Doc Antle Wrangled a Tiger During Britney Spears’s 2001 VMAs Performance

Think times are strange right now? Consider a world in which Tiger King‘s Doc Antle graced the stage alongside Britney Spears at the 2001 VMAs. You read that correctly. It took about 10 days after the release of the insanely watchable Netflix docuseries Tiger King for someone to notice the cameo.

Buzzfeed reports that, yes, the wild cat park owner and mentor to Joe Exotic is onstage with Spears during her famous “I’m a Slave 4 U” performance at the awards show. (Those who watched the documentary know how ironic that song selection is.)

You were probably too busy ogling the giant yellow python on Spears’s shoulders to notice Antle in the cage with one of his tigers at the beginning of the performance. His hair whips in the wind, his muscle tee glows in the spotlight, and he gets a front-row seat to one of the most unforgettable awards show performances of all time.

2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

KMazurGetty Images

2001 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

Kevin KaneGetty Images

Over the course of Tiger King‘s seven episodes, Antle brags about the number of high-profile productions he’s loaned exotic animals to. “Sure, Jan,” I initially thought. But this performance (and Antle’s bio) suggest there’s a whole vault of credible cameos to uncover. (Joy.)

While you process this surreal information, digest the theory that Carole Baskin was also in Spears’s awards show circle wearing her signature animal print.

It’s a lot to take in.

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