FROM Robert Smigel
Robert Smigel on 'Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog' 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.
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.