Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


A Birthday Tribute to Robert Smigel

Comic, actor, and the man behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Print Email
Robert Smigel and Triumph(MTV)

Today is Robert Smigel’s birthday. If you’re not familiar with Smigel then you might have unknowingly done yourself a favor. That said, the one-time Saturday Night Live writer, occasional actor, and performer has quite a following among people of a certain age who happen to love vulgarity and send-ups of celebrities. Smigel, the son of a famous dentist, has been on the scene for decades now.

One of my favorite examples of his SNL work is a skit where an Israeli (played by Tom Hanks) starts his own version of The Price Is Right, where he attempts to sell items at terrible prices instead of give them away. If you don’t remember (or haven’t seen) “The Sabra Price Is Right” then prepare to have your mind blown. The skit includes Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Robert Smigel himself as the show’s announcer Avi.

One of Smigel’s greatest feats was creating that character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a puppet dog that while chomping on a cigar, fearlessly lampoons celebrities in profanity-laced tirades that some might consider to be an homage to the old Borscht Belt routines where the comic insulted his crowd. The clip below is from last year when Triumph walked into the lion’s den–Chicago’s Wiener Circle–and lashed abuse back at its notoriously rude staff.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Cool_Romeo says:

He also was a co-writer of Don’t Mess With The Zohan.

Not to mention the legendary Christmas For The Jews animated short film.

Robert Smgel is satirically brilliant:


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

A Birthday Tribute to Robert Smigel

Comic, actor, and the man behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

More on Tablet:

Which Words Still Shock Me? Not Many.

By Marjorie Ingall — Seven thoughts on obscenity in honor of Carlin’s ‘Seven Words’