BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — A Roger Ailes lookalike smoothed the way for Triumph, the Comic Insult Dog, at the Republican National Convention.
Robert Smigel, the writer-comedian who brings the Triumph puppet to life, worked the Republican and Democratic conventions for "Triumph's Summer Election Special 2016," debuting Aug. 11 on Hulu. He brought an Ailes impersonator to the Republican event in Cleveland.
"'I'm with Roger Ailes,'" Smigel said he told gatekeepers at the Republican convention, pointing to the impostor. "And they literally let me in. He's a gift that keeps on giving," he said of the recently ousted Fox News Channel chief.
Triumph punked convention reporters as well. Among his tricks: holding up a "no photobombs" sign behind TV journalist Jake Tapper.
Smigel, who introduced Triumph in the late 1990s on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," said the tone of this year's election made him decide the sharp-tongued dog he voices and writes should get involved. Triumph cast his eye on the primary season in a Hulu special that aired in February.
"Now that politics is taking this nasty turn, it might be interesting to see how Triumph fits in," Smigel recalled thinking.
Smigel said he didn't have any close encounters with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump at the conventions, but he met Trump when the businessman took part in "Saturday Night Live." Smigel, a writer for the show, said Trump was "very gracious" in providing the voice-over for a cartoon film even though it clearly mocked his lavish lifestyle.
However, Trump wasn't having it when Smigel mentioned that his father, prominent cosmetic dentist Dr. Irwin Smigel, had treated Trump's daughter, Ivanka, some years ago.
"No, I don't think so," was Trump's reply, Smigel told a Television Critics Association meeting Friday.