Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog has delighted viewers for nearly two decades, doing segments on Conan O’Brien’s shows and earlier this year on The Jack and Triumph Show. His most beloved segments include a trip to a Bon Jovi concert and his notorious roasting of diehard Star Wars fans in line for the Attack of the Clones premiere. He also released a single, the video for which hit heavy MTV rotation — it’s a track off his Come Poop With Me album.
The character is the brainchild of comedian Robert Smigel — also known for his work on SNL’s “TV Funhouse” segment — and remains beloved enough to have gotten a 90-minute, Funny or Die-co-produced comedy special on Hulu greenlit. Triumph’s Election Special 2016 is mostly devoted to exploits following around Democratic and Republican candidates on the campaign trail.
It’s more new Triumph, all at once, than you thought would ever be possible. Thanks, streaming service original programming! And you can tell this is Hulu Triumph: Smigel clearly got a long leash (ha!) with this one creatively.
This is both bad and good. It gets a bit lengthy, and there are about 30 more fat jokes about Christie and Mike Huckabee — the most high-concept of which involved tricking Christie supporters into thinking the candidate got stuck in a desk chair — than there need to be. The low point is a legitimately uncomfortable, libertarian-slanted bit where Triumph tests a group of New Hampshire college students’ definitions of PC, going pretty pointedly after self-important white liberalism in a painstakingly drawn-out way.
But with a project like this, you’re bound to get some chaff in with the wheat; for the most part, Triumph’s special will be a delight to fans of Smigel’s irreverence, which set the stage for Sasha Baron Cohen’s antics before the British comedian was even on the scene. Triumph accomplishes a lot of amazing stuff in the new special, and here are just a few of the most ludicrous moments.
- He hosts a political panel featuring Harvard professor and O.J. defense lawyer Allen Dershowitz, American Idol contestants, the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” actor, “Blackwolf the Dragon Master” (from the Star Wars waiting line segment), and others.
- He plays Trump and other presidential hopefuls in a practice debate against Mike Huckabee, in an attempt to train Huckabee in the art of “Trump-level mean” insult comedy. Triumph Trump calls Huckabee “a Macy’s Day Parade balloon of Kevin Spacey.” He hires “robotic white women” to play fake Fox News anchors, and they convince attendees of Republican rallies that Trump did a lengthy speech in a fake Chinese accent and that Cruz advocates sterilizing all Puerto Ricans, among other things.
- Triumph puts on a Kim Davis costume to try to sneak into Ted Cruz events. (Later, to Cruz: “Is it true you tried to shut down the government so you could go to a Nickelback concert?”)
- Former SNLer and actor Tim Meadows guest-stars, tricking diners in a small town in Iowa that he is Ben Carson (“I promise you when I am president, I will not set foot in Washington”). He pops pills, pretends to hallucinate, and convinces a man to actually stab him with silverware. He later sings at a college basketball game.
- After running into the bathroom to smell, Triumph interviews a man who has just taken a shit in the same diner bathroom as Chris Christie. (To the diner staff: “When you serve him fish, serve him one fish at a time from the bucket.”)
- To rapper Killer Mike: “Thanks to his efforts, the African American vote for Bernie is up to six percent.”
- To Trump supporters outside of a rally: “When you watched the movie Philadelphia, did you cheer for the AIDS?”
- To Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “Bernie and Hilary look like a couple from a Cialis ad.”
So if you were wondering if watching the whole special is worth it, we can assure you that it is. There’s something there for everyone, as with every good Triumph bit.