The comedian says he struggled to get through the Netflix docuseries

By Jodi Guglielmi and Charlotte Triggs
May 07, 2020 02:07 PM
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Credit: NBC; JoeExoticTV/Youtube

Jimmy Fallon isn't starting a Tiger King fan club anytime soon.

Fallon may have recently channeled the docuseries' star Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage for a skit on The Tonight Show, but the late night host struggled to get through the hit Netflix show.

"I tried it. My wife got out quickly. She was like, 'It's not for me,'" he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "I watched because everyone else was watching. I thought I might have to spoof it. But it got a little depressing for me around like, the fourth episode."

Fallon says he's found himself gravitating more towards comedy as he self-isolates with his wife, Nancy Juvonen, and their two daughters, Winnie, 6, and Franny, 5, during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I was like, 'I'm already depressed now.' I need something funny. I need something that's going to make me laugh," he says. "This is not really making me laugh."

Ultimately, he was unable to finish the seven-part series.

"I just didn't see it," he says. "It wasn't steering towards an awesome ending."

But one thing Fallon does appreciate? A good impression.

During Tuesday's at-home edition of The Tonight Show, the host, 45, demonstrated how he thinks Nicolas Cage's upcoming performance as Joe Exotic could play out.

"Everyone on the internet is all freaking out about it and all excited about it, and we are so excited about it too, only because we got sneak footage — a sneak peek at Tiger King starring Nicolas Cage," Fallon joked on his show, leading into his spoof sketch.

Credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/Youtube; Netflix; JC Olivera/Getty Images

In the clip, Fallon donned a mullet and sunglasses, channeling Cage's unique delivery and mannerisms while spouting Tiger King jokes.

Cage's forthcoming Joe Exotic adaptation will mark his first television role.

The story will be based on the Texas Monthly article "Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild," by Leif Reigstad.