What: The first major Tiger King impersonation on TV.
Who: Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Thomas Lennon.
Why we care: It was a perfect, and perfectly terrible, storm. If Netflix’s new docuseries Tiger King had been released under any other circumstances, it would have certainly still made some kind of splash. Coming out at the tail end (heh) of Week 2 of quarantine, however, provided a built-in, homebound audience that turned it into a trashy, exploitative sensation. Some love it. Others hate it. Everyone has heard of it.
Now, the first major parody of the show’s central figure, showboating Oklahoma zookeeper Joe Exotic, has arrived on late-night TV, and it’s so dead-on that no one else need bother.
“It has been like a poop parade on Prune Avenue, and I’m the dang roustabout that got handed the pooper scooper,” says Thomas Lennon as Joe Exotic, telling Stephen Colbert about life in (spoiler alert) prison.
You might know Lennon from his prolific screenwriting or his foundational sketch group or his hit kids book series or being a movie and TV mainstay, but for all intents and purposes, you may now know him as Joe Exotic. So complete is his transformation into character, I don’t know that we will ever see the real Lennon again. The voice is a Southern-fried take on his Comedy Bang Bang character Lil’ Gary, the addled glare is hauntingly accurate, and if the comedian just happened to have all those separate accent pieces he’s wearing just lying around, all pun intended, props to him.
Have a look below for the only Joe Exotic impersonation you will ever need. (Since comedy clubs are closed and SNL is on hold, though, it may be the only one you ever get.)
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 2, 2020