Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog is a puppet created and performed by Robert Smigel premiering in 1993 on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Triumph was identified in the early appearances as a Yugoslavian Mountain Hound and speaks with a thick Slavic accent. Triumph often puffs a cigar, which usually falls out of his mouth when he begins speaking. The crudeness of the puppetry behind Triumph - Smigel's arm is often clearly visible in the shot - has added to the character's popularity.
Triumph's debut was in a comedy skit about unusually talented dogs. In addition to other dog puppets who played banjos and performed magic, Triumph appeared in his trademark persona of an obnoxious and ribald insult comic in the vein of Don Rickles. The character rapidly grew in popularity, and became a recurring fixture on the show, often mocking the show's celebrity guests and leaving the studio to harass the general public in pre-taped remote segments.
In 1999, pets.com filed a lawsuit against Late Night and Robert Smigel claiming that Triumph constituted a trademark violation because of possible confusion with their sock-puppet dog mascot (which first appeared two years after the first appearance of Triumph); however, the bankruptcy and closing of the company during the dot-com bust of 2000 terminated this lawsuit before opening arguments had even been heard. Triumph responded in his typical fashion in a skit where he sexually assaulted the pets.com dog in a restroom.
Some of Triumph's best known skits involved him visiting the Westminster Dog Show, where he would often be found "humping" (attempting to mate with) other dogs. Smigel and Triumph have been ejected from several events for Triumph's antics.
Triumph's longtime catch phrase is "...for me to poop on!" usually spoken to negate a compliment that precedes it, e.g. "You're a great audience... for me to poop on!"
In addition to regular appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Triumph has appeared on the MTV Movie Awards, including a confrontation with Eminem which MTV later removed from rebroadcast airings. Eminem later referred to and impersonated Triumph on the track "Ass Like That" from his 2004 album Encore. Other appearances include Hollywood Squares and Smigel's TV Funhouse.
In 2003 Triumph released his first album, Come Poop With Me , featuring adult comedy and songs, plus a bonus DVD of live performances by Triumph. The album was nominated for a Grammy award (Best Comedy Album).
On August 10, 2004, NBC released a DVD featuring select Triumph appearances from Late Night.
Famous Triumph sketches
- Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Premiere Line for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - "May the Force be with you... for me... to poop on." While talking to a pregnant fan: "Oh, is this a little Jedi? Your boy's due in two months? That'll be the last time he ever sees female genitalia!"
- Triumph visits Quebec during Conan's special series of shows taped in Toronto, Canada, generating a small firestorm of controversy from local politicans. - A sample insult, hurled at an overweight man, was "Are you a separatist?... Maybe you should try separating yourself from donuts first."
- Triumph visits Spin Alley - Triumph takes on Republican and Democratic spin doctors and political bigwigs after the 3rd US presidential debate (2004) in what he refers to as Poop Valhalla.
- Among the celebrities Triumph has interviewed: Simon Cowell of American Idol, Beck, and members of the rock group Bon Jovi.
- Triumph Video Clips
- Streaming NPR Interview with Triumph and Robert Smigel
- Triumph visits Spin Alley Clip (2004)
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