John Finlay from Tiger King. Picture: Netflix
John Finlay from Tiger King. Picture: Netflix

Tiger King star’s trainwreck interview

An absolute trainwreck … that's the only way to describe Kyle and Jackie O's interview with Tiger King star John Finlay.

The Netflix docuseries about a flamboyant homosexual zoo owner named Joe Exotic who attempted to hire a hitman to murder a rival zoo owner has taken the world by storm and has turned the cast of misfits into household names.

Yesterday KIIS FM's radio duo recorded an interview with Joe Exotic's ex, Mr Finlay, and teased listeners all morning about how bad it was.

"Let me warn you guys, it's been a long time since we've interviewed someone that was hard work like this," Jackie said on air. "Probably the hardest interview we've ever had to do … he wasn't really understanding questions and not really wanting to answer questions that much."

Usually, Kyle and Jackie O would get their audio producer to edit down the interview and cut out the awkward silences, but the hosts decided not to do that with Mr Finlay's interview.

"I want you guys to feel the same pain we felt," Kyle told listeners.

Travis Maldonado, Joe Exotic and John Finlay's wedding. Picture: Netflix
Travis Maldonado, Joe Exotic and John Finlay's wedding. Picture: Netflix

Finally, after two hours of promoting the interview, Kyle and Jackie O aired the chat and it was every bit as awkward as they had promised.

After saying hello to the hosts, Mr Finlay revealed he was in a relationship with Joe Exotic for 11 years but said that they were never officially married.

"Why did you two break up?" Kyle asked.

"There were some problems in the relationship and problems outside the relationship," he replied.

"Right …" Kyle said, hoping Mr Finlay would elaborate. He didn't.

It got even more awkward when Jackie asked him: "You've gone from being someone who no one would recognise on the street … now a lot of people would recognise you, yet you probably can't walk the streets (because of COVID-19)?"

"Um …" Mr Finlay replied before going completely silent.

"Life is good or not good?" Kyle said, prompting him for a response.

More awkward silence.

With Jackie O giggling in the background, Kyle asked: "You alright, John? Did she stump you? Too hard that question?"

Mr Finlay paused before saying, "I couldn't really understand the question".

The hosts moved on and asked Mr Finlay if he's been receiving a lot of attention from gay men online since appearing in Tiger King.

"Unfortunately there have been some who have tried to do that," he replied. "(But) I'm straight now."

John Finlay now has new teeth. Picture: Twitter
John Finlay now has new teeth. Picture: Twitter

Mr Finlay is now married to a woman he met online and he said he told his wife about his past before they even met in person.

"What did she say?" Kyle asked.

"She wasn't really shocked, she's kind of lived that life before," Mr Finlay said.

"Huh? Was she a lesbian?" a confused Kyle asked.

"No," Mr Finlay laughed.

Jackie was almost in hysterics at how bad the interview was going, but the KIIS FM hosts pressed on and asked Mr Finlay who he would like to play him if a Tiger King movie goes ahead.

"Um … I'd have to go with Channing Tatum," he said.

"Do you find him attractive even though you're not gay anymore?" Kyle asked.

"Yes," Mr Finlay said.

"Hmmm, I'm not sure how straight you are," Kyle joked.

John Finlay.
John Finlay.

 

Channing Tatum. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images
Channing Tatum. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Talk soon turned to Tiger King's Carole Baskin who had been accused of murdering her wealthy ex-husband.

"I've only met the lady a couple of times," Mr Finlay said.

"Do you think she's a bitch or a nice lady?" Kyle asked.

"Um, a bit of both," he replied, again offering no further detail.

Kyle and Jackie O then allowed two listeners who are fans of Tiger King to ask Mr Finlay a question.

"Do you regret spending so much of your life with Joe?" the first caller asked.

There was a long pause before Mr Finlay replied, "Can you repeat the question?"

After hearing the question for a second time, he answered: "Not really. I got the experience of the animals and I got to gain a lot more knowledge than a lot of people did in any part of their life."

After the rambling answer, Kyle asked: "You're not on meth anymore are you, John?"

"I have given up the meth, six years clean," he replied.

Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue. Picture: Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue. Picture: Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP

Mr Finlay also had trouble understanding the second caller's question which was about the fact he was in a throuple with Joe Exotic and Travis Maldonado.

Kyle explained the question to him and Mr Finlay explained that he "didn't have much to do with Travis".

"So you guys weren't all nude together, having sex together?" Kyle asked.

"What?" Mr Finlay replied.

Kyle repeated the question and Mr Finlay answered: "Um, no comment on that one."

"Oh well, that's a yes," Kyle laughed.

After an agonising 12 minutes, the KIIS FM hosts then ended the interview and burst into laughter when Mr Finlay had hung up.

"It's been a long time since I've done an interview where it's been a real struggle," Jackie said.

"The message there, kids, is drugs are bad!" Kyle said.

 

Tiger King is available to stream on Netflix


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