Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" shot a segment Wednesday at one of the Shinnecock Indian Nation's electronic billboards on Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays.
"Working on a segment for the 'Daily Show with Trevor Noah.' The segment will air in September," Tribal Council Chairman Bryan Polite wrote on Instagram, posting a photo of a production crew with one of the satirical news show's correspondents, comedian Michael Kosta. Behind them, on one of the tribe's two 61-foot-tall vertical billboards, is an image of Kosta in preppy attire with the Montauk Lighthouse behind him, and a graphic reading, "Relax, and enjoy your stolen land. Brought to you by Michael Kosta."
"Big thank you to Trevor Noah, Michael Kosta, and the production crew of the Daily Show for bringing attention through comedy to a very important issue for the Shinnecock Nation," Polite continued.
Southampton officials have said the billboards, the first of which was completed on May 23, are at odds with the bucolic views of the highway, the primary road for Hamptons weekenders. New York State has sued the tribe, which had defied a Dept. of Transportation cease-and-desist order during the construction phase. The Shinnecock Nation has responded that Native American land is sovereign territory, and it is contesting the lawsuit in State Supreme Court.
The roughly 1,550-member Shinnecock Nation was granted federal recognition in June 2010. Plans for a casino on the 800-acre reservation met local opposition and have not come to fruition. The tribe says advertising revenue from the billboards is needed to improve infrastructure, as well as the Shinnecock Indian Health Clinic and the Wuneechanunk Shinnecock Preschool, and to create a police force.
Polite did not respond to Newsday requests for comment. Kosta has not commented on social media.
A Comedy Central spokeswoman said the show's segment has "a possible September air date, however that is subject to change."