John Oliver’s kids’ book about Mike Pence’s gay rabbit sold out in a day

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In our turbulent political times, it’s rare that a story about Mike Pence puts a smile on my face, but this one does. The amazing John Oliver used last week’s episode of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, to deliver a well-deserved smackdown of the Vice President, whom John described as an “ashen weasel.” At the conclusion of the segment, John introduced his children’s book, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – a book in direct competition with Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President, written by Pence’s 24-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and illustrated by his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence.

The book, written by Last Week Tonight staff writer Jill Twiss, has a decidedly LGBTQ-friendly message. In the story, Marlon Bundo, Pence’s pet rabbit, falls in love with another male rabbit named Wesley, and wants to marry him. A stink bug, who is a caricature of Pence, insists that “boy bunnies have to marry girl bunnies” and inspires the bunnies to stay together in the face of discrimination. On the show, John implored his fans, “Please, buy it for your children, buy it for any child you know, or just buy it because you know it would annoy Mike Pence. You would be doing a nice thing in a really dickish way, and isn’t that the dream at the end of the day?” If that’s not enough, all proceeds from John’s book are going to charity – the Trevor Project and AIDS United to be exact.

In addition, there’s even an audiobook available on Audible, boasting an all-star cast, including Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul.

The fans came through, and the book currently tops the Amazon best-sellers list (and the audiobook is #1 on Audible). Pence’s book is down at number four. John appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday to talk abut the success of the book, which has actually sold out. He joked that “we were not anticipating people really buying it.”

John told Ellen that his two-year-old son was the inspiration for the book, explaining, “At the moment, he doesn’t really understand what’s happening in the world, and long may that continue because I don’t have to explain to him just how sad things are. But part of the reason of writing this book was so that I could read something to him which paints the world in the light that you want it to be rather than the way that it’s currently being painted.”

John treated Ellen’s audience to free copies of the book, sprinting through the crowd to get as many distributed as he could in 60 seconds. He was out of breath afterwards, kidding that “My gifts are not exactly physical.” His efforts were rewarded with a $10,000 donation to the Trevor Project. You can watch the whole segment below.

Surprisingly, the bunny at the center of the story seems to endorse John’s book (well, probably just the philanthropic elements of it). On Marlon’s Instagram account, the BOTUS posted a photo sporting a bow tie with the caption, “Not gonna lie, I do look pretty fly in a bow tie. The only thing better than one bunny book for charity is…TWO bunny books for charity.”

Pence is awful. I feel sorry for Marlon. I’m also ordering John’s book because I’m all about “doing a nice thing in a really dickish way.”

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John Oliver during an appearance on CBS' 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'

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HBO's Official 2015 Emmy After Party

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37 Responses to “John Oliver’s kids’ book about Mike Pence’s gay rabbit sold out in a day”

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  1. Feedmechips says:

    Everything this man touches turns to gold.

    • smcollins says:

      Indeed. We’ve loved him since his days on The Daily Show and never miss LWT. He’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  2. Becks says:

    Pence IS awful and we ordered John Oliver’s book – but its backordered for a few weeks, lol.

    I feel guilty bc I follow Marlon Bundo on IG and the account is really well run. And the response to Oliver’s book is pretty good.

    • Erinn says:

      I do too. Honestly, I’m a sucker for animal accounts on ig. Most of my ig is photos of my cats and pointer.

      I sort of feel sorry for the daughter. I know she’s not helping herself at the end of the day, but it is her dad. And as much as I think MP is a dumpster fire of a human being, I think he DOES love his kids and really adores his animals. It’s a shame that every other aspect of his life is such garbage and that he extends that garbage onto everyone he comes in contact with. But because he clearly loved his kids I get how it would be a lot harder for them to stand up against his ideas. It’s a lot easier to disown someone who treated you like crap than it is to disown someone who cared about you.

      I’m going to have to backorder this book. It looks WAY too good to miss.

      • LizLemonGotMarried (AKA HufflepuffLizLemon) says:

        My boss’s college-age daughter has a pet pig. The pig is named Ellen DePigeres and it has an Instagram. #pigsofinstagram (?) So we’ve all started following the pig, and yesterday there was a video of the pig dancing to Rihanna’s “Work.” I can’t describe how funny this was. I highly suggest following Ellen DePigeres.

        To be clear, my boss isn’t the kind of guy who we’re trying to impress by following his daughter’s pig. He’s the best, coolest boss ever-the pig is just a side character in his life that cracks me up.

      • jwoolman says:

        It sounds as though the Pence crew is being a good sport about this. I’m glad – I rushed to buy the Kindle version of the boy bunny romance myself, it really does sound like a sweet kid-friendly approach to the situation. No explicit bunny sex, they just want to hop together through the garden forever. But I hoped it wouldn’t hurt Pence’s daughter, since I’m sure her book is a big deal to her and her mom did the illustrations. I think some people are actually buying both books as a kind of set!

        We’re so used to automatic tweet tantrums from humorless President Tweeter, it can be forgotten that Pence isn’t really devoid of a normal human sense of humor and doesn’t actually get bent out of shape by disagreements. (Not sure about his wife….) Remember when Tweeter was suggesting a boycott of Hamilton when the cast read a respectful plea to Pence in the audience Tweeter obviously had never spoken to Pence about it, who didn’t take offense and said it was a very good show. When more rude audience members booed him, he said that was the sound of democracy (okay, he’s used to being booed in Indiana). He took his kids to it, and I imagine one was Mr. Bundo’s coauthor.

        You can still get the Kindle version and probably the audio book (aren’t those downloadable?) They rushed it out so fast that they only made the Kindle version compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, and Android phones along with actual Kindles. Hopefully they will remedy that and make it compatible with iPhones and iPads. I’ve got a cheapie Kindle somewhere and could watch it on my Mac, but seriously. No iPhone compatibility? I can even read comic books on my iPhone. Oh, Mr. Oliver. Thou didst slip up a tad, methinks.

      • jwoolman says:

        I’ve always felt that the fact that Pence loves and is loved by a menagerie as well as his own kids is an important redeeming quality. It’s a hopeful sign.

        Trump thinks the Pence bunny, cats, and dogs are “low class”. Poor guy obviously never was allowed to have a pet as a child. Explains a few things about him. How can you not love Marlon Bundo? Love for the bunny cuts across Party lines.

      • Megan says:

        We have a rescue Persian who was in really rough shape when we adopted her. I chronicled her recovery on Instgram and had to stop because the demands for updates from family, friends, colleagues, and clients was too much and because I was becoming addicted to #goatsofinstagram.

    • jwoolman says:

      I’m not on it, but could you pass along the fact that some people are buying both books “as a set”? I’ve seen posts about that. So I don’t see them as in competition but rather as complementary. And please give my best wishes to Marlon Bundo and his coauthor.

  3. Amy says:

    Mike Pence is scum, but I believe the Instagram account is run by his daughter, Charlotte, who also said this about John Oliver’s book:

    “I think imitation is the most sincere form of flattery in a way. But in all seriousness, his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind. We have two books that are giving to charities that are both about bunnies, so I’m all for it, really.”

    Charlotte is clearly a far better person than her father.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? I am floored by her civil response. Truly.

      But I’m sure Trump or Don Jr will take up the slack with an extra dose of insults and vitriol.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I will give credit to Charlotte for handling this incredibly well. If nothing else, it probably brought more attention to her book too.

      Charlotte seems to be a better person than her father, though that is a low bar.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Am I the only one who is picking up a gay vibe from Pence’s daughter?

    • ol cranky says:

      what charity is Pence’s book raising money for?

    • Ada says:

      Everything about this story warmed my heart. Oliver’s bunny book is written in an adorably tongue-in-cheek way, and the response was lovely and earnest too.

  4. Neelyo says:

    I hope Mother was so pissed that she flogged the ashen weasel especially hard on Monday night.

  5. Va Va Kaboom says:

    I have to say kudos to whoever wrote that response. It was perfect and classy… two words not generally used when describing anything to do with The White House recently.

    • Esmom says:

      I said that above, I’m floored. I have become so conditioned to the hate and lack of class in the WH that her response really threw me off guard.

  6. OriginalLala says:

    I ordered the book! it was sold out on Canadian Amazon but I can’t wait to receive it when it’s re-stocked!! Pence can suck it, homophobic ashen weasel.

  7. LAK says:

    Are we sure John Elton isn’t Ben Elton?

    I feel like i’m having de ja vu except it’s America rather than Thatcher’s Britain.

  8. Doodle says:

    I ordered the book as soon as I finished watching the episode. It reminded me of a library book my son loved about two boy penguins who fell in love at the New York Zoo (a true story) and the zookeepers has to find fake eggs for them to sit on. I love the haircut on the stink bug, it totally looks like Mike Pence.

  9. Esmom says:

    This brought a tear to my eye and I was shocked by the twist of Bundo’s IG actually supporting the book instead of trying to rip it to shreds.

    In an alternate universe, John Oliver is my husband. Sigh.

    • ORIGINAL T.C. says:

      I loved his episode on Pence and the cartoon of his book. Clever. He also said he is a true fan of the bunny and loves the name.

  10. susiecue says:

    Favorite headline ever.

  11. littlemissnaughty says:

    I was so prepared to fully hate on every member of that family but then the daughter responds in a classy and mature way! Lady, don’t interfere with my righteous indignation! Can we assume that was a PR person?

    Well, Mother was also part of the book and I think we can agree that she is also mostly a terrible human being. So there is that.

    • jwoolman says:

      I wouldn’t assume that the response wasn’t genuine. It’s certainly exactly right, the more bunny books the better.

      I don’t like Pence’s policies and anti-science attitudes. But he’s not Evil Incarnate like someone else I could mention. His kids seem to willingly hang out with him… And most importantly, Marlon Bundo likes him.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Okay but I have to side-eye the “animals like him/he likes animals” argument just because I get physically ill trying to say nice things about the man. Frickin’ Adolf loved his dogs.

        I think the man is terrible for anyone who isn’t white, hetero, and male. At least with the crazy one it’s out in the open. This one is smarter, that’s almost scarier.

  12. Luke says:

    Sure Mike Pence loves his children and his animals. But his political goals are to enact policies that cause pain, unhappiness, and sufferings in others. That about says it all. Even monsters love their youngs.

    • jwoolman says:

      Not all monsters. For example – President Tweeter. He doesn’t love his children. Don Jr called him on that at the age of 12. He said Donald Sr didn’t love them, didn’t even love himself, only loved money. I think Don Jr at 12 years old was very insightful.

      What Trump feels about Ivanka is not fatherly love.

      It does matter whether or not a President has normal human emotions, normal human relationships, and normal ability to learn and adapt. We can work with that, no matter how undesirable the policies are. We can work with a Pence and block the worst of it if we actually put forth the required bigly effort. We can’t work with a Trump. Too much is missing inside him.

  13. Hoping says:

    He is the best, full stop.