On Sunday night, John Oliver trolled the heck out of Vice President Mike Pence—or “whatever the exact opposite of a ‘silver fox’ is.”
On Monday, the vice president’s family will be releasing Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President, a children’s book told from the perspective of their pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo. And so, as a “fuck you” to Pence, the British comedian decided to release his own Marlon Bundo children’s book Sunday night.
“It turns out, in a complete coincidence, we also wrote a book about Mike Pence’s rabbit that is also being published. In fact, while his is out tomorrow, ours is being released right now,” Oliver announced on his HBO program.
While Pence’s book was written by Pence’s daughter Charlotte and illustrated by his wife, Karen, Oliver’s, titled A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, is written by Last Week Tonight writer Jill Twiss and illustrated by E.G. Keller, an artist based in Pence’s home state of Indiana.
“Now, there are a few small differences between the two books,” said Oliver. “You’ll notice right away that our rabbit has a bow tie, so there’s that. Also, our story is about Marlon Bundo falling in love with another boy rabbit, because our Marlon Bundo is gay—just like the real Marlon Bundo.”
Yes, Oliver’s team crafted a gay love story for children featuring Pence’s pet rabbit in order to get under the VP’s skin, given the politician’s history of promoting anti-LGBT policies.
Pence, of course, has railed against gay marriage; has opposed allowing gays in the military; and, as governor of Indiana, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. He once argued on his 2000 campaign website in favor of diverting federal funds to prevent HIV/AIDS from “organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” to “those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior”—read to mean gay conversion therapy.
An October New Yorker article on Pence quoted President Trump joking of his VP, “Don’t ask that guy [about gay rights]—he wants to hang them all.” Plus, Pence’s mentor and good friend is “notorious homophobe” James Dobson, whose longtime organization Focus on the Family advocates for gay conversion therapy. Indeed, one of the stops on Pence’s children’s book tour will be at Focus on the Family.
So Oliver’s book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, is available for purchase at Amazon.com or a pair of websites Oliver created to mess with Pence: BetterBundoBook.com and FocusOnTheFurmily.com. All proceeds go to the LGBT organizations the Trevor Project, which “provides crisis and suicide-prevention services for LGBT youths,” and AIDS United, “which works to end the AIDS epidemic in the United States.” If you make a donation to the Trevor Project or AIDS United in the amount of $11.99 or more, you get a free copy of the e-book. Also, you can purchase an audiobook version at Audible.com featuring the voices of Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul.
“Those are two great reasons to buy this book,” Oliver said of the LGBT organizations. “Another is that selling more books than Pence will probably really piss him off, so that’s three great reasons right there.”
The pet bunny’s namesake probably would have approved, too.