John Oliver’s children’s book about a gay bunny has sold out and is receiving a second printing, the Last Week Tonight host told Ellen DeGeneres during her show airing Tuesday.
Oliver’s book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, centers on Vice President Mike Pence’s family pet and was released at the same time as Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, a picture book written by Pence’s daughter, Charlotte, and illustrated by his wife, Karen.
“[Vice President Pence], clearly, to put it in the nicest possible terms, is not a friend of the LGBTQ community,” Oliver told DeGeneres during her show. “So we, on top of that, have released our own book about his bunny where his bunny falls in love with another male bunny and gets married, because that’s the world that we want to live in.”
But part of the inspiration for the children’s book hits closer to home, Oliver revealed to DeGeneres. Speaking of his 2-year-old son, Hudson, Oliver said, “At the moment he doesn’t really understand what’s happening in the world, and… I don’t have to explain to him just how sad things are. But part of the reason of writing this book was so that I could read something to him which kind of paints the world in the light that you want it to be rather than the way that it’s currently being painted.”
With proceeds pledged to The Trevor Project and AIDS United, Oliver’s book — written by “Marlon Bundo” with Last Week Tonight writer Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller — quickly shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list and sold out in less than two days. “We were not anticipating people really buying it,” Oliver said. “But they’re doing a reprint, so you can still buy it — you can buy the second printing, so it’ll take a few weeks.”
The project tickled DeGeneres, who said the book “makes me happier than I can even tell you.”
The star-studded audio version of the book, which is currently No. 1 on Audible, features Jim Parsons as the voice of Marlon with special guests Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Ellie Kemper, John Lithgow, Jack McBrayer, and RuPaul.
Watch Oliver’s full interview on Ellen in the video above.