Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Can’t Stop Photo-Bombing Live TV

Robert Smigel revealed his favorite moments when his caustic puppet snuck onto the airwaves
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Can’t Stop Photo-Bombing Live TV

Fox News, CNN and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade all provide a steady stream of fantastic public tapings – for him to poop on.

Robert Smigel started performing his iconic character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in the mid-1990s when, while furniture shopping with his wife, fellow comedy writer Michelle Saks, he spotted a unique-looking dog puppet, plucked it off the shelf, and immediately made it sniff his wife’s ass. Saks found the bit so funny that she secretly purchased the puppet for her husband, who, at the time, was working as head writer on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Smigel developed the bit into a full parody of the Westminster Dog Show, which aired on his late-night show one fateful February night in 1997.

Today, Triumph is still sniffing asses and roasting interviewees – whether broadcast television wants him or not. Since they began their partnership, Smigel and Triumph have gotten themselves thrown out of the aforementioned dog show, they’ve been arrested by Capitol Police, and they’ve unsuccessfully attempted to crash Bill O’Reilly’s show. And, as Smigel revealed on last night’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, they’ve also photobombed live broadcasts on every major network – probably while barking, “F— it, we’ll do it live!”

While I’m willing to buy that Triumph’s appearance in NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was a simple case of “right place, right time,” his appearance in the background of CNN’s coverage of the 2016 Republican National Convention bearing signs that read, “We love Matt, Savannah & Al,” and the sarcastic, “Positively NO photobombing” betrays Smigel’s premeditation.

But the absolute best surprise appearance by Triumph outside of Late Night was when, during the 2008 Republican National Convention, Triumph gave Fox News watchers a more mature source of entertainment than Greta Van Susteren’s ranting by humping the face of beloved baseball mascot Mr. Met in the background. 

During the Late Night interview, Smigel also revealed that Triumph’s next project will be a game show, titled Let’s Make A Poop, wherein, “Triumph asks trivia questions to celebrities and they have to answer with a funny answer.” My absolute dream contestant for that show would have to be the one that got away from Triumph – Bill O'Reilly would be absolutely shitty at that game.


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