is a ruler of many domains.

 

My First Love – Joe Exotic, 2013

Best lyric: “I could grow a garden 18 miles high, give you all the roses so you could watch them die.”

Joe was a lover before he ever became a fighter. In this sensual classic, Exotic sings sweet words to his first love and ex-husband, John Finlay, who can be spotted in the video, goofy-smiled and frolicking in the snow. It brings a tear to the eye, and is nearly believable if you strip away Exotic’s all-encompassing narcissism, not to mention the couple’s subsequent divorce.

Here Kitty, Kitty – Joe Exotic, 2016

Best lyric: “So if you’re ever down in Tampa on a Big Cat Refuge. Don’t pick a fight with your wife cause it’s a big 40 acres and if you’re not careful you’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.”

This one sums up Exotic’s life-defining feud with Carol Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue, a justice-seeking movement aimed at the unlawful exotic zoos and animal owners of the world — though, ends up arguably as shady as the rest of them. It’s been long-rumoured that Baskin may have played a part in the disappearance of her late husband, with the strong possibility that she may have fed him to her cats in order to inherit his millions. In this legendary music video, an actress portraying Baskin is a laughing psychopath, feeding human meat to her tigers while Exotic croons, ‘Here Kitty, Kitty,” in the background.

 

Because You Love Me – Joe Exotic, 2016

Best lyric: “All the bad is gone and all the good is here to stay. All the reasons I can point to, and all that I can see. Because you love me.”

In the video for this feel-good tune, Exotic parades around his zoo, intermingling with the customers and animals, basking in the so-called love he feels from everyone. To Joe, life is a show, and as ex Joe Exotic TV Producer, Rick Kirkham, once put it, the man truly owned the world in his head.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is streaming now on Netflix

X