I Need To Find Roy! This Is The Life Of My Story!
October 21, 2013 11:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm glad Roy is enjoying life and have immense respect for the fact that they recognized it was an accident and not an attack - and thus have kept the notorious white tiger healthy and happy. I have issues with using wild animals in shows, but I cautiously write that it seems like Siegfried and Roy respect and properly care for their big cats.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:04 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

It's always seemed like Siegfried and Roy do their cats right, and I think they got a bad rep just because you're not supposed to cage or train animals. It was like the consensus wished that accident on them, which is a terrible thing.
posted by dabitch at 12:30 AM on October 22, 2013

Fantastic read. Thanks for posting.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:47 AM on October 22, 2013

Apart from skirting around the question of their sexuality in a slightly salacious fashion, this is a good article - thanks. It makes perfect sense that Roy's accident happened because the tiger tried to treat him as she would a cub - by lifting him by the neck to a place of safety. I didn't really appreciate this before. I find the whole idea of their act pretty cheesy to say the least, but it certainly does speak for their bond with the animals that they would never consider harming the tiger that hurt Roy.
posted by iotic at 1:56 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I actually saw Siegfried and Roy in 2000.

I can agree that they're fond of the animals and am impressed that they didn't put Manticore down, and I can agree that it's better to refer to what happened as an "accident" than an "attack." But...

Okay. There was a bit in the act where Sigfried came onstage solo and was talking about the white tigers themselves, how in the wild they were only found in one part of the world, yadda yadda, and then the curtain rose behind him to show this fake rock with all the white tigers on it just laying around, a couple of them licking themselves, and the syrupy music rose and Sigfried went into this self-congratulatory speech about how in a perfect world they would be allowed to live in the wild in peace but at least they were helping them have good lives here in safety in Vegas, yadda yadda yadda....

But then the speech ended and the curtain was slowly starting to fall, and we were clapping politely, but as Sigfried and another guy went to rustle the tigers off the fake rock, one of 'em sat up, reached out and cuffed Sigfried in the hand. And he smacked the tiger back, and the curtain suddenly dropped real fast. And for the rest of the act, any tiger we saw onstage was chained to the floor with a three-foot chain, and a couple were also visibly stoned.

I dunno.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:30 AM on October 22, 2013 [6 favorites]

....And what I mean is - they absolutely treated the tigers better than most, but there's something still faintly exploitative about their act.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:31 AM on October 22, 2013

Glaring to me was the mention of the 3rd performer, a woman who is still very much a part of their amazing retirement and career, without interviewing her as part of this story of devotion.
posted by surplus at 5:26 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

…fields as vast as a dozen soccer pitches, an aquatic park that rivals the Bellagio fountains… “This is 100 acres, and we have all the water rights, which is why we can build the big pools.” … “Out here, you are not in Las Vegas.”

If this is your idea of an idyllic estate, so be it. But maybe you shouldn't build it in the middle of the fucking desert. Jesus, talk about clueless.
posted by Killick at 8:29 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

What a lovely article. I admired Siegfried & Roy's showmanship and hard work. The one time I saw the show it was pretty hammy, but still a fun big spectacle. I also admire the hell out of them doing one last show after The Thing, a charity event. That takes courage; not just the risk with the tiger, but getting on stage after years away from the game and a serious injury.

But boy this kind of closety writing just freaks me out. I guess I should be fair, Siegfried & Roy came up in a pre-gay rights era where disclosing the relationship would be career suicide but they could do whatever they wanted as long as they didn't talk about it. And they kept performing all through the Gay Rights era and here now we're almost to a post-gay society in America and the local gossip rag is still keeping the secret. It's just so strange, but in a funny way I admire them for it. (Although on further research, apparently they did come out in their autobiography? Can't find the referenced book, but more info here.)
posted by Nelson at 9:31 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

But boy this kind of closety writing just freaks me out.


Liberace redux. Made me a little sick.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 12:41 PM on October 23, 2013

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