Triumph the Insult Dog is a hand puppet that made his debut on the 1997 Conan O’Brien show – Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The man behind the puppet is Robert Smigel, and the humour is certainly an acquired taste. The puppet is incredibly crude and his jokes centre around ridiculing celebrities, or mocking bystanders involved in celebrity issues or events. One such encounter was at the Santa maria courthouse in 2005 for Michael Jackson’s trial where he innately yelled “No one knows yet if he’s innocent or guilty. But there’s one thing we do know…He’s guilty!.
The puppet has been featured in segments with Joan Rivers, Bon Jovi, Heather Lochlear and numerous other celebrities and TV personalities along with comedy events. Triumph was famously thrown out of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston with Michael Moore, where the pair proceeded to harass organisers but were refused re-entry.
Americans have long been labelled as being unable to laugh at themselves, and this character is a satirical statement in reaction to this, hence his sparse popularity in the US. Consequentially, he abuses others but never pokes fun at himself. Lacking in this most endearing and likable form of humour leaves many viewers dissatisfied and unimpressed. It is little wonder that MTV removed Triumph’s segment from their re broadcasting of the MTV Video Music Awards.
BLK1 Article: CAILTLIN REID
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