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Stephen Colbert Addresses Late Show Staffers' "Unpleasant" Arrest at the Capitol

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Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is out of the doghouse.

Four days after Capitol Police confirmed the popular puppet, voiced by Robert Smigel, and seven members of The Late Show's production team were arrested and charged with unlawful entry to the U.S. Capitol, Stephen Colbert addressed the incident on the June 20 episode of the late-night program.

As Colbert explained, the Late Show staffers and Smigel were detained while filming extra "jokey" scenes at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C. They've since been released.

While discussing the incident, Colbert referenced the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, which is currently being investigated by the House select committee, saying, "The Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were 18 months ago and for a very good reason."

"The Capitol police were just doing their job, my staff was just doing their job, everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm," Colbert continued. "My staffers were detained, processed and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff."

Celebrities Turned Politicians

Though Colbert called it a "fairly simple story," it took on a new life when Fox News "started claiming that my puppet squad had committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building."

Stephen Colbert, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Getty Images

The Late Show host said his team was merely there to film and, at most, this was "first-degree puppetry."

He went on to criticize Fox News for comparing his staffers' arrests to the Jan. 6 attacks. "Drawing any equivalency between a rioter storming the 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," he said, "and obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol police showed on that terrible day."

Colbert jokingly added, "But who knows? Maybe there was a vast conspiracy to overthrow the government of the U.S. with a rubber Rottweiler."

At the time of the arrests, Capitol Police confirmed to E! News that they're still investigating what happened and there may be additional charges filed.

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