When Triumph the Insult Comic Dog appeared at an event for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz in New Hampshire, everyone started asking themselves one of two questions.
- Where is security?
- Why the hell is the foul-mouthed dog puppet from the Late Show with Conan O’Brien here?
Funny or Die and Hulu answered the second question promptly by announcing Triumph’s Election Special 2016, which would stream exclusively on Hulu in February. The first query, however, was largely ignored by the press. Sure, Cruz ignored comedian Robert Smigel’s questions, but he never called for security to remove him, his puppet and his camera crew. Yet the staff at the First-in-the-Nation Presidential Town Hall event in Nashua, N.H. this past Saturday weren’t as forgiving.
Comedian Robert Smigel and his puppet, Triumph the Insult comic Dog wanted to share in the spirit of American Democracy by poking a little fun at Presidential Election politics. But their noble effort clashed with those who wanted to make sure the railroad (or in this case, a multi-candidate event called the First In The Nation Forum Presidential Town Hall, sponsored by the New Hampshire Republican Party, for voters in the February 9, 2016 New Hampshire Primary) ran on time.
The multi-candidate event, which featured speeches from many of the Republican hopefuls, apparently didn’t have the patience for Smigel’s bit. In fact, the crew didn’t even have a chance to do anything — they were simply sitting quietly during Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Kentucky) address when they were escorted out of the room by suited men hired to police the event.
According to a brief interview with Smigel:
INTERVIEWER: They got complaints from people that you were disruptive.
SMIGEL: By sitting down and having a puppet with me. A common disruption around here, I guess… If you see people carrying these [holds up Triumph puppet] in a bag, run for the hills. They’re terribly dangerous people. This paw with a microphone has a long reach. It could reach a candidate and potentially make them want to pet it.
Smigel and his crew tried to gain reentry into the First-in-the-Nation Presidential Town Hall. At one point, he and his crew got New Hampshire State Representative Joe Hannon on camera for an interview and used the brief connection to appeal to the event staff. It didn’t work.
“Can you get me back in?” he asked. Hannon turned to a person or persons off camera, and a disembodied voice within speaking distance of the boom microphone answered without hesitation: “No.”