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FROM THIS EPISODE

When comedian Robert Smigel and his puppet Triumph the Insult Comic Dog took on this year's election for Hulu, they faced an unexpected problem: instead of being shunned, they were embraced by adoring fans wanting selfies. Smigel -- and Triumph -- tell us how they continue to goad celebrities and politicians after 19 years of crude jokes and leg humping. They also pull back the curtain on a popular segment from earlier this year where they made fun of painfully earnest college students.

Photo: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in Triumph's Summer Election Special, courtesy of Hulu

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

Hollywood News Banter 7 MIN, 24 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • As the Television Critics Association press tour wraps up, diversity continues to be a major theme. Some networks, like FX, have committed to making themselves more diverse in front of and behind the cameras. Others, like CBS, not so much.
  • The burgeoning scandal at Fox News continues to grow with new allegations that enemies of the network were being surveilled and that Fox executives were aware of the spying.
  • After the all-female Ghostbusters came out earlier this summer, Sony immediately announced there would be a sequel, but they might have spoken too soon. The movie is heading in the direction of a $70 million loss. However, several other reboots with women in roles previously played by men are on the docket, including overhauls of Ocean's 11, Splash and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Robert Smigel on 'Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog' 20 MIN, 9 SEC

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has been offending celebrities, politicians, and other targets for almost two decades.

Triumph represents the uncontrolled id of comedian Robert Smigel, an improvisor and Saturday Night Live alum. He debuted Triumph as a correspondent on Conan O'Brien's Late Night in 1997, then began doing remotes where he and Triumph would cover events like the Westminster dog show.

Since then, Triumph has traveled the country doing bits for Conan, as well as his own projects. He's crashed game shows, concerts, political rallies, and Star Wars fan gatherings.

It's not surprising that this year's off-the-hook presidential campaign has provided fertile ground for Triumph. Smigel has made two Triumph election specials for Hulu with Funny or Die. The first, in which Triumph stalked candidates during the primaries, is Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.

A follow-up piece, released August 11, has Triumph reporting from the conventions. Both sides of the aisle are fair game for Triumph -- he gets into the RNC with the help of a Roger Ailes lookalike, and pokes fun at Bernie Bros outside the DNC in Philadelphia. He also conducts a harrowing focus group with Trump supporters using fake campaign commercials.

We caught up with Smigel, and Triumph, at the recent Television Critics Association press tour. As you'll hear, Smigel tries to be a nice guy but Triumph is a dog.

Guests:
Robert Smigel, actor, humorist, comedian and writer (@TriumphICDHQ)

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