In the last year-and-a-half, a large number of people have been arrested for invading the Capitol building. (Others have simply forfeited a large chunk of their salary for not complying with other rules.) To that list, add a most surprising figure: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
On Thursday, as per The Hollywood Reporter, a number of people working for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert were detained by U.S. Capitol police while filming a skit. Among them was Robert Smigel, the writer and performer who since 1997 has been the voice and puppeteer behind Triumph, the cigar-chomping Yugoslavian Mountain Hound-Rottweiler who trades almost exclusively in insult comedy.
A CBS spokesperson told THR that Smigel and crew had been on the Capitol premises on Wednesday and Thursday, collecting interviews for Colbert’s show, presumably pertaining to the ongoing Jan. 6 committee hearings. (Triumph spent much of his career on various Conan O’Brien programs.) The team had arranged a number of meetings, but on Thursday wound up staying late — too late, after the building was closed to visitors. They were approached by officers, and — unescorted and without Capitol IDs — they were arrested and charged with unlawful entry.
It’s a serious crime, and the seven arrested, Smigel included, may face additional criminal charges.
Smigel has long made Triumph a fixture of politics, covering presidential elections going back to 2004 and ramping it up in the Trump era. He’s even insulted Ted Cruz to his face — but the Texas senator seems to be used to people, and dog puppets, pointing out his flaws.