Watch Puppet Mitch McConnell Pretend to Be Human in Robert Smigel’s ‘Let’s Be Real’
In this exclusive clip from Robert Smigel’s latest political puppet special on Fox, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tries to prove he’s not a turtle.
After conquering the world—and thoroughly owning Ted Cruz—with his creation Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, legendary comedy writer Robert Smigel has broadly expanded his puppet arsenal with a series of specials called Let’s Be Real on Fox. In the latest installment, which premieres this Thursday night at 9:30 p.m., he brings Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to life. Well, sort of.
The exclusive clip below features Smigel’s McConnell puppet in a parody of Vogue’s “73 Questions” series that plays a bit more like an episode of MTV’s Cribs. Puppet McConnell welcomes the interviewer into his lavish home, steering him away from a meeting between his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and Russian operatives and toward his “man cave” where he is literally growing federal judges. “We’re just chilling in the dirt like bros,” he says unconvincingly.
McConnell answers simple questions like “crunchy or creamy?” with, “There’s no reason to discuss my underwear at this time” and “Beatles or Stones?” with, “Beetles have lots of protein but small stones are good for digestion.” It all leads up to the inevitable conclusion that the Kentucky senator is engaged in an illicit affair with his “secret tortoise wife” named Sheila—and may even be one himself.
When the interviewer asks him when he might retire, McConnell predicts sometime in his 130s. In response to the remark that “that’s old,” he replies, “Not if you’re a turt—” before catching himself and finishing the sentence with “young at heart.”
In an email, Smigel told me that he and his team “figured by parodying both Mitch McConnell and Vogue” they would “at least attract every white person over 60.”
He then added, “Remember, we’re trying to hold Tim Allen’s audience,” a nod to the show’s lead-in of Last Man Standing and ironic throwback to his infamous role of showrunner on The Dana Carvey Show, which was swiftly canceled in the mid-’90s when it failed to retain Home Improvement’s massive ratings.
For more, listen to Robert Smigel on The Last Laugh podcast.