Politics

When Carl Bernstein Met Triumph The Comic Insult Dog

We can thank Joe Scarborough and MSNBC for this excellent moment in cable news history.

1. A Morning Joe discussion about Dennis Rodman’s now legendary appearance on ABC’s This Week prompted Joe Scarborough to recall the time he brought Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Carl Bernstein together…

“George Stephanopoulos interviewing Rodman. That is like interviewing Triumph, in 2004. Carl [Bernstein] was debating the dog. T.J. [the producer] did a split screen. That actually happened!”

Now, close your eyes for a minute and think back to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. The event has climaxed with nominee John Kerry’s speech to the delegates and Joe Scarborough is holding down the fort on MSNBC with post-convention analysis featuring an all-star panel….

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, it’s After Hours on MSNBC. We’re outside Faneuil Hall. Our panel’s enjoying the crowd from the Salty Dog. And we’re joined now—and you know what if you don’t watch Conan, you won’t understand, but this is the saltiest dog of them all. It’s the reason why my boys for the first time are watching my show. It’s “Triumph” the insult comic dog.

SCARBOROUGH: Now Mr. Triumph, I want to ask you…

TRIUMPH, THE INSULT COMIC DOG: OK

SCARBOROUGH: What did you think of John Kerry tonight?

TRIUMPH: What did I think of John Kerry? I thought it was very inspiring. I thought it was very inspiring. I think the only question is—and my only question after watching it, is—you know, I think—thank you very much. My only question…

(CROWD NOISES)

TRIUMPH: All right. Shut up, bitches. We’re trying to have a serious political analysis here, and pump up the ratings for once.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to poop on.

TRIUMPH: Yeah, yeah, to poop on. Listen, John Kerry has all the qualifications of being a great president. The only question is—is America ready for a president who is half basset hound?

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH: What about John Edwards?

TRIUMPH: He’s a little—John Edwards is a sexy man.

SCARBOROUGH: What breed of dog is Edwards?

TRIUMPH: Electrifying. Yes?

SCARBOROUGH: What breed of dog would you say he is?

TRIUMPH: I don’t know, he’s a hot bitch. Let me tell you this. I tell you this—let’s tell you this—you know, here’s the thing. People give John Kerry some poop about Teresa Heinz Kerry, who I thought made a great speech, by the way. I thought her, and honestly, Ron junior here, I thought those were the two best speeches of the convention. I am not kidding, and by the way stem cell research—stem cell research is very important to me as well. I know it’s not the most important cause, part of stem cell research, but I have a dream that someday with stem cell research, they’ll develop the technology for me to grow my testicles back.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIUMPH: Ron junior, I want to give you some credit for walking into that convention. I mean, a Republican walking—Reagan walking into a Democratic convention, that’s like me walking into a Korean restaurant. You know what I’m saying?

RON REAGAN: Well, thank you Triumph. Dee Dee, Carl, is there anything you would like to ask?

CARL BERNSTEIN: Feel like I am on Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

TRIUMPH: Hey, no jokes. This is—about Teresa Heinz Kerry, you know, I think—I have no problem with her. I was hoping to get cursed out by her this week. She’s a very sexy woman. Don’t you think?

REAGAN: Yes. European—that European kind of thing.

TRIUMPH: That European thing and all that Heinz, you know, that Heinz connection. You know?

REAGAN: That money.

TRIUMPH: I hear in the sack she knows all 57 varieties. Now, Dee Dee, you actually don’t stay up late. You are a mother.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIUMPH: Hey, OK.

SCARBOROUGH: Now Dee Dee. You actually don’t stay up late. You’re a mother.

DEE DEE MYERS, FMR. CLINTON PRESS SECRETARY: No, you’re right.

SCARBOROUGH: OK, but this is your first chance. You just don’t understand, you are sitting next to a living legend, Triumph, the insult dog.

TRIUMPH: That’s right.

SCARBOROUGH: Beloved—beloved by millions. Please, ask Triumph a question.

TRIUMPH: Go for it.

MYERS: Triumph, are you going to the Republican convention?

TRIUMPH: Excuse me?

MYERS: Are you going to the Republican convention?

TRIUMPH: I hope so. I was—as long as they don’t disenfranchise me for being a black entertainer.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIUMPH: Joe, you know, tell me Joe, you’re from Florida. How much of the Republicans going to win by this year? It’s all fixed anyway.

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, yeah.

TRIUMPH: Come on, the state is more fixed than I am.

SCARBOROUGH: I think we are going to win by—what is it, 528 votes this year.

TRIUMPH: It’s already set?

MYERS: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: Oh, it’s already set. It’s just like Tulane back in the 80’s, they knew what their basketball record was going to be before the season.

TRIUMPH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now you, you… Like clockwork over there.

SCARBOROUGH: Triumph, you’ve got to be excited, you are actually sitting next to, obviously, to a journalistic living legend.

TRIUMPH: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: Carl Bernstein, a man that revolutionized journalism, inspired thousands of young journalists throughout the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and today. And now look where it’s gotten him. Sitting next to…

BERNSTEIN: Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

(CROSSTALK)

TRIUMPH: Come on, this is the high point of your career.

BERNSTEIN: This is true.

TRIUMPH: This is true. You are a legend. No, I know this is the guy, this is the guy with the deep throat. I’ve heard all about it. I know all about it. No, seriously. Come on. You can tell a puppet who deep throat is.

BERNSTEIN: That’s right. I will whisper it to him.

TRIUMPH: Oh, ho, ho, ho. Ouch. Richard Simmons.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIUMPH: That was a cheap joke. Don’t go there, Carl.

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, have you had any conversations with the dog in the White House now, the Scottie, I can’t remember his name right at the moment?

TRIUMPH: I wouldn’t call it a conversation. Can you hear me?

SCARBOROUGH: I can hear you.

TRIUMPH: I wouldn’t call it the conversation. I have a—I’m going to black my—let’s just say, I am going to blackmail my way into the Republican Party. I have a sex tape with Scottie, that will make Paris Hilton’s look like—it’s me, Scottie, and, of course—what—George, he knows how to party, right? Dee Dee remembers. Dee Dee remembers.

MYERS: That’s what they say.

SCARBOROUGH: Do you remember it, Dee Dee?

MYERS: Oh, I remember.

TRIUMPH: Oh, you remember. You were in the wildest administration.

MYERS: It was wild.

TRIUMPH: I am just happy—I’m just happy President Clinton left town, you know. Now there’s some tail for the rest of us.

(LAUGHTER)

TRIUMPH: Right, Joe? Now Joe, I bet you didn’t like Kerry’s speech. Let me take a wild guess. Joe wasn’t as big a fan of Kerry’s.

SCARBOROUGH: Oh, I loved Kerry’s speech, from the very beginning; I said it was mesmerizing, transcendent—transcendental, is that what he said? No, I thought he kind of rushed it, I though he went a little fast. Triumph, what do you think about that?

TRIUMPH: You have to find fault in it, don’t you?

SCARBOROUGH: I have to, yeah.

MYERS: He is working pretty hard, Triumph, to find fault.

TRIUMPH: I know, that’s what he likes. He’s—yeah, come on, who kids—who’s kidding who. This guy swings to the right more than Marmaduke’s pink thing.

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH: You know what, Triumph?

TRIUMPH: Yes?

SCARBOROUGH: I’m going to be hooked into this segue. We’re now going to go to Frank Lutz. Triumph, the insult comic dog…

TRIUMPH: I was kicked out of the convention, I’ve already written a book about it. No truth allowed. Michael Moore, he betrayed me. It’s all in the book. It’s all in the movie. You’ll see.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. We can’t wait. Triumph. Big hand for Triumph the comic insult dog. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, Frank Lutz…

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