Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos get crunk reminiscing on launching Conan for Late Night

Last summer, while running around from show to show at the inaugural Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival, I managed to catch up with Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos backstage after one of their rare screenings of "The Unaired Bozo Circus Parody" along with the pilot for TV Funhouse. At the time, I quickly posted only part of the video, in which I asked Smigel to offer his perspective on his Chicago Superfans sketch that he developed into one of the more popular recurring Saturday Night Live sketches in the early 1990s. Da Bears. Da Bulls. Well, as all of this NBC late-night TV melodrama has unfolded, I remembered that Smigel not only was the first head writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but that he and Stamatopoulos had talked a little bit about that — Dino was Smigel's first hire — as well as their humble beginnings in comedy. Also, how they came up with the word "crunk" before it became popular for something else. In their eyes, it was supposed to be a fake curse word that Conan and others could say on the show without actually cursing. Roll the wayback machine clip!

Stamatopoulos could be seen on several episodes this season of NBC's Community, and is developing a new show for Adult Swim, Frankenhole. He previously produced Moral Orel for the cable toon network, as well as Tom Goes to the Mayor. His writing credits include The Ben Stiller Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Dana Carvey Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Mr. Show with Bob and David, TV Funhouse, MADtv and Important Things with Demetri Martin. Those sound like pretty good credits, don't they?

Smigel, meanwhile, made The Dana Carvey Show and TV Funhouse happen, but he remains famous even today for pooping on all types of famous people as Triumph the Insult Dog. He stopped by Conan's Tonight Show last week to show what happened with Triumph went to the spa.

If you'd like to see Triumph do a 40-minute set and have not seen that yet…

Here it goes! Smigel did this lengthy set for charity, so please make a donation to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Then please enjoy these many insults from a dog puppet and a slightly visible head, alongside even Kristen Schaal at one point.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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