tampabay.com

Daily Show to poke fun of Westchase

The Tampa community's on-going saga over a "Support or Troops' sign will be the subject of a mid-April segement on Comedy Central's fake news program.

By STEPHANIE HAYES
Published April 5, 2006


TAMPA - If folks in Westchase have heard someone squawking about deed restrictions through a megaphone, it's not a new neighborhood policy - it was the work of Comedy Central.

A fake news crew from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was in town this week to film a segment about a military's wife's controversial "Support Our Troops" sign.

The sign in Westchase resident Stacey Kelley's yard violates deed restrictions in the 3,500-home community, but she has refused to take it down. Her husband, David, is serving in Iraq.

Daily Show pseudo-reporter Jason Jones interviewed Kelley, 24, and Westchase Neighborhood Association president Daryl Manning for the bit. And neighbors in the Greens village, a Westchase neighborhood, called the community's magazine to report someone driving through the streets yelling "You're in violation!" through a megaphone.

Manning, who lives in the Greens neighborhood, didn't hear the commotion, but said Jones did have a megaphone with him during the interview.

Manning knows the cable show is famous for poking fun at the news. Still, he played it serious with Jones.

"Most of the stuff was straight, and then he started dovetailing ... " said Manning, who laughed, but didn't want to give away all the details.

Kelley said that at one point in her interview, Jones began to run off with her ribbon-shaped sign.

"I wonder how it's going to turn out," said Kelley, who wasn't going to do the show until Comedy Central called to say Manning had agreed. "Hopefully, it's all in good taste. I knew to word my words correctly. I know they cut and chop everything."

She expects her husband to come home on a 10-day leave starting Easter Sunday.

The segment is slated to air April 19, a Wednesday night, but a representative from Comedy Central said they won't know exactly what will air until that day.

It's not the first time Tampa Bay has made an appearance on The Daily Show. Last August, St. Petersburg's Greg Cooper was featured for having a plastic lawn that violated city code.

The city of Inverness was featured in 2004 for its Cooter Festival. The festival, named after a turtle, caught attention after the word's other ribald meaning relating to female anatomy was publicized.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at 813 269-5303 or shayes@sptimes.com