Stephen Colbert finally explained what happened when his late night talk show staffers were detained while filming in Washington DC, and you can blame it all on a rubber dog.
Staffers with “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” were arrested last week at a US Capitol office building after taping a skit involving Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This included Robert Smigel, a well-known writer and performer previously for “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” best known for portraying Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
CBS explained that last Wednesday Triumph was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews for a “Late Show” segment, noting “their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed.” A spokesperson said that after leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police. They were charged with an unlawful entry.
Colbert addressed the incident during his Monday monologue.
“Quick question,” Colbert said. “How was your weekend? I certainly had an interesting one because some of my staff had a memorable one.”
He said Democratic and Republican congress members agreed to talk to Triumph, inviting the character (and the CBS crew) into their offices to film. At the end of day two of shooting, when they were doing “some last minute puppetry,” the Capitol Police approached them, which Colbert said “isn’t that surprising” and leveled a shot at Fox News.
“The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago, and for a very good reason,” he said. “If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch.”
Colbert said “everyone was very professional,” adding the Capitol Police and his staff were “just doing their job.”
“My staffers were detained, processed and released,” Colbert said. “A very unpleasant experience for my staff, a lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police, but a fairly simple story.”
But the host noted “a couple of TV” people claimed Triumph and his staff “committed insurrection at the US Capitol building.” Colbert specified the staff were not in the Capitol building.
“An insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Colbert said. “This was first-degree puppetry. This was hijinks with intent to goof. Misappropriation of an old Conan bit…It’s really Conan’s fault.”
He said it’s “predictable” why cable news commentators are spinning the Colbert staff story. “They want to talk about something other than the January 6th hearings on the actual seditionist insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people and the injury of over 140 police officers. But drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died. And it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol Police showed on that terrible day.”
Watch the segment in the video above.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism