After Ellen Degeneres and her guest Matthew Perry called a number emblazoned on a hot pink truck advertising topless maids, many from around the nation started calling 818-666-HUGE as well. However, calls made to the alleged cleaning service were routed to the office of a Los Angeles city councilman. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Burbank for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2012.
The strange story of the hot pink Topless Maids van got even weirder on Tuesday, when someone forwarded the phone number on the mobile billboard to a Los Angeles city council member.
The office of Councilman Paul Krekorian was apparently flooded with calls after a picture of the van was shown on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
During the show, which aired on Tuesday, DeGeneres and guest Matthew Perry called the number advertised on the van, which is 818-666-HUGE.
In a segment that an Ellen executive said was not a spoof, they got through to someone named Kayla and discussed the truck’s claim that the number would provide topless maids for house-cleaning.
Soon after, the phone started ringing at Krekorian's North Hollywood field office.
It didn't take long for the councilman’s staff to realize why.
The owner of the van, which advertises Topless Maids and has been parked around the Studio City and Burbank areas for months, is engaged in a legal battle with Krekorian, whom he blames for a recent ordinance banning mobile billboards.
The van’s owner, Sami Ammari, has sued the city, and put up another mobile billboard targeting Krekorian and a state assemblyman.
Jeremy Oberstein, spokesman for Krekorian's office, said he called DeGeneres’ production company and asked them to stop showing the phone number.
“I spoke with them and I told them that number had been redirected to our office,” Oberstein said. A marketing executive with DeGeneres' company confirmed the call.
Ammari’s attorney, Pasadena-based George Wallace, would not comment for this story, other than to tell NBC4’s Gordon Tokamatsu that he had talked to Ammari after the incident on Tuesday.
By mid-afternoon, the Topless Maids phone number had been re-directed to an answering service, Oberstein said.
But he said the flurry of calls had disrupted work at the councilman’s office.
The personal attacks, Oberstein said, go "over the line."
"It’s tasteless and it’s obnoxious,” he said.