A crew from "The Late Show" was arrested at the U.S. Capitol while filming a TV stunt.
The people on the production team were at the Capitol building to record interviews for a comedy segment on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." They were accused of breaking the law by coming in.
The police at the United States Capitol have arrested members of a production team for the CBS show "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." They were filming a segment with a salty dog puppet voiced by the comedian Robert Smigel.
The Capitol Police said on Friday that on Thursday night, when the building was closed to the public, they arrested seven people in a hallway of the Capitol Building. The police said that the people had been told to leave the building earlier in the day.
CBS said that Mr. Smigel's puppet, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, which he has voiced for years, was at the Capitol on Thursday with the production team when they were arrested. At the time of their arrest, the team had finished their scheduled interviews with members of Congress and were filming "final comedy elements" in the building's hallways for an upcoming segment on "The Late Show."
The seven people were later charged with illegal entry, and the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Matthew M. Graves, is helping with the investigation. The Capitol Police said more criminal charges could be filed. On Friday night, the office of Mr. Graves could not be reached right away for comment.
The arrests in the Longworth House Office Building happened at the same time that Congress was holding televised hearings about the attack on the Capitol complex on January 6, 2021, which was carried out by supporters of President Donald J. Trump.
Hearing about the arrests was sure to give pundits, comedians, and politicians something to talk about over the weekend. Some people on social media said it was funny that the people on the production team might get more punishment than some of the people who were involved in the attack last year.
Tucker Carlson, who hosts a show on Fox News, had a different opinion. On Friday night, he said that Mr. Colbert's producers had "committed insurrection" at the U.S. Capitol. "It's exactly the same as what happened on January 6," he told Fox viewers. "We'll look closely at what the punishments are."
"Call your office, Liz Cheney," Mr. Carlson said, referring to the Wyoming Republican congresswoman who is the vice chairwoman of the committee looking into the attack last year. "We need to put together another committee."
On Friday night, Mr. Smigel, the comedian who plays Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, couldn't be reached. CBS said that Triumph and a production team were at the capital both on Wednesday and Thursday.
The network wouldn't give any more details about the arrests or say when the segment with Mr. Smigel's dog puppet would air.
Mr. Smigel used to write for "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." His puppet is an irreverent, cigar-smoking reporter who sometimes roams the halls of American power. A few days after the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Colbert introduced Triumph on his show as "an old friend and veteran of the campaign trail, a true mandarin of his business, and a toy rottweiler."
In 2016, Triumph called himself a "insult comic" in a show about the 2016 election.
"That's the way things are going to be in the future," he told Mike Huckabee, a Republican running for president. "Trump is doing just that."
In February 2020, on Mr. Colbert's "Late Show," Triumph went to the U.S. Capitol and joined a crowd of reporters around Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney.
He said, "Hey, Mitt!" "I'm a dog journalist! Can I take your roof to get home?" (Romney didn't answer.)
Later, when Triumph tried to get into a secure part of the Capitol building, a security guard told him he didn't have permission.
"I'm here to tell you about the very important time being wasted in the chamber," he said.