Lionsgate // 2004 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // August 31st, 2004
A great new DVD release...for me to poop on!
He's a rubber dog puppet who insults celebrities and the socially challenged? You have got to be kidding. How funny can that be? That show's on past my bedtime, anyway. Wait, he's a Yugoslavian Mountain Hound? That might change things.
Spawned from the manic id of Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O'Brien writer Robert Smigel, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, armed with his microphone and trusty long paw, has been slinging insults and wreaking after hours terror for seven years. Having made his first appearance as CH. Triumph's Honor of Whitehall, Best in Show Winner in the Insult Comic Dog category at the 1997 Westminster Dog Show, he has evolved from a crudely designed hand puppet into a less crudely designed hand puppet, becoming nastier and funnier along the way.
I have been a fan of Triumph since the early days. The first time I saw him he was pooping on William Shatner's acting style, and I was hooked immediately. Smigel is one of the funniest guys around (he'd have to be to get away with this sort of thing); for the past several years his "Saturday TV Funhouse" bits on SNL have been a funny oasis in the desert of banality that show has become, and his short-lived Comedy Central series TV Funhouse (on which Triumph made a guest appearance) was some type of whacked-out masterpiece. For fans of his edgy brand of humor, this release is a godsend.
Appearances spanning Triumph's entire career are presented on this disc. Early clips showcase him insulting such Late Night guests as John Tesh, Fabio, and Jerry Springer. As he grew in popularity, Triumph began venturing outside the confines of Studio 6A, and here we see him getting kicked out of Westminster three years running (despite being disguised as Ed Bradley and Barbara Walters), sticking it to Bon Jovi, scuffling with Eminem at the 2002 MTV Video Awards, insulting fans waiting in line for the premiere of Attack of the Clones, and angering half the population of Quebec. His much-publicized battle with Crappy, the pets.com sock puppet, is chronicled, as is his first appearance on Hollywood Squares. Poor Kathie Lee never had a chance, but she was just asking to be pooped on. You'll also learn more than you ever wanted to know about the sexual orientation of Hollywood's canine stars. I laughed so much my jaw hurt.
The audio and video quality are better than the original broadcasts, but I don't think this will replace Master and Commander as my current demo disc. Picture and sound are clean and smooth, with the more recent clips fairing best; Late Night became more popular over time and the budget apparently increased as well, thus leading to a more professional look. This may also explain why Triumph began to look more like a stuffed animal and less like an opera glove with a tongue (apparently, Melanie Griffith's plastic surgeon did the work). Overall, it's more impressive than I had expected from a transfer sourced from a videotaped television talk show.
Extras are comprised of clips, more clips, outtakes, more clips, and Triumph's "I Keed" music video. The total running time of these extras exceeds that of the main program, but more Triumph is always a good thing. The funniest outtakes involve Triumph scaring the living poop out of a woman during his visit to the Hawaiian auditions for American Idol, asking to be pooped on by the king of insults himself, Don Rickles, and an appearance by the Masturbating Bear at the Attack of the Clones premiere. The only qualm I have, and it's a small one, is that some of these extra clips have been truncated from what was originally broadcast. I wanted more of Triumph judging Simon Cowell's performance, as well as the Kathie Lee Gifford bit from "Triumph's Christmas Special," but that's a small price to pay considering what is here. Given this disc's high quotient of leg humping, arm humping, head humping, lightsaber humping, not to mention the world's oldest Rod Stewart joke, why should I complain?
They were pooped on.
If you're a fan of Triumph, this is a no-brainer. You get more than two hours of hilarity for less than twenty bucks. What more could you want? As for those of you who don't find Triumph funny...well, you suck! I keed, I keed. Don't hurt me.
All charges are dropped. NBC and Lions Gate are hereby free to go. Now, if we could only get the entire run of TV Funhouse on disc, then we'd really have something. Court is adjourned.
Review content copyright © 2004 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Extra Poop: Triumph at Home, Triumph on Location, Triumph Productions
* More Poop Than is Necessary: Outtakes, "I Keed" Music Video
* Official Site