Stephen Colbert addresses his staff getting arrested while filming at the Capitol

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Stephen Colbert addresses arrest of staffers while filming at the Capitol
Stephen Colbert addresses arrest of staffers while filming at the Capitol


Stephen Colbert

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog has been released from the kennel, and now his boss is clearing the air. On Monday’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host addressed the arrests of Robert Smigel (comedian, writer, and the man behind the puppet) and other Late Show staffers during a trip to the Capitol.

“Triumph offered to go down to D.C. to interview some Congress people to highlight some January 6 hearings,” Colbert explained. “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.”

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Puppetry In The First Degree

He stressed that Democratic and Republican congresspeople had agreed to talk, and that Triumph and the crew were invited into those individuals’ offices. “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. “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.”

“Everyone was very professional, everyone was very calm. My staffers were detained, processed, and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff. A lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police, but a fairly simple story,” he said.

Colbert was pretty understanding of the Capitol Police’s actions, instead clowning on “a couple of the TV people” claiming that his staff had “committed insurrection” in the Capitol building. (“They weren’t in the Capitol Building!”) “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,” he said.

In a previous statement on the incident, CBS maintained that the crew was “authorized” to be there. But a statement from Capitol Police (per Variety) disputed this: “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.” Hopefully Triumph has a good lawyer.