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  4. YouTubers tricked Carole Baskin into giving her first major interview since 'Tiger King' by pretending to be Jimmy Fallon

YouTubers tricked Carole Baskin into giving her first major interview since 'Tiger King' by pretending to be Jimmy Fallon

Lindsay Dodgson   

YouTubers tricked Carole Baskin into giving her first major interview since 'Tiger King' by pretending to be Jimmy Fallon
  • Josh Pieters and Archie Manners finished a three-day video series of pretending to be late night hosts with a bang on Sunday.
  • They managed to secure the first interview with Carole Baskin since "Tiger King" dropped on Netflix, Pieters revealed to Insider.
  • But Baskin didn't agree to an interview with them — she thought she was chatting with Jimmy Fallon.
  • The YouTubers have become well known for their social experiments, like tricking the world with an Ed Sheeran lookalike, presenting right-wing provocateur Katie Hopkins with a fake award, and selling microwave meals on Deliveroo.
  • Their latest videos examined whether you really can trick celebrities into thinking they are being interviewed by late night hosts by using sound bites from old clips. Spoiler alert: you can.
  • Pieters spoke exclusively to Insider about he and his partner Manners pulled off their most impressive stunt yet.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Carole Baskin has given her first official interview since the binge-watching phenomenon "Tiger King" dropped on Netflix in March, and got everyone wondering whether she really did murder her husband and feed him to the big cats at her sanctuary.

But while she thought she was going to be chatting with late night host Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show," she was actually being asked questions by Josh Pieters from his home in London, in his underwear, while his YouTube partner Archie Manners chaperoned the interview.

Pieters has been posting a three-part series since Friday on his YouTube channel, which has just changed its name to "Josh Pieters and Archie Manners."

They wanted to know whether they could trick celebrities into thinking they were being interviewed on real late night TV shows by just using a Zoom call, some sound bites from old clips, and Manners pretending to be a producer.

Spoiler alert: they could.

Taking a shot in the dark

When watching shows like "Good Morning Britain," Pieters and Manners wondered whether the guests could always see who was interviewing them, Pieters told Insider in an exclusive interview.

"From there came the idea of just playing the talent recordings of their interviewers and seeing if they would notice," Pieters said.

In the first two episodes, they spoke to UK pop star Craig David, TikToker Holly H, "Love Island" couple Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury, and magician Julius Dein with voice clips from James Corden. But they stepped things up a gear with the third video, which will air on Sunday night.

"Here's a chance where we could perhaps interview some high level talent because we are going under the guise of being a really famous show," Pieters told Insider. "And we thought, why don't we take a shot in the dark and go for the most exclusive, hard to reach person in the world, with absolutely no hope of it working?"

They sent Carole Baskin an email from their trusty fake-but-also-real production company Invisible Objects, saying they were producing the live segments for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

They'd almost forgotten about it when she finally replied and agreed to the call.

Becoming Jimmy Fallon

Pieters and Manners are a duo who have become well known and respected on YouTube for their social experiments. So far they have fooled the world with an Ed Sheeran lookalike, presented right-wing provocateur Katie Hopkins with a fake award, and sold microwave meals on Deliveroo, which earned them a reputation of having one of the "most underrated channels" on YouTube.

Even by their standards, faking the presence of James Corden and Jimmy Fallon sounds nearly impossible. The strange times we are living through certainly helped.

"I wouldn't say it's thanks to lockdown," Pieters said. "It was just really interesting seeing people like Prince William and all these people you'd never imagined to see on Zoom, and Zoom becoming such a big thing."

Video calls are being used by talk shows all over the world right now, and there's no real set way to do them. So as long as Manners put on a confident enough performance, there's no reason to doubt Fallon or Corden were listening in too.

"I think it's also very hard when you are live on an interview with who you think is James Corden or Jimmy Fallon, to go, 'Hold on a second, that's not Jimmy Fallon,' when it sounds like him," Pieters told Insider.

"You'd have to be pretty sure of yourself and pretty brave to stop the interview."

A worldwide exclusive

The interviews all went more smoothly than expected. Pieters said he'd been having nightmares of being really stuck and having nothing to say with the few clips in front of him, because it's so hard imagining the direction the interview will go beforehand.

"There is often a moment where there isn't a clip that's suitable," he said. "But that's luckily where I have Archie on standby who can come in and act as the producer and say, 'Oh we've got a quick change there, Jimmy's just doing this,' or 'Jimmy's just doing his makeup,' and then it sort of explains why something sort of went wrong."

The way they prepared for Baskin's interview was by scouring Fallon's older videos for relevant sound bites.

"As you'll see in the video, Jimmy Fallon has interviewed people named Cat, he's interviewed the cast of 'Cats,' and he's actually interviewed a real cat," Pieters said.

"So we had quite a lot of options for using the word cat. We tried our best to make it work with that."

The end result was the first major interview Baskin has given since "Tiger King" aired.

"I think she did an interview for a local paper in Tampa where she's from," Pieters said. "But this was her first worldwide exclusive interview, which is just quite something."

'We really did not expect it to work'

Pieters and Manners try to answer the "questions you didn't know you had."

They never try to completely trick anyone, because ultimately, lying and deceiving is a lot less interesting than what they actually pull off.

"I think we always we always try to, not only from a creative point of view, but also from a slightly moral point of view, not completely dupe someone by breaking the law or doing something really wrong," Pieters said in a previous interview.

"We always try to give people a bit of a chance."

Pieters said their latest series was simply seeing whether playing recordings to someone could convincingly pose as a real interview.

"Like all of our ideas, we really didn't expect it to work, and then it did work," he said. "I guess it's that trying to run an experiment and see if it works with not much hope of it working," he said. "And then when it does work, it's always quite fun to watch."

Baskin is a "very interesting lady," Pieters said, and is excited to share the interview with the world.

"We really did not expect it to work," he said. "We still can't really believe we managed to interview Carole Baskin."

The video will go live at around 3 p.m. ET.

Read more:

A YouTuber got the inflammatory right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins to fly to Prague to pick up a fake award whose initials spelled out the C-word

A YouTuber tricked influencers into thinking they'd been sent pieces of the moon, but it was actually just gravel

A YouTuber tricked reality TV stars into endorsing a fake charity that he said taught underprivileged African children how to ski

A YouTuber with almost 1 million subscribers sold microwave meals from his apartment on food-delivery app Deliveroo pretending to be a restaurant called 'The Italian Stallion'

A YouTuber used an Ed Sheeran lookalike to trick influencers and tabloids into believing that the real singer was at the KSI vs Logan Paul fight

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