If asked to name the most well-known fictional Fidos of 20th Century entertainment, one might mention Lassie, Benji, or Snoopy. In the 21st Century, the hot dog to know, and even love, is aptly named Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph is a very different kind of doggie icon altogether. The only aspects those other celebrity canines have in common with Triumph are species, fame, and “poop.” However, none of the other pop-culture pooches have anything on Triumph in the “poop” department! While most other media hounds are seen playing catch with their people, this comedic canine is creating havoc as the mouthpiece of his master, and is known, and feared, for his famous catch-phrase, commonly preceded by a compliment: “…For Me To POOP on!” For example, he might say, “This is a great article…For Me To Poop On!” or, as he’s said of his hometown, “[New York is] a very nice island, For Me To Poop On!” If Triumph “poops” on you, consider it a compliment.
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, in the four years of his notoriously acerbic existence (28 in poop-years) has personally “pooped” on dozens of pop-culture’s rich, famous, and celebrated creatures, including rapper Eminem, rockers Bon Jovi, comedian Adam Sandler, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, “King of All Media” and loving proud parent Howard Stern, the Pets.com sock puppet, Westminster Dog Show contestants (before he was thrown out of the event) and, yes, even Animal Fair’s own adorable and lovely mascot/columnist Lucky. Not too bad for a cigar-smoking, out-spoken, obnoxious and, ultimately, hilarious hound, whose head is literally attached to his human’s hand, eh?
Writer, actor, and comedic genius, Robert Smigel, is the master behind Triumph’s madness. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog is, in fact, a puppet created and performed by Smigel. Smigel first introduced Triumph to the world when he was head writer on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Triumph played a character in a comedy skit mocking bizarre dog talents. Rather than catching Frisbees or playing a banjo with his paws, Triumph’s talent in the skit was tearing apart and insulting anyone he could get his paws on, in the style of sarcastic, irreverent, and cuttingly witty “insult” stand-up comedians, such as Don Rickles—the kind that audiences love to hate. Triumph was a hysterical hit with the audience, and the character became a regular on the show. He quickly gained notoriety for his crass, crude, and shockingly honest commentary on celebrity guests, as well as regular people. The demand for more of Triumph’s façade-smashing antics thrust him into the media mainstream. Triumph quickly became the Alpha Male canine celebrity that he is today.
Triumph has lent his biting witticism to countless appearances on film and TV. At the MTV Video Music Awards, Triumph barked up the wrong tree when he angered Eminem to the point that the rapper actually punched the puppet. Also at the VMA’s, Triumph made no bones about his wish to sniff J. Lo’s [behind]. He has been featured on episodes of The Osbournes, Last Comic Standing, The Hollywood Squares, The Tonight Show and in The Muppets’ It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. Expanding his territory, Triumph has tried his paw at making music, as well, with his first album Come Poop With Me, featuring original songs, such as the rap tune “I Keed” and other songs whose titles are too risqué to mention here.
Recently, much to the delight of his many fans, The Best of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog DVD was released in August 2004, marking his triumph as a bona-fide pop-culture icon. The DVD includes many of his early appearances on The Late Show, his VMA appearances, as well as other Triumph classics, such as his lambasting of the Star Wars fanatics at the movie’s premiere and his ribbing of Bon Jovi and their fans at a concert. Triumph is truly a 21st Century canine classic…For Us To Poop On!