Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has really been enjoying his time on the campaign trail this week. Just two days after bantering with Killer Mike and Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Democratic debate in South Carolina, the puppet creation of former SNL writer Robert Smigel was spotted at a Ted Cruz rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
Later that night, he was reporting live from the Granite State on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. And as he made clear up top, he was “freezing whatever is left of my nuts out here.”
“Pretty impressive for MSNBC,” Triumph said of the steam effect coming out of his mouth. “I see your budget really skyrocketed once all that Ed Schultz money freed up,” he added to groans from O’Donnell’s crew.
“I’m able to go inside the Ted Cruz events, but I’m not to talk to Senator Cruz,” the puppet explained of his press credentials. “You know, I was there with a media pass like a legitimate press person. You know what legitimate press is like, you know, before MSNBC days.”
If Triumph had been allowed to ask Cruz questions, he would have gone with something like, “Your wife works for Goldman Sachs, Ted. We all want to punish Wall Street, but isn’t sharing a bed with you a little extreme?”
“You know, simple questions like that.”
When Triumph caught Cruz’s eye at one of his events, he said, “I had fear in my eyes. That’s a very scary glare, that Ted Cruz glare. John Wayne’s daughter endorsed Trump and Cruz, I understand, got the endorsement of the daughter of John Wayne Gacy.”
And, of course, he couldn’t leave without O’Donnell asking him about Sarah Palin’s big endorsement of Trump in Iowa earlier in the afternoon. “No one really gives a crap about her except the media, do they?” he asked. He posited that Palin is only choosing Trump because he’s against background checks, adding, “If John McCain had conducted one, she would never have been on the ticket.”
But he did think Trump’s crowds were getting a bad rap. “There’s quite a diverse group of individuals who show up at Donald Trump’s events and get the crap beaten out of them,” he said. “People of all races and creeds get ejected.”
Over the past two decades Smigel and his dog puppet have made appearances on Conan O’Brien’s various late-night shows, but this type of correspondent work for cable news was a bit of a departure. During the last election cycle, he worked the spin room at the final general election debate for a bit that now has nearly a million views on Conan’s YouTube channel.