The 'Tiger King' character each state is most obsessed with

joe exotic tiger king mugshot carole baskin.png
The 'Tiger King' character each state is most obsessed with. (AP)

It's the show everyone with Netflix is talking about: "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness." And the stars of the show are, to put it kindly, unique.

It's the tale of a roadside zoo operator known as Joe Exotic, who is serving 22 years in prison in a murder-for-hire plot detailed in the documentary.

The folks over at decided to take a look at some Google Trends data to find out "what character each state loves the most," besides Joe Exotic.

Carole Baskin and Doc Antle topped the list the most, with eight states each.

For Utah, it's Exotic's current husband Dillon Passage. For neighboring Wyoming, it's Joe's toothless ex-husband John Finlay.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel), was by far the character each state was most obsessed with, so researchers decided to look at supporting characters.

Among their findings:

  • Doc Antle and Carole Baskin tied for the supporting character the most states were obsessed with, claiming eight states apiece.
  • States were typically most obsessed with the characters who shared their home. For example, Florida was most interested in Carole, and Doc Antle claimed his home state of South Carolina.
  • James Garretson takes third place, with six states being most obsessed with him. Not surprising, since he ends up playing such an important role in the final part of the season.
  • Oklahoma showed the most interest overall in the characters, which isn’t surprising since it’s the main setting for the show. In fact, the Midwest, in general, has more interest in the characters than the rest of the nation.

A total of 15 of the show's main characters, taken from this article, were studied.

Analysts built a set of names for each character based on what people were searching for on Google.

The study's authors said:

Since some characters have different variations of their names, such as 'Doc Antle' or 'Bhagavan Antle,' we used the Google Trends similar queries feature to build a set of name variations for each character.
The data used to determine which character each state is most obsessed with came from Google Trends state-wise search frequencies. For example, if you look at the relative search frequency for 'Joe Exotic' across states you see that people in Oklahoma have searched more for this character than any other state. We only counted search frequencies from March 20, 2020 (the premiere of Tiger King) through April 2, 2020, the date of the analysis.


  • Alabama - James Garretson
  • Alaska - Travis Maldonado
  • Arizona - Carole Baskin
  • Arkansas - John Finlay
  • California - Carole Baskin
  • Colorado - Carole Baskin
  • Connecticut - Carole Baskin
  • Delaware - James Garretson
  • District of Columbia - Rick Kirkham
  • Florida - Carole Baskin
  • Georgia - Carole Baskin
  • Hawaii - Travis Maldonado
  • Idaho - Doc Antle
  • Illinois- Carole Baskin
  • Indiana - Carole Baskin
  • Iowa - Joshua Dial
  • Kansas - Erik Cowie
  • Kentucky - Rick Kirkham
  • Louisiana - James Garretson
  • Maine - Kelci Saffery
  • Maryland - Doc Antle
  • Massachusetts - Doc Antle
  • Michigan - Jeff Lowe
  • Minnesota - Joshua Dial
  • Mississippi - John Reinke
  • Missouri - Travis Maldonado
  • Montana - Rick Kirkham
  • Nebraska - Allen Glover
  • Nevada - Jeff Lowe
  • New Hampshire - Mario Tabraue
  • New Jersey - Doc Antle
  • New Mexico - James Garretson
  • New York - Doc Antle
  • North Carolina - Doc Antle
  • North Dakota - John Finlay
  • Ohio - Doc Antle
  • Oklahoma - John Reinke
  • Oregon - James Garretson
  • Pennsylvania - Mario Tabraue
  • Rhode Island - Rick Kirkham
  • South Carolina - Doc Antle
  • South Dakota - Jeff Lowe
  • Tennessee - Joshua Dial
  • Texas - Travis Maldonado
  • Utah - Dillon Passage
  • Vermont - Jeff Lowe
  • Virginia - Joshua Dial
  • Washington - Jeff Lowe
  • West Virginia - Dillon Passage
  • Wisconsin - James Garretson
  • Wyoming - John Finlay