Triumph Insult Dog Bit Goes Bad—Stephen Colbert Crew Busted at Capitol

Triumph creator Robert Smigel was among the seven Colbert employees arrested for unlawful entry after the puppet cracked wise

Veteran comedy writer Robert Smigel, best know as the voice and brain behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and a gang of staffers from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert were arrested Friday at the U.S. Capitol complex for allegedly illegally entering the House of Representatives following a bit involving the rude canine puppet, Capitol Police and CBS confirmed on Friday.

According to Fox News, seven people were arrested in the Longworth House Office Building after being escorted out of the Jan. 6 committee hearing earlier in the day because they lacked the proper press credentials. They were charged with unlawful entry.

The network’s sources say the same crew was on hand later Thursday night after the Capitol complex was closed to public visitors, where they took videos and snapped photos around the offices of California’s own ill-tempered puppet, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Republican Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert.

Fox also reports that Colbert’s team applied to get press credentials for the Jan. 6 hearing, but the House Radio/TV Gallery soundly kiboshed that request because the Late Show mirth-makers are not considered “news.”

They were, however, invited to other House office buildings, where they had conducted interviews earlier on Thursday with members of the Jan. 6 Committee, including California Democrat Adam Schiff, Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.).

Capitol Police said in a statement to Fox, “On June 16, 2022, at approximately 8:30 p.m., U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) received a call for a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building.  Responding officers observed seven individuals, unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway. The building was closed to visitors, and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day. They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

CBS said in a statement Friday that Smigel and the team stayed to “film stand-ups” and other comedy elements in the halls when they were detained.

“On Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews for a comedy segment on behalf of The Late Show,” CBS told Fox. “Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed. After leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police.”

Triumph debuted on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1996, during the same halcyon era when the public first fell in love with fellow Conan standout, The Furiously Masturbating Bear. Triumph’s creator, Smigel, is also known for his work on Saturday Night Live‘s animated “TV Funhouse” and as Carl from “Bill Swerski’s Superfans.”

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