During his 2016 election special on Hulu, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog got close to Ted Cruz, but he wasn’t able to score an interview with the Texas senator. That changed on the eve of the 2018 midterms when the infamous hand puppet finally got his chance to confront the Republican.
As Stephen Colbert explained Monday night, with Conan O’Brien off this week, he was “kind enough to lend” his field correspondent to The Daily Show. Not only did Triumph, as played by Colbert’s old colleague Robert Smigel from The Dana Carvey Show, come face-to-face with Cruz, he also met up with his wildly popular Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke.
“I love the way you are anybody but Ted Cruz,” Triumph told O’Rourke before skewering his enthusiastic millennial base for thinking they can “vote through Instagram.” He asked, “What does Ted Cruz have that you don't have, besides the ability to regenerate his tail?” making the Democrat laugh and shake his head.
But the real fireworks came when Triumph confronted Cruz after one of his rallies as a security guard nervously tried to keep distance between man and puppet. “Ted, is it true you will defend the Constitution at all costs except for when Donald Trump calls it ugly on Twitter?” he asked, referencing the time Trump tweeted a meme making fun of Cruz’s wife’s looks.
All Cruz could come up with in response was, “I love the Constitution, and Twitter is Twitter.”
“Let’s be civil here, OK, because this man—nobody should be yelling at this man in a public place,” Triumph added. “I mean, doesn’t this man have the right to sit down in a restaurant and enjoy a meal that five waiters have spit in?” After Cruz tried to come back at him with a joke about Democrats taking him to the vet to get fixed, Triumph shot back, “I support spaying and neutering, just like Trump did to you!”
The bit ended with Triumph getting Cruz’s supporters to chant that he is a “lion of the Senate” before predictably turning it into a chant of “Lyin’ Ted.”