2:15am PT by Abid Rahman
John Oliver Challenges Mike Pence's Views on LGBT Rights With Parody Children's Book
John Oliver took a week off from breaking down President Donald Trump's latest outrages by focusing his fire on Vice President Mike Pence and his ultra-conservative views.
The Last Week Tonight host began by describing Pence as an "ashen weasel," which he called the "opposite of whatever a silver fox is,” and then ran through his public statements on issues such as abortion rights, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, gays in the military and even women in the military — all of which fell towards the more extreme, conservative end of the spectrum.
Oliver reminded the audience that Pence is the only person Trump can't fire and could become president by default. He joked that former White House advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman was right when she warned fellow contestants in the Celebrity Big Brother house that “as bad as y'all think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence."
Oliver then focused on Pence's views on homosexuality in particular and his continued association with controversial groups that back gay conversion therapy, like James Dobson's Focus on the Family.
It wasn't all negative though, Oliver admitted that "objectively" the Pence family picked a great name for their pet rabbit. Marlon Bundo has become something of a celebrity since he arrived at the White House, and this week saw the release of a children's book of his adventures written by Pence's daughter Charlotte and illustrated by his wife, Karen, titled Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President.
In an effort to blunt the potential success of the Pences' book — but also to highlight the vice president's extreme views — Oliver unexpectedly announced the release of his own book, available immediately via PDF, titled A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo which tells the story of a White House rabbit who falls in love with another rabbit called Wesley and how, despite the odds and bigotry, they marry.
There is also an audio version of A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo featuring the voice talents of Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ellie Kemper, RuPaul and John Lithgow as an ill-tempered bigoted stink bug, a thinly veiled nod to Pence himself.
By Monday, Oliver's book was topping Amazon's best-seller list.
Charlotte Pence responded to Oliver's book in an interview with Maria Bartiromo for Fox Business on Tuesday.
"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," the younger Pence said. "We have two books that our giving to charities that are about bunnies so I'm all for it."
Proceeds from the Pences' book go to A21, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping human trafficking, and an art therapy program at the Riley Hospital for Children.
Charlotte Pence also posted an Instagram photo of Marlon Bundo sporting a bowtie, responding to Last Week Tonight.
#instagram #repost #marlonbundo: @LastWeekTonight 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. #BOTUS - Marlon pic.twitter.com/VpDdpRZoOr— Charlotte Rose Pence (@charlipence) March 19, 2018
Below are spreads from A Day In The Life Of Marlon Bundo, which is being published by Chronicle Books.
Watch the full Pence clip from Last Week Tonight below.
March 20, 9:19 a.m. This story has been updated with Charlotte Pence's response to Oliver's book.