Insulting Hawai'i

[ Posted Thursday, April 28th, 2011 – 16:45 UTC ]

In all the foofaroo over President Obama holding himself above Hawai'ian law by actually obtaining his "original" birth certificate (my humble prediction: sooner or later, some Republican is going to excoriate Obama for "breaking Hawai'ian law" over this incident), nobody has taken the time to apologize to Hawai'i, which I think is a shame. Because some mighty vile insinuations have been leveled towards the state in the preceding few years, by conspiracy theorists wide and far.

But that's OK. Hawai'i can take a joke. Even the joke of birtherism -- Hawai'i takes it all in stride.

I offer up, as evidence of this fact, the "reporting" done in Hawai'i by Triumph The Insult Comic Dog.

For those of you unaware of Triumph, you may wish to, at this point, escort small children out of the room. Actually, for those of you (child or adult) with any shred of taste and decency, I would also advise you leave the room right now as well.

Ahem. Don't say you haven't been warned, later, OK?

Some background is necessary, to begin with. Triumph The Insult Comic Dog is a puppet, used in a comedy bit on the old Conan O'Brien late-night show. His schtick, unsurprisingly, is being an "insult comic" -- or one who routinely insults anyone and everyone around him, for cheap laughs. His signature tagline is to ironically state something, wait a beat, and then yell: "...for me to poop on!" This is not highbrow humor, folks. But it is hilarious, so it's got that going for it. In a weak attempt to take the edge of his insults, occasionally Triumph will followup with "...I kid, I kid..." which somehow actually comes across as even more scathing.

Triumph started on Conan's show years ago, and really hit it big when they sent him off to cover the Westminster Dog Show in New York City. Since that point, he was regularly sent out to fun remote locations like the awards show circuit, to mercilessly "hound" (I couldn't resist, sorry) celebrities on the red carpet.

One year, Triumph was sent to Honolulu, to cover the final auditions for American Idol. What better fodder for insult comedy than wannabe singing stars?

Here is a video taste of Triumph in Hawai'i. This one is actually pretty weak, compared to the rest of it, and may even have been unrelated to the other video clips (I personally don't remember this one being shown on Conan, but then I'm doing that from memory, so I really can't say one way or the other). So you can skip it if you'd like.

But that was just the appetizer, so to speak. Here is Triumph's full report from Hawai'i, aired over two nights on Conan's show. In the midst of blistering insults handed out left and right to the contestants waiting in line, there is the most insulting (and the funniest) thing Hawai'i has ever had to endure on national television. It starts at about 4:30 into the video (the whole video is over 15 minutes long), with Triumph being interviewed by the local NBC affiliate, after the Fox security people tossed him out of the audition line in the parking lot. As only Triumph could put it:

I was here to exercise my constitutional right to humiliate losers and crush their dreams.

This is America. Hawai'i is part of America. These principles of human dignity... they were forcably imposed on these islands years ago.

But the funniest and most insulting bit was still to come. At about 6:15 in the video, the local NBC news team reappears, and announces that the meteorologist has taken the night off. Triumph then proceeds to do the weather.

This piece of film carries a separate warning with it -- if you are at work, where others can hear you, you will not be able to watch this piece of video without laughing. You have been doubly warned. The professional news team itself couldn't keep a straight face (it keeps cutting back to the two anchors cracking up, in fact)!

It's all in good fun, of course. And Hawai'i can take a joke -- the same way they have withstood the insults and smears over Obama's birth certificate for the past few years. Don't believe me? Here is a clip -- quite obviously shot later -- of a promotional commercial for the same news team (shot as a spoof on the Friends opening credits). Triumph gets lots of cameos. If they hadn't had a great sense of humor, this clip would never have existed.

We all need a sense of humor in these insulting times. So I'd like to take a moment today to thank Hawai'i for showing us this, in true Kahuna style.



-- Chris Weigant

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


7 Comments on “Insulting Hawai'i”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Just hang loose, just have fun.
    Sipping on a drink and lying in the sun.
    Don't try to fight it, it ain't no use,
    'cause when you're in Hawai'i you should just hang loose.

    And, unlike throughout much of the rest of America and beyond, in Hawai'i you won't run into a lot the hypersensitive type who lack a sense of humour.

    Oh, and just to be clear, calling out nonsense does not an insult make. :)

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    "Ikki ikki."


    Seriously, though, that Hawai'ian weather report is one of the funniest things I have EVER seen on television, EVER. I mean, of all time. EVER. I absolutely DEFY anyone to watch it and not crack up.

    If you don't want to download 15 minutes of video, do a Google search for "Triumph Hawaii weather" and you'll find a shorter clip of it quite easily...



  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, I saw the clip - I clicked on your link. It was pretty funny and, ultimately, left me yearning for the joys of a very, very long flight.

    I wasn't referring to Triumph with that last 'just to be clear' quip. I guess I was just feeling a little guilty since I've been doing more than my fair share of calling out nonsense over at HP and being accused of making personal attacks for the effort. It's been ruffling my feathers, you know.

    I'm kidding! :)

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    Well, hey, feel free to call "Shenanigans!" (South Park reference) any time you want over at HuffPost.


    But the Triumph clip, I still say, is freakin' hilarious. His "comedic timing" is pretty near perfect, and the first time I saw Triumph say "...back to you" I almost asphyxiated myself by laughing so hard.



    PS. OK, I gotta ask, does Canada have "L" plates for newbie drivers? You can answer over on FTP[165], it'd be more relevant there...

    In other words, did you need the wedding car reference explained, or did you laugh when you first saw the "L" on teevee? Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I thought the 'L' stood for loser. Heh.

  6. [6] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Chris, I watched Triumph's weather report when it first aired and STILL break out in uncontrollable giggles just THINKING about it.

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Osborne -

    Allow me to say for the entire Chris Weigant Media Empire, we are glad of the news that you didn't get "twisted" recently, and still have electricity and internet service (for those who don't know, Matt lives in this year's Tornado Alley...)!

    As for Triumph...

    "Oh no! Another cloud! Three full days of SHAME!!!"

    Heh. I'm with you -- I can't even THINK about this clip without cracking up... especially that "...back to you."

    Watch the station's "Friends" opening, to see how much they loved it, too...



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