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Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s Creator Robert Smigel Talks Getting into Politics

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog’s Creator Robert Smigel Talks Getting into Politics

As if the current Presidential election isn’t ridiculous enough already, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is throwing his hat in the ring.

The cigar-smoking, lewd, celebrity-roasting puppet is heading to Hulu with Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016, a special that follows Triumph as he covers the campaign, hitting up both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. But he was only allowed to give a statement about it to the room of reporters at the 2016 Summer TCA press tour … based on his behavior at past TCAs.

“I’m only here for a brief moment because Hulu wants to be respectful,” Triumph said. “The last time I was here I referred to the TCA as the ‘Triple Chin Association.’ So I am merely going to read one statement that the Hulu people have asked me to read. Yes, it is quite an honor to join the Hulu team. Everybody loves Hulu. Time Warner just announced that it now owns a piece of Hulu. Fox owns Hulu, NBC owns Hulu. Even Disney. Yes, Hulu has so many fingers inside of it, it could easily be a member of the Duggar family.”

After creator, executive producer, and voice of Triumph, Robert Smigel, took the now-iconic puppet off of his hand, he was able to delve more deeply into what viewers can expect from this election special.

“His voice fits right in [to this election cycle],” Smigel said. “That’s what attracted me to covering it. I’ve never really done anything like this before. I’ve done Triumph for 20 years but never anything like this. Last summer, Trump entered the race and people began referring to him as Trump the Insult Comic Dog. I felt like it was a good fit to try this out. I’m just diving in because it feels like the right time.”

And dive in he did. Smigel took Triumph to Cleveland for the RNC, where he, unsurprisingly, got up to his usual shenanigans. He even used a Roger Ailes lookalike to gain access to places he was getting denied entry throughout the week. “We were just trying to cause trouble,” Smigel said with a laugh. “I enjoy getting thrown out.”

Another favorite prank he pulled: “We brought a fake Telemundo reporter to the RNC. It’s one of my favorite bits on the show. There are a lot of cynical pranks on the show, both in and around and out of the convention.”

But as much fun as Smigel had with Triumph on the ground at the RNC, there were some bits that he couldn’t pull off at the time. “We threw a carnival for the Trump supporters,” Smigel said. “And one of the jokes we wanted to do and didn’t was, we were going to have a claw machine from an arcade that just had a pile of guns in it. We couldn’t get the look right in time. You couldn’t see it right on camera, so somewhere else we’ll do that. AR-15s. ‘Come on, p****, go for the big one.'”

Triumph has met and insulted a lot of big names over his lifetime, but did he come across Trump or Hillary Clinton at either of the conventions?

“No, we didn’t get anywhere near either of those guys,” Smigel said. “I’ve met both of them in the past. I crossed paths with Bill Clinton backstage, and that’s the biggest guy I’ve gotten super close to. And Donald Trump Jr. which is practically the same thing.”

Since Triumph is almost 20 years old, Smigel has gone through many different versions of the puppet.

“This is the great-great-great grandson of the original one,” Smigel said with a laugh. “We breed them. Now we’ve made a mold of it. The first time I saw the puppet was at a furniture store and there was just a rack of incredibly realistic looking dogs and other animals. I pulled one out, put it on my arm and sniffed my wife’s ass with it. And she found it really funny, so she’s the perfect woman for me.”

And while there seems to be no line that Triumph won’t cross, according to Smigel there are some jokes he won’t make, like hitting on women based on their appearance. “There are things I’ve always felt were too much,” Smigel said. “There was a trend in the ’90s [of] imitating deaf people or the handicapped … that always seemed needless.”

But when it comes to the presidential candidates, everything is fair game. Triumph’s Summer Election Special 2016 premieres Thursday, August 11 on Hulu.

Featured Image: Hulu

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