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LAST WEEK, The Washington Post brought you news of “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President,” the furry new tale about the real White House pet rabbit. The children’s book, which lands Monday, is illustrated by second lady Karen Pence and written by daughter Charlotte Pence.
And now, on “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver announced Sunday night that he is releasing a politically pointed sendup of the Pence book, titled “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” as penned by Jill Twiss, a writer on Oliver’s HBO show, and illustrated by EG Keller.
The key difference is, Oliver’s picture book is about a “Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny,” according to the book’s description.
Oliver announced his book toward the end of a segment in which he skewered Vice President Pence’s social conservatism, especially, the host said, “his hostility to LGBT rights” and his record of not being “a friend to the gay community.” Oliver also noted that the Pence book tour includes a Colorado stop at the Focus on the Family organization, which, the host said, promotes gay-conversion therapy.
So, “It turns out, in a complete coincidence, we also wrote a book about Mike Pence’s rabbit that has also been published,” Oliver said on Sunday’s show. “In fact, while his is out tomorrow, ours is released right now.
“Now, there are a few small differences between the two books. … Our Marlon Bundo is gay.”
Indeed, Oliver’s “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” is already out from Chronicle Books, which cites the book’s “message of tolerance and advocacy” as it “explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy,” as well as its dedication “to every bunny who has ever felt different.”
/comic-riffs/wp/2018/03/19/john-oli ver-spoofs-pence-familys-new-kids-b ook-with-gay-themed-marlon-bundo-bo ok/?utm_term=.0a9e093f4a5b
The publisher says that all proceeds from Oliver’s book — which topped the Amazon bestseller chart by Monday morning — will go to AIDS United and the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
On “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver also played an animated teaser for his children’s book. His “Marlon Bundo” audiobook (Partially Important Productions) features narration from such celebrity voices as Jim Parsons, John Lithgow, RuPaul, Ellie Kemper and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Among other late-night hosts, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel offered a short on-air spoof last year of the Pences’ Marlon Bundo book.
Karen Pence is an award-winning watercolor artist and educator who believes in the power of art therapy.
Proceeds from her family’s sales-charting “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President” (Regnery Kids) will be donated to Tracy’s Kids, which helps young cancer patients through the use of art therapy.
This post has been updated. Disclosure: Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.
Doesn't this sort of thing only bring attention and legitimize the views you are satirizing through giving them the spotlight? Everyone I see shit like this I just imagine it is a cash grab scheme to play on public sentiment and fool them into buying novelty crap.
All the profits from the Oliver book are going to AIDS United and the Trevor Project. And yes, it will bring more attention to Pence's book, and yes it will increase sales for Pence's book as well because you'll have groups like /pol/ and the religious right buying it to spite John Oliver, but Oliver still wins, mainly because Oliver wrote a better book.
I don't know man. Seems like a Streisand effect kind of thing. If you really dislike a view, the worst thing you can do is legitimize. Would have just been better to write a good book about a gay rabbit which is only tangentially at best related to the one by Pence to try and make it a bit more timeless. This book only has legs so long as people know/care about the Pence book, which will ultimately cause it to fade into obscurity
You are incorrectly applying the Streisand effect, either through ignorance or intellectual bankruptcy since Oliver's book is not meant to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information, but to give an alternative to Pence's book while at the same time give all the money to cause that Pence is fighting tooth and nail against.
Also you make the flawed assumption that this is meant to be some legacy book that will stand the test of time when it is actuality just a 'what if we did this' joke that Oliver and his staff actually implemented to cause conservative heads to explode, with the bonus of philanthropy.
The only real question is, Pence's claim the profits of their book will go to Tracy's Kids, however they have not stated how much of the profits will be donated. Which is a massive red flag that they will probably pocket all of it.
I understand I am not using the term correctly and never meant to imply that I was. I only mentioned it as I could not think of a term which correctly captured the type of phenomenon displayed here. Sorry for getting your knickers in a twist over nothing.
I suppose if the goal wasn't to make something with lasting value that is fine, but it just seems like a creative waste to devote the resources necessary to publish a book you know will be irrelevant within a year or so. Though I suppose that says more about me then anything else. Good to see the money is going to a charity and that people care, just seems like directly donating would have been the better option, but who am I to judge
John Oliver probably has motivated more right-wingers than left-wingers with his stunts.
>seems like a creative waste
Modern comedy is a political wasteland.
>to devote the resources necessary to publish a book you know will be irrelevant within a year or so.
It's going to make money. It doesn't matter how long it lasts.
>Seems like a Streisand effect kind of thing = This is a clear example of the Streisand effect
Whatever you say m8. Not worth getting so bent out of shape about. I get that it's a joke, just seems like a lot of effort to go out of your way to devote the resources to write, illustrate and publish a book whose sole purpose is something you could accomplish with a webcomic or similar lower resource method. Especially since this will ultimately lead to more money going to the person you are mocking as you are also "promoting" their book on your program by highlighting it. No such thing as bad publicity and all that jazz.
The point of the stunt was to raise money to a good cause with the bonus being to piss off the religious right. The only people who are supporting Pence now who weren't already are doing it just to spite Oliver, like >>238949 stated. Although the odds that Pence's book will outsell Olivers is incredibly low unless some millionaire buys up all the stock. (Which is actually a tactic used by right wing authors where they buy up all the books in bulk and then give away the books they purchased on tours.)
Also the publisher for Pence's book (Who publish a lot of right wring propaganda) was crying on twitter about the reviews that were showing up on their book. It shows Oliver is REALLY getting under their skin.
>Little chance of outselling Oliver
Which is fine as I doubt that was Pence's goal to begin with. It would look horrible for Oliver if Pence did somehow manage to outsell him as it would show how impotent he is.
>Buying up and handing out their own book
I imagine most people do this if they have the means and a platform to do so. Seems kind of foolish not to, really.
>Crying on Twitter about bad reviews
Well to be fair, that is not so much to do with Oliver as it is his fanbase swarming websites that don't agree with their world view with bad reviews. I remember a similar thing happening with Chick-fil-a a while back. Considering both sides do this, especially as people get more and more entrenched in internet politics, that isn't too unexpected from either side of the aisle.
Neither the book or the video takes any shots at his family and the bunny is the sympathetic protagonist. The book also meerly portrays the man in question as a stinkbug rather than going on about his long since vocalized hatred of women and gays.
It's honestly extremely tame considering anyone can simply roll a video reel of everything he's ever said about his personally and professionally held beliefs if they want to make him look bad.
>It would look horrible for Oliver if...
Really? Jon Oliver isn't even that popular, and if Pence did outsell him, it would be a non-story anywhere, unless Oliver mentioned it in a funny self-deprecating way, as is his comedic style.
>buying up and handing out their own book
See: Bill Oreilly. He sent so many copies of his books to us soldiers in war zones, that they ended updating to burn them en masse, just because that's the way they get rid of their trash.
Considering The motivation behind making the book was to shit on Pence and his views, it would look pretty bad if he doesn't sell more. Not national news bad or anything though, but then again no one really cares either of these books exist in the first place outside of a niche crowd on both sides.
>Bill O'Reilly book burning
There is obviously a limit to anything and you seem to have found it. Well done. This doesn't discredit the practice, just says it is possible to over do it.
You're vastly oversimplifying it when you say the goal is just to "shit on" Pence. A segment on the show is plenty if you're just shitting on him. I think the two main goals are to call attention to the despicable organization he supports, and to totally troll him by using his own book to amplify sales for Jon's book in an effort to raise money for things Pence opposes. That's a lot more sophisticated than you're giving him credit for.
When people look at 'the gays' they tend to look at the successful elite couples in relationships in the luxurious parts of major cities who are yeah, frequently millionaires or whatever.
There's plenty of poor and otherwise completely regular gays who get ignored entirely because they aren't interesting hollywood or more recently sports stars.
How is John Oliver's book better? Ms. Pence's book seems to be one explaining to kids what a vice president does. It doesn't have any information about electrocution of homosexuals.
The subject matter of John's book seems like I wouldn't want my 6 year old kid reading it.
>however they have not stated how much of the profits will be donated. Which is a massive red flag that they will probably pocket all of it.
You never give The benefit of the doubt to Republicans, but you always give it to Democrats. Where's the John Oliver story on Chelsea Clinton's book?
That doesn't negate what I said.
He's got massive bias and wants to be taken seriously, but when you call him out on that bias he uses it being a comedy program as a shield.
Why did he accept a journalism award if he doesn't want to be taken seriously? Why did he brag about the results of his fifa coverage if he didn't want to be taken seriously?
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