weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

How the claws of ‘Tiger King’ reach Las Vegas

Updated April 13, 2020 - 9:23 am

The Kats! Bureau is the deck overlooking the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook followers know the view. It’s the background of all of our chats, and I’ll be out there again on Easter, on an egg hunt, metaphorically speaking.

More from the digital scene:

“Tiger King,” the Netflix coronavirus-quarantine viral sensation, is adding an “aftershow” episode Sunday. The series’ eighth installment is hosted by actor and stand-up Joel McHale. Titled “The Tiger King and I,” the new show collects interviews from such series staples as Rick Kirkham, Jeff and Lauren Lowe, Saff, Erik Cowie and John Reinke. McHale is asking each figure how their lives have changed since the launch of the series last month.

Central figure and ex-G.W. Zoo owner Joe Exotic is not interviewed; he’s still caged up after being put away for plotting to hire a hit man to take care of Carole Baskin (also not interviewed) and on assorted animal-abuse charges.

Inevitably, all roads lead to Las Vegas, and that is true of the Tiger King Expressway. We’ve already recalled the Lowes’ attempts to open a tiger cub attraction at “Pawn Stars” business Gold & Silver Pawn. A few more noteworthy connections:

— Kirkham, who worked on Exotic’s reality show, was a reporter at Channel 3 in Las Vegas for four years beginning in 1985. Kirkham then moved on to Inside Edition; today he’s a freelance reporter living in Norway.

Last week Kirkham told E! News that the series is “extremely accurate, but it didn’t go near as far as what it could’ve gone. There was a whole lot more to talk about; a whole lot more that could’ve been shown about Joe Exotic and just how wild and crazy and evil-hearted the man really was.”

Kirkham owns the distinction of being the first person shown in an interview on “Tiger King.”

— Co-executive producer Trevor Groth of production company 30West was the director of programming for the CineVegas Film Festival from 2001 to 2009. I knew Trevor well in those days. We spent many long hours tracking the festival, which at its peak ran 10 days and premiered such highlight releases as “Ocean’s 13,” “You Kill Me,” and “The Aristocrats.”

At the 2008 festival, we bowled with documantarian Morgan Spurlock until sunrise at a CineVegas after-party at the Gold Coast. Until “Tiger King,” that was the craziest thing I could tell you about Trevor.

— McHale headlined at Treasure Island in 2017 and is a returning emcee for the Imagine Dragons’ Rise Up Gala benefiting the Tyler Robinson Foundation this August at Wynn Las Vegas. In his T.I. show, McHale recalled being interviewed at length by a reporter in L.A. The writer asked so many oddly placed questions, including, “How is Comedy Central treating you?” that McHale finally said, “What’s my name?” The writer answered: “Daniel Tosh?”

Rob Lowe, reportedly in talks to portray Joe Exotic in a scripted version of the wild saga, has twice headlined Planet Hollywood Resort, most recently on Feb. 15. Lowe announced his plans to play the lead role, while dressed in full Exotic regalia, last week on Instagram.

The Palm gets a hand

Michael Martin, general manager of the Palm Restaurant at the Forum Shops at Caesars,has kept his personal touch.

The restaurant at the Forum Shops’ casino entrance continues its takeout and delivery service from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. I’d ordered lunch delivered from the restaurant Saturday afternoon. Martin himself showed up at my place with the order, and a printout of a pic of my caricature on the Palm’s walls.

I asked Martin to sign it, for posterity. The message: “Stay safe! Can’t wait to see you!” I’ll be back, and I’ll bring my sketch.

Virtual Cool Hang Alert

Jamie Hosmer of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns and the Windjammers performs on his Facebook Live page at 3 p.m. Monday. Hosmer is vocally and musically adept, one of those Vegas artists who could easily be a star. He’s keeping it loose and having some fun for 45 minutes to an hour. Check him out.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.