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Who is Robert Smigel? Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Creator Arrested Alongside Stephen Colbert Staff Members at the US Capitol

On Thursday, Robert Smigel, the man behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, was arrested by United States Capitol Police at the Longworth House office building alongside several other staff from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Authorities told the New York Post that the employees were found in a hallway on the sixth floor of the building around 8:30 p.m. that evening. They were deemed “unescorted and without congressional ID” when the compound was closed to the public.

The producers of Stephen Colbert have just committed an insurrection at the United States Capitol. https://t.co/8lHkIcCYld

Reports suggest the group took photos and videos near the offices of Republican Congressmen Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Representative Lauren Boebert. The same group was reportedly asked to leave earlier in the day and also escorted out of the January 6 committee hearing due to a lack of proper press credentials.

According to Fox News, members of Stephen Colbert’s staff requested press credentials, but the House Radio or TV Gallery denied the request, citing that they were not considered “news”. CBS released an official statement on the matter and said the interviews were “authorized and pre-arranged by the congressional aides of the interviewed members.”

Weird news: Robert Smigel, the screenwriter for Sony Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2, was arrested last night at the United States Capitol and charged with unlawfully entering a federal building. He was there trying to film a segment for his puppet character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. https://t.co/3iPmHXPaCs

The group reportedly interviewed Reps. Adam Schiff, Stephanie Murphy, and Jake Auchincloss and remained in the building to “film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the hallways” before being arrested by Capitol Police.

While seven arrests have been made in connection with the situation, nine people in total, including Robert Smigel, have been arrested by the police. Police said the seven members had been charged with “unlawful” entry.


All about Robert Smigel: An illustrious career between TV shows and movies

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Robert Smigel is an American comedian, puppeteer, writer, actor, and director, best known as the creator of the iconic puppet character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. He was born to Irwin and Lucia Smigel on February 7, 1960 in New York and grew up in a Jewish family in Manhattan.

He studied pre-dental at Cornell University but dropped out to transfer to New York University. Smigel graduated from the institution with a degree in political science in 1983. Soon after, he began attending The Players Workshop in Chicago to study acting and improv.

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Smigel started writing for Saturday Night Live in 1985 before becoming the editor of Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1993. He featured Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on the latter in 1997 as a character who “insults” celebrities and pop culture topics with an “Eastern European” accent.

The comedian also wrote for the 1996 ABC series The Dana Carvey Show and gained immense popularity for its cartoons. Smigel contributed to the screenplays of The Wedding Singer and Little Nicky before writing the screenplay You don’t mess with the Zohan with Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler.

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Smigel also served as an executive producer on the film and even appeared in the film as an Israeli salesman called Yosi. He then co-wrote the screenplay for Hotel Transylvania and contributed to the writing of three soundtracks for the film, including where did the time go girl, Daddy’s girland Zing.

The comedian also wrote the script for Hotel Transylvania 2 and lent his voice to the character of Harry Three-Eye. Smigel also created the live-action series The Jack and Triumph Show in 2015.


Twitter reacts to Robert Smigel’s arrest by Capitol Police

Robert Smigel's Capitol arrest shocked netizens (Image via Getty Images)
Robert Smigel’s arrest in the Capitol Building shocked netizens (Image via Getty Images)

The sudden arrest of Robert Smigel and members of the staff of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert by Capitol Police from the Longworth House Office Building shocked social media users.

Following the detention, many also took to Twitter to react to the situation:

Look at the list, then see Robert Smigel… twitter.com/chadpergram/st… https://t.co/wBFd0vjDdP

Honestly Can’t Wait For The Live Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Segment Of His Impeachment

lol, robert smigel got arrested. perfect. can’t wait to see the cartoon.

never ask: – a woman his age – a man his salary – Triumph the Insult Comic Dog what he was doing illegally by illegally entering the United States Capitol building

I’m begging, literally begging for a prime-time congressional hearing on Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has been arrested for telling jokes more times than Donald Trump has been arrested for inciting an insurrection.

Wait, wait…they arrested Triumph the Insult Comic Dog? @ConanOBrien I expect you to be in your helicopter and heading to DC, before I finish writing this tweet.#triumphtheinsultcomicdog

The difference between Triumph and Tucker Carlson is that one of them is a puppet and the other is voiced by Robert Smigel. #ColbertInsurrection

As the backlash continues to pour in online, it remains to be seen if Capitol Police will press any further charges against the defendant. Authorities called the situation an “active criminal investigation” and said further decisions would be made after consultation with the US attorney.


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