John Oliver Presents an Adorable Children’s Book That’ll Really Annoy Mike Pence on Last Week Tonight
Last Week Tonight took on Rex Tillerson, a long segment on Putin’s election, and American talk shows doing horrible Irish accents for St. Patrick’s Day. The main story, however, was Mike Pence and all his terribleness as the one person in the West Wing that Trump cannot fire.
John Oliver introduced the Vice President as “the opposite of whatever a silver fox is” (it’s “ashen weasel”) and points out that while he’s similar to many members of Trump’s administration (“ethically compromised, creeped the fuck out by Jared, and subjected to all sorts of unwanted physical contact”), he’s exceptionally terrible in a lot of ways.
The host gives an overview of Pence’s terrible positions on abortions and gay rights, as well as his exceptional ability to dodge questions. While Pence is mostly controlled these days, Oliver points out that the VP was “surprisingly animated” in his radio show in the 90s where he speaks with contempt about women in the military (remember he hates Mulan?). That is, of course, only scratching the surface of more awfulness: responding to an HIV outbreak with prayer, promising to send Roe v. Wade to “the ashes of history“, and continued attacks on the LGBTQIA community in everything from the military to anti-discrimination laws, and to impassioned speeches about the “sanctity of marriage”.
Pence’s relationship with LGBTQIA rights is the focus of the segment. For instance, his support of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses to discriminate based on sexuality. When the question of this possibility was raised, Pence merely struggled off the question and avoided any direct answers.
Oliver also talked about one of the VP’s most telling and horrific stances: his reported support for gay conversion therapy. While Pence has stated he does not support it, Oliver argues that defense is “complete horseshit” due to his support for those who do—mainly his mentor James Dobson of Focus on the Family. The organization, which has a history of promoting conversion therapy and arguing that homosexuality is curable, had Pence give a speech at its 40th anniversary and Dobson was awarded an award in June.
Now, for those familiar with Pence, this isn’t new information. It’s one of the things that he’s best known for, actually. So why was this the focus of Last Week Tonight‘s main story? Well, Oliver promised to say one thing he likes about Pence at the beginning and it’s the start of a wonderful stunt that only Last Week Tonight can pull off.
“I kind of like his rabbit. I really, genuinely do,” says the host. The rabbit is named Marlon Bundo, which Oliver admits “is an objectively good name for a bunny.” It also happens to be that Marlon Bundo, the “most likable thing about an otherwise unlikable man,” is getting his own book called A Day in the Life of The Vice President.
So in response, Last Week Tonight is publishing their own book about Marlon Bundo. The only difference is, their rabbit has a bowtie and falls in love with another boy rabbit. You can find out about it on Betterbundobook.com.
Oliver emphasizes that A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is “a real children’s book, this isn’t some adult book telling Mike Pence to go fuck himself—although, in buying it, that’s exactly what you would be doing. This is a sweet story about Marlon Bundo falling in love.”
To prove it, there’s a short animation of Marlon Bundo and his first meeting with Wesley and it is the cutest thing ever. Then a mean ol’ stink bug tries to stop them from getting married, but they’ll no doubt outsmart him. An audiobook version is also available with the voices of Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garland, Jack MacBrayer, Ellie Kemper, RuPaul, and John Lithgow.
Written by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss, with illustrations from EG Keller, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is now on sale here. All proceeds are going to the Trevor Project and AIDS United, which are great reasons to pick up a copy, in addition to the fact that it’ll probably really annoy Pence.
(via AV Club, image: screencap)
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