For a two-foot-tall hand puppet, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog sure has a lot of enemies. He's permanently banned from the Westminster Kennel Club, has feuded with the animal-rights group PETA, and — most prominently — engaged in a rather heated war of words with Eminem.
And as such, it was probably a bit of a shock to anyone who tuned in to "TRL" last Thursday and saw the stogie-smoking pooch canoodling with Em (as only a puppet and a man can) in the video for "Ass Like That," the rapper's brand-new, booty-obsessed video.
Well, it turns out that Triumph — inspired by recent beef-quashing sessions amongst hip-hop's elite (see: "Snoop Dogg Holds Summit To Squash Beefs, Unify West Coast" and "T.I Squashes His Beef With Lil' Flip, Plans To Serve 25 To Life") — decided to put the past behind him and join forces for the "Ass Like That" clip, which features Eminem rapping in a Triumph-inspired voice, judging the rather prodigious backsides of some female dancers and, well ... "manipulating" Triumph himself.
"Let's get one thing straight: I used a stunt double for all those scenes. I would never let Eminem put his hand up my ass," Triumph said. "But we never had a real beef. I've always admired his talent and his smooth white hair, which reminds me of a beagle's n--sack. And Em was just confused at the VMAs [where they exchanged words] that night, as he had never seen the Conan O'Donnell show. And who can blame him? It's like staring at your own poop for a whole hour — without getting to eat it" (see "Triumph The Insult Comic Dog Poops On Eminem, Timberlake").
But just because he and Eminem are video buddies, Triumph is not above getting in a parting shot or three at the Detroit MC.
"I can't believe that he's obsessed with me after all this time. I think he's jealous because I'm black," Triumph joked. "But seriously, it's been three years [since the VMA incident]. The guy needs to work on his timing. Like that 'Mosh' video, coming out in, what, November? That's sure going to hurt Bush in 2008. I keed Eminem, I wish him luck with his new anti-Milosevic video."
And since he's moving forward, Triumph is more than happy to reveal plans for the future, which include the continuous pimping of his DVD "The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog" (still available in stores!) and lining up A-List talent for the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated debut, Come Poop With Me.
"I'm doing a duets CD with Eminem, Sting, Elton John, Dave Grohl, that Evanescence chick, Moby, Bon Jovi, Lil Jon, Green Day and, if we can get him, Tony Danza," Triumph enthused. "Put that all down. Once it's on the Internet, it becomes fact. And my DVD is kicking ass. Air Bud has nothing on me. Air Bud likes to be peed on. They don't call him 'Golden Receiver' for nothing."
And since one of Triumph's signature bits involved him interviewing fans who had camped out for months to see "Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace" way back in 1999, we were interested in getting his take on the legions of Star Wars "nerds" who lined city blocks to catch "Revenge of the Sith" last week. But Triumph didn't want to play along. After all, the past is behind him (sort of.)
"I think I said it all when I visited them for 'Attack of the Clones.' The nerds wanted me to come back this year, but as we've learned from George Lucas, sequels usually suck," he laughed. "I just hope now that Lucas is done making money, he cuts those nerds a break and CGIs them some girlfriends."
For a full-length feature on Eminem, check out "Eminem: Embattled But Not Embittered."