‘Late Show’ production team arrested at US Capitol while filming TV comedy segment

WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police on Thursday arrested seven production team members for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” who were filming a comedy segment, charging them with unlawful entry, authorities said Friday.

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The crew was charged with unlawful entry, and an investigation is now under way, The New York Times reported.

CBS confirmed that the production team was arrested in the Longworth House Office Building while filming the segment with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a profane canine voiced by writer and comedian Robert Smigel, according to the Times. Smigel was among the people arrested, Variety reported.

The Capitol Police said the arrests were made when the building was closed to visitors and the crew had been told to leave the building earlier in the day, the Times reported. In a statement, the Capitol Police said the crew was detained at about 8:30 p.m. EDT when they were found “unescorted and without Congressional ID, in a sixth-floor hallway.”

The arrests were first reported by Fox.

The arrests occurred as Congress was in the middle of holding televised hearings about the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

At the time of the arrests, the crew had finished prearranged interviews with members of Congress and were filming “final comedy elements” in the Longworth Building’s hallways for a future “The Late Show” segment, the Times reported.

“Their interviews at the Capitol were authorized and prearranged through Congressional aides of the members interviewed,” CBS said in a statement. “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.”

Smigel and his sarcastic dog puppet character came to prominence in the late 1990s through the comedian’s appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” Variety reported.

Smigel could not be reached for comment on Friday night, the Times reported.

“This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney,” the Capitol Police said in its statement.