By Dan Snierson
Updated March 11, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Robert Smigel
Credit: Robert Smigel: Robert Mitchell/Retna

Robert Smigel made our list of America’s Top 10 comedians

As Conan O’Brien’s first head writer, Smigel helped build a brilliantly surreal world. But the mastermind behind ”SNL”’s ”TV Funhouse” truly became an object of comic-geek worship with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. In one landmark gag, Triumph obliterated ”Star Wars” nerds waiting in line for opening night.

We laughed at Triumph asking an adult Darth Vader clone, ”Which of these buttons calls your parents to pick you up?”