On Sunday night Last Week Tonight with John Oliver officially presented what is known as a “Better Bundo Book” — a children’s book entitled Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. This book came about as a response to Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President, a book written by the family of Vice President Mike Pence. Oliver’s book is virtually a stand against almost everything that Pence has stood for in the past and features the family’s pet rabbit Marlon Bundo marrying a boy rabbit who he falls in love with.
While it would have been easy to make this book pure satire mocking Pence, it’s actually something more — a genuine children’s book about inclusiveness and being accepted by others no matter who you are. It also just so happens to be an Amazon bestseller.
As of the time of this writing, the Last Week Tonight book (actually written by Jill Twiss and with illustrations by EG Keller) is the #1 best-selling book on Amazon — let alone in children’s books. It is outpacing the upcoming book by James Comey (which is currently taking pre-orders) and also the Pence Family’s own book, which is sitting at #4.
Political commentary aside, what the sales for Oliver’s book prove is the effectiveness of television to be able to generate attention surrounding something most people did not even know about at the start of the show. That’s the brilliance of Oliver. How many people watching the show knew about the original Marlon Bundo book, let alone the version that Oliver put together? It also aids Oliver tremendously that he announced publicly that all of the show’s proceeds for the book are going to The Trevor Project, an organization that helps LGBTQ youth in need.
Now, let’s give Charlotte Pence a little bit of credit — she and “Bundo” responded with a pretty classy message in response to the book, saying that all money for charity goes a long way.
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