‘Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ Staffers Detained in Capitol

UPDATED with statement from Capitol Police

A field production team for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” was detained in the Capitol on June 16 after filming comedy segments for the CBS late-night show.

CBS confirmed that an incident occured with the Capitol Police while a production team to support the foul-mouthed puppet character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog were on an authorized location shoot in  Congress.

Among the seven people arrested was Robert Smigel, the writer and comedian behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

The Capitol Police said in a statement that a team was detained in the Longworth House Office Building at 8:30 p.m. on June 16 when the group was found “unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway.”

The statement continued, “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.”

CBS downplayed the severity of the incident in a matter-of-fact statement.

“On Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was on-site at the Capitol with a production team to record interviews for a comedy segment on behalf of ‘The Late Show,’ ” CBS said in a statement. “Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and pre-arranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed. After leaving the members’ offices on their last interview of the day, the production team stayed to film stand-ups and other final comedy elements in the halls when they were detained by Capitol Police.”

According to Fox News, the group was detained outside the offices of Republican House members Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). It is believed the group was released later that night.

The incident comes amid heightened security and tension in the halls of Congress as hearings into the riot by former President Donald Trump’s supporters that ensued in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. Capitol Police did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Smigel and his caustic canine character gained fame starting in the late 1990s through his appearances on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.”

(Pictured: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog)

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