Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is the talk of a nation as the Netflix docu-series blows the minds of everyone who dares hit play on that first episode. Once you make that commitment, it is impossible to turn off, as millions have already learned since it began streaming one week ago today.
It would be impossible for me to describe the wild ride that is Tiger King because each new bombshell and each new twist could be its own show. The moment you think it can’t possibly get any weirder, you soon learn that you haven’t even scratched the surface of everything to digest from this behind-the-scenes look at the roadside zoo business and the lunatics–the complete f***ing lunatics–who operate them.
For the many who have already seen it, below you will find the definitive ranking of every person on Tiger King: Murder Mayhem and Madness, the least worst down through the absolute worst. These rankings are based on how each person was portrayed on the show and it is littered with spoilers so do not scroll any further if you haven’t seen all seven episodes. You’ve been warned.
Everyone on Tiger King, Ranked
38. Amanda Green | Federal Prosecutor
We’ll start with the most normal person, I guess. She is a federal prosecutor after all.
37. Brittany Peet | PETA
Out of respect for PETA, she can go here. Great last name for a PETA law enforcement officer too.
36. Sheriff Rhodes | Garvin County, Oklahoma
Best I could tell he’s just your everyday local sheriff, but with a Joe Exotic problem. Poor guy.
35. Sylvia Corkill | Reporter News 9
This story must’ve been great for her career.
34. Lynda Sanchez and Gal Rathbone | Don Lewis’ Daughters
Not big Carole fans.
33. Gladys Lewis Cross | Don Lewis’ Ex-Wife
When Don left his wife Gladys and their two kids for Carole, he told his family Carole is an angel. Gladys said, “She’s an angel sent straight from hell and one day you’ll find out” and you go Gladys.
32. Francis & Shirley Schriebvogel | Joe Exotic’s Parents
Bless their hearts. They’ve been through a lot.
31. J.P. Wilson | Magician
As an eighth-grader, J.P. Wilson taught Joe how to do magic for Joe’s magic tour.
Joe learned magic from a 12-year-old.
30. John Marsicano | Homicide Detective
Marsicano was one of the lead detectives in the disappearance of Don Lewis. How do you mess that up, John? And what’s up with the living room?
29. Joe Exotic Voter
This guy believed in him.
28. Wendell Williams, Ann McQueen, Dale Lively, Kenny Far, Joseph Fritz | Don Lewis’ Business Associate, Executive Assistant, Mechanic, Handyman and Attorney
All of these people presented great evidence against Carole. Ann McQueen showed up big with receipts for Don’s restraining order against Carole and the death threats at home.
Handyman Kenny doesn’t seem convinced Don’s dead though.
27. Joshua Dial | Joe Exotic’s Campaign Manager
One day you’re an assistant manager at the local Walmart, the next day you’re a campaign manager in a presidential race.
Always be ready when opportunity knocks, kids.
26. Marc Thompson | Joe Exotic’s Security Guard
Poor Marc. I don’t know what happened in his law enforcement career that drove him to Joe’s doorstep but poor Marc. All he ever wanted to be was a cop.
25. Amber The Secretary | G.W. Zoo
Amber was the secretary at the G.W. Zoo where she also worked part-time as John Finlay’s sidepiece.
24. Don Lewis | Carole’s Late Husband
Don Lewis abandoned his family for a young woman he saw on the side of the road. We certainly don’t support that. He also was a big girlfriend-on-the-side guy, even with Carole.
Don couldn’t keep it in his pants, but still didn’t deserve to be murdered I mean “disappear.”
23. Susan Bass | Big Cat Rescue PR
Susan works for Big Cat Rescue, can’t trust her.
22. Barbara Fischer | Doc Antle’s Former Apprentice
Barbara lives in Iowa now, but worked for Doc Antle almost 20 years. She denied sleeping with him to move up the zookeeper corporate ladder, but definitely got breast implants for the zoo against her better judgment.
Her dad dropped her off at Doc’s when she was young, which is a little weird. A lotta weird, actually.
21. Cheryl Maldonado | Travis Maldonado’s Mother
She seemed fine, as far as Oklahoma zookeepers whose sons marry their bosses go.
20. Dillon Passage | Joe Exotic’s Husband
Surely he can get on part time at the nearest Pac-Sun and away from his imprisoned lover.
19. Rick Kirkham | Producer, Joe Exotic TV
This wasn’t on the documentary, but Kirkham once interviewed president George W. Bush about drug abuse while high on crack. (He was high on crack, the president wasn’t.) As for Kirkham’s role in Tiger King, I bet he knows how the fire started.
18. Travis Maldonado | Joe’s Husband (RIP)
Tough one here. Sad story. Cali teen looking for drugs and a little fun, lands in Joe’s backyard and eventually his bed, then the clip-less Ruger gets him. I’ll remember Travis for happier times, like when he, Joe and John all married each other in those matching pink outfits.
17. John Finlay | Joe’s Husband
John was a month out of high school when he met Joe. They spent the next 11 years together as husband and husband, plus the new husband, until John ran off with Amber the secretary. Privately Owned Joe Exotic, no more.
16. Dennis Hill | Former Exotic Animal Dealer
Dennis Hill and his great beard sold Don and Carole their first tiger in 1995.
We’ll use this space to also include other dealers who made appearances: people like Jeff Johnson, Mark McCarthy and others. They all suck.
15. Kody Antle | Doc Antle’s Son
Mixed on this one. Poor guy didn’t ask for any of this. He wasn’t born into this world hoping his dad would have a handful of wives, a tiger zoo in which they lived, and a soul patch. But after seeing his ponytail, he doesn’t seem too mad about it all. He only had around five seconds of screen time throughout the entire show and that’s about all I needed to assume he’s a nutcase like his old man.
14. Kelci “Saff” Saffery | Animal Keeper, G.W. Zoo
Imagine being faced with the decision of two years of reconstructive surgery or amputating your left arm as you recover from getting mauled by a tiger. Then imagine picking amputation, then imagine leaving the hospital early to go back to work with the same tiger that mauled you to protect the zoo from the media.
Saff’s a loyal employee. No question.
13. Erik Cowie | Head Zoo Keeper, G.W. Zoo
I worry about all the vodka he had laying around in that follow-up interview at the end. Be careful, Erik.
12. John Reinke | Manager, G.W. Zoo
I want to like John. He was just trying to stay out of trouble and take care of animals. But he managed the zoo for 14 years and at the very least he must’ve witnessed some horrible stuff. He also seemed very down for Joe’s plan for a “Waco” situation against local police.
And a zip-lining accident? Who saw that coming? Not me.
11. China, Moksha, Rajnee and others | Doc Antle’s Employee Wives
I have so many questions.
10. Howard Baskin | Carole Baskin’s Husband
It’s obvious Howard is whipped and only a pawn in Carole’s big game. Could be hypnotized, I don’t know. Whatever the case, it’s too late to save him. He’s fully committed at this point. He hasn’t seen his backbone in years. What a shame. He could’ve been a great Prince Charles impersonator in another life.
9. Lauren Lowe | Jeff Lowe’s Wife
Behind every great Affliction shirt there’s a great woman.
8. James Garretson | Businessman
He could be the best businessman to ever do business but I can’t take him seriously with that haircut. And then to snitch?
7. Tim Stark | Wildlife In Need
He’s just like the rest of them.
6. Mario (and Maria) Tabraue | ZWF Miami
Mario is the former drug dealer considered the “Tony Montana” of zookeepers, who also covered up the murder, mutilation and cremation of an FBI informant. He got 100 years in prison, won the appeal, and now he collects tigers in Miami.
5. Allen Glover | Jeff Lowe’s Handyman
Allen can’t be forgiven for his part in the murder-for-hire plot, considering he was in a lead role as the murderer who was hired. And I don’t trust any man Jeff Lowe vouches for. Allen’s done some things. The man has a teardrop tattoo on his face. Hell he offered to cut off Carole Baskin’s head and bring it back to Oklahoma for $3,000. Three thousand dollars to drive to Tampa to cut off a high-profile woman’s head and then travel back to Oklahoma with the head? Who is this guy’s agent??? That’s a 20-hour drive each way. Gas alone is going to run you $500. Then a man’s gotta sleep at some point and this isn’t a quick job to pull off. I’d say at least a couple nights on the road and then a couple more in Tampa during peak travel season. Man’s gotta eat too, plus Allen looks like a guy that smokes and needs a few whiskeys. We’re over a $1,000 before we’ve even purchased a knife. Allen would’ve been lucky to break even if he had gone through with it.
4. Joe Exotic | Entrepreneur, Zookeeper, Country Singer, TV Show Host, Magician, Presidential Candidate, Gubernatorial Candidate, Paramedic, Veterinarian, Husband, Husband, Husband
We don’t have enough hours in the day to list all of the horrible things Joe Exotic did. On the surface, he’s an exotic cat collector who offered drugs to young straight men to convince them to marry him, while running a roadside zoo in Oklahoma. If that’s all there is to Joe Exotic, he would still suck. But Joe also robbed his own parents and killed endangered animals once they stopped making money for him, among much more that we saw on the show and God knows what else. He’s despicable and he’s in jail where he belongs, but he still wasn’t the worst person on Tiger King.
3. Jeff Lowe | Businessman
I mean, look at that guy. Look at that bandana/flatbill combo on his head. Are you shocked that he’s into some sleazy activity? Grandpa here took baby cubs from their mothers, in suitcases, to VEGAS, so he could lure young women to his hotel room to see them. Then he stole Joe’s zoo, and while I think Joe is horrible and his zoo was horrible, that was his horrible zoo. Jeff Lowe set Joe up with the feds and then took over the operation. What a coward.
And did anyone else vomit when he started bragging about the new nanny he picked out? Jeff sucks, but not as bad as No. 2 on our list.
2. Bhagavan “Doc” Antle | Myrtle Beach Safari,
Joe Exotic’s “mentor” is partially responsible for the entire Joe Exotic empire, not to mention his own crimes against animals and that whole sex cult thing he has going on. Doc Antle, a doctor of the mystical arts, he says, has anywhere from three to nine wives, depending who you ask, and if you’re wondering, Bhaganvan means “Lord” because of course it does.
Lord Antle tells his unpaid female zoo volunteers that they are enlightened when they touch his penis, and he convinced virgins to sleep with him so they’d be bonded to him forever. All of this in addition to euthanizing exotic animals and making good money doing it.
Doc is almost the worst.
The worst is…
1. Carole Baskin | Big Cat Rescue
Hey all you cool cats and kittens! She definitely killed her rich first husband and fed him to the tigers, right? Like no one is seriously questioning that, right? Ok fine, I’ll take the septic tank argument over the tiger feeding but that’s it.
Look, I sympathize for her rough upbringing and traumatic past, and admire her rags-to-riches story of strutting down the road at 20 years young when a millionaire picked her up in his truck and took her to a motel room, then deserted his family and married her. Real lottery ticket for Carole and her tight-fitting jeans on Nebraska Avenue that night. That being said, she’s still a hypocritical cat collector with a murderous past.
She. is. the. worst.
Cue the music…