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Stephen Colbert Addresses Detainment of Staff Filming Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Segment at Capitol: ‘Everyone Was Very Professional’

colbert triumph
Courtesy of CBS

In his monologue on Monday’s broadcast of “The Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert addressed recent news that a field production team for his late-night program was detained at the Capitol while filming a comedy segment involving the foulmouthed puppet Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

“How was your weekend?” Colbert joked at the top of his opening monologue. “I certainly had an interesting one, because some of my staff had a memorable one.”

“Triumph offered to go down to D.C. to interview some Congress people to highlight some January 6 hearings,” Colbert continued. “I said, ‘Sure, if you can get anyone to agree to talk to you. Because, and please don’t take this as an insult, you’re a puppet.”

On June 16, seven people working for “The Late With Stephen Colbert” were arrested due to an unauthorized location shoot in Congress. Among the seven people arrested was Robert Smigel, the writer and comedian behind the canine character of Triumph.

The Capitol Police released a statement about the incident, saying, “The building was closed to visitors and these individuals were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day. They were charged with Unlawful Entry. This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney.”

“After they finished their interviews, they were doing some last-minute puppetry and jokey make-em-ups in a hallway, when Triumph and my folks were approached and detained by the Capitol police — which actually isn’t that surprising,” Colbert continued, before alluding to the ongoing congressional hearings regarding the events of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. “The Capitol police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago, and for a very good reason. If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch.”

Colbert continued by affirming that things were resolved as professionally as possible, while acknowledging that the experience was not pleasant for his staff. The late-night host also dismissed comparisons between his production team’s detainment and the arrest of individuals during the insurrection.

“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,” Colbert said.

CBS had previously offered a statement on the incident, explaining that the interviews conducted “were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed.”

As hearings surrounding the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol remain underway, the incident came at a time of heightened security and tension within the halls of Congress.

Monday’s broadcast of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” featured New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as a guest, as well as a musical performance by the Lumineers.

Watch Colbert’s monologue below: