The SmarK DVD Rant for the Best of Triumph The Insult Comic Dog
– Who would have thought that a one-shot joke on Conan O’Brien would spawn a phenomenon? Stemming from a bit on Conan about lesser-known winners of the Westminster dog show, the little puppet who could went on to great things”¦FOR ME TO POOP ON.
Yeah, easy joke, I know, but that’s par for the course with this stuff.
Compiled as a 60-minute “best of” DVD, this one covers pretty much every appearance of the obnoxious insult dog on the show, and then some. This is the kind of stuff that you’re either going to love (if you’re under 40) or hate (if you’re over 40), because it’s a barrage of very non-subtle sexual innuendo and poop jokes. And very (VERY) mean verbal assaults on any poor celebrities who happen to get within 10 feet of him.
Divided into the main program and the “extra poop”, the disc is laid out as follows”¦
– First appearance of Triumph at the Westminster Dog Show sees him doing a report on the seamy underbelly of things”¦and letting us know how he did all the contestants. The montage of leg-humping is hilarious.
– Next up, Triumph on the Hollywood Squares, showing that he’s truly made it”¦well enough to be on a game show for B-level celebrities. His battle with Al Roker steals the show, as do his joke answers (“I don’t agree with shaving dogs, but shaving pussies”¦”). Only Whoopi Goldberg is truly game to keep up with him.
– Triumph v. Bon Jovi! He torments drunken idiot fans outside the arena, then goes to work on the band themselves (his crack about Jon in a vampire movie is classic stuff) before attending the show and getting into the spirit of things with a mullet and a can of beer. He then gets the all-time burn on Mark McGrath by pointing out that they’re so bad they’re OPENING for BON JOVI. Hell, I love Bon Jovi and even I laughed at that one.
– Back to the dog show again, but this he has to wear a cunning disguise (as Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes) to keep from getting thrown out. Doesn’t work. More great lines (“How can something so small and delicate be such a filthy and brutal whore?”) until his exposure of the rampant homosexuality gets him kicked out. Again.
– And then, his greatest moment”¦ THE STAR WARS PREMIERE! It’s Triumph v. Several Dozen Uber-Dorks, and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. His one-sided verbal duel with the “wizard” is howlingly funny, and he gets the two all-time great shots in later: “Here’s a spoiler: You will DIE ALONE” and then, upon seeing something dressed up like Darth Vader, “Which button calls your parents to come pick you up?” I laughed so hard I was nearly coughing up blood the first time I saw this, and you will too.
– Moving on, it’s Triumph v. Eminem. Sort of. He does a brief bit with Moby at the MTV VMAs, but then frightens off Eminem by being perhaps the only bigger asshole on the planet. His post-show press conference (with a neck brace) is a great as well.
– We close out the regular section with his infamous appearance in Quebec City, where he unleashes an incredibly mean barrage of stuff at people on the street and changes the street signs to “Celine Dion Sucks Avenue”. This was so mean that it was almost uncomfortable to listen to, and it’s not a big surprise Quebec overreacted to it, because that’s what they do.
But wait, there’s MORE”¦in the extras. The main feature runs 60 minutes, and it’s just his regular bits with Conan. The peripheral stuff is later.
Standard TV transfer, full-screen and pretty decent. Since it’s all from this century there’s not much point in remastering or cleaning it, and it looks broadcast or better.
Standard Dolby 2.0 stereo. Since nothing is in stereo anyway, it does fine.
OK, here’s where this thing shines, because you get another 90 minutes of stuff, divided into two main sections.
This section is further divided into “Triumph at Home”, “Triumph on Location” and “Triumph Productions”.
– Triumph’s First Appearance. Self-explanatory, this is the skit that introduces Triumph, in a supporting role as part of a puppet dog show. The “”¦for me to poop on!” catchphrase is born here.
– Guest Insult Montage. Targets include John Tesh, David Hasselhoff, Fabio, William Shatner, Tom Arnold (in a funny bit where he reads a statement saying that it would be too easy to score off him), Pauly Shore, Jerry Springer (complete with white trash poodle), Simon Cowell, Richard Hatch and Don Rickles. Don provokes a rare emotional reaction from Triumph (“POOP ON ME! PLEASE POOP ON ME!”) to close the bit.
– Triumph’s Pets.com Press Conference. In a case of real life being stupider than art, Triumph and Pets.com sue each other over the sock puppet dog who shills for pets.com, and this is Triumph’s glorious press conference to declare victory. He of course won more decisively when they ceased to exist weeks later. The moment of suspense before the catchphrase is almost as funny as the catchphrase itself. Great stuff.
– Triumph at the American Idol auditions in Hawaii. More shooting fish in a barrel, as he torments Idol wannabes (“You remind me of Don Ho’s daughter, Skanky Ho”) before getting thrown out by Fox, because he “doesn’t live up to the high standards set by Darva Conger”, in Triumph’s words. So he goes on a local news station to plead his case, and then does the weather report and nearly has the anchorwoman in tears by the end when he declares Armageddon for the state thanks to an approaching cloud.
– American Idol auditions part 2, as he returns for more abuse and just KILLS with the gay-o-meter (which goes “Barely Gay, Extremely Gay, Clay Aiken”) as more wannabes make idiots out of themselves. The walk-on cameo from Jesus (“It’s not gonna happen”) is the icing on the cake.
– Triumph at the VMAs (2001). More classic abuse of celebrities on the red carpet, although sadly only Carson Daly is man enough to step up and take it.
– Triumph’s Tour of Hollywood. Triumph hosts a bus tour of Hollywood, harasses (unsuccessfully) Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart, and gets into a shouting match with some guard dogs before finally convincing John Tesh to play along. Tesh is, at the very least, a good sport about it. The trip to the wax museum allows him to “out” several animal celebrities (although you had to know Morris was gay) and hump several human ones.
– Westminster Dog Show III. Triumph is now part of the USA network broadcast team”¦for about 10 seconds. Once he’s fired from that, he exposes the dirty world of doggy sex toys, and that’s screamingly funny stuff, especially the three-pronged chew toy.
– The Triumph/Conan sitcom: “A Couple of Mutts”. Marginally funny spoof of bad sitcoms.
– The Triumph Family Christmas Special. Really stretching now, as Triumph and his family celebrate Christmas (and his son tries to come out of the closet) but it doesn’t really go anywhere.
– 8 Nipples. Much funnier spoof of 8 Mile, as it’s a trailer about his rise through the insult comic game.
More Poop Than Is Necessary
To be honest, by the time I got to this stuff I was all Triumph-ed out, because it’s a lot to take in one sitting. So here you get outtakes from all the bits (including extra stuff from the Bon Jovi, Star Wars, Hawaii and Quebec trips) and it’s mostly just retakes and flubbed lines.
You also get the “I Keed” music video, which is the usual abuse of celebrities, and the TV spot for his “Come Poop With Me” CD.
Overall, this one overstays its welcome a wee bit if you watch all 2 hours in one shot, but taken a few at a time it’s one of the funniest DVDs you’ll pick up, I promise.
The Film: *****
The Video: ***
The Audio: **
The Extras: ****