Lions & tigers & danger, oh my! ‘Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy’ investigates the illusionists’ history and lives
“Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy” pulls back the curtain on the popular German-American illusionists’ career and pop culture influence, investigating their infamy, and private lives in the public eye. This series recounts their dangerous last show that curtailed their career – in 2003, white tiger Mantacore attacked Roy Horn on stage, leaving him in critical condition. What ensued was a firestorm of scrutiny, backlash from animal advocates, and public confusion.
In this podcast, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and journalist Steven Leckart unpacks Siegfried & Roy’s unique stage personas and much-speculated personal lives. Their career spanned 44 years as they played over 30,000 shows for 50 million fans worldwide and earned over $1 billion in ticket sales. Start “Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy” from episode one to delve into the story from the jump, with the average episode running under 45 minutes in length.
Siegfried & Roy were well-known for their act with tigers and lions and performed at their Las Vegas residency, Siegfried & Roy at the Mirage Resort and Casino. At the time Roy was attacked, he was on stage with the 7-year-old white tiger, Mantacore, and brought his microphone close to the tiger’s mouth for an “interview” – as was pre-planned and executed on stage thousands of times before. This podcast looks beyond the attack as a fluke accident, and instead, looks at is as a misdirection in the act that threw off Mantacore’s training and readiness for cues he’d long prepped for.
Mantacore bit Roy’s arm, batted his feet, knocked him to the ground, bit his neck, and dragged him offstage. This series interviews people who witnessed the attack, those who knew Siegfried & Roy firsthand, and the crew that worked on their production.
Episode one set the scene leading up to the attack, through Roy’s life-threatening injuries, the stroke he suffered right after the bloody attack, and his rush to the hospital. The second episode shared the USDA’s investigation into their act and what a video from the performance revealed about the situation – if someone or something could have triggered the tiger. The Mirage Resort and Casino was treated as a crime scene.
“Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy” is presented by Apple TV+ / AT WILL MEDIA. Check out new, weekly episodes to learn what the investigation uncovered, wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.