The creative force behind the animated "TV Funhouse" short films and the foul-mouthed puppet, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Robert Smigel may have been one of the more beloved, yet least publicly recognized comic talents of his day. Smigel's comedic career began as a part of an improvisation group co-created with Bob Odenkirk, prior to being recruited to join the ranks of the writing staff at "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). During his time at "SNL," he was responsible for several memorable recurring sketches, and created lasting friendships with cast member Adam Sandler and fellow series writer Conan O'Brien. When O'Brien was tapped to fill the very large shoes left behind by David Letterman, Smigel followed him as head writer on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (NBC, 1993-2009), later jumping ship to write for the ill-fated "The Dana Carvey Show" (ABC, 1995-96). It was on these programs that Smigel unleashed the inspired madness of creations like the acid-tongued Triumph and "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" segments, respectively. Even as Triumph and "TV Funhouse" became de facto cottage industries for Smigel - "Funhouse" eventually became a recurring installment on "SNL" - he also found time to clown with Sandler in several films, including "Happy Gilmore" (1996) and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" (2007). Although operating primarily behind the scenes - or at the end of a hand puppet - Smigel's subversive brand of humor was at the forefront of the period's comedic wave whether audiences knew him by name or not.