When John Oliver announced the release of his own parody version of a new children’s book about the Pence family’s pet bunny, Marlon Bundo, even he didn’t think it would reach the top of Amazon’s best-seller list in the first 24 hours. And yet there it sits, ahead of not just Charlotte Pence’s book but also James Comey’s new memoir.
“I have no beef with his bunny,” Oliver told Seth Meyers on a victory lap of sorts Tuesday night. “The beef comes in regarding Michael Pence, who has a history of, let’s say, homophobic views.” He then added, “I just sounded like I was talking around it, but I was actually just saying the word of the thing that he emphatically is: a homophobe.”
When Meyers brought up the overwhelming success of the book, the proceeds of which are going to charities that benefit LGBTQ youth and AIDS research, Oliver revealed that just before the Late Night taping, he had received the latest sales numbers. “I’m sure HBO would find it absolutely hilarious they’re getting no money out of this,” he said.
“It’s getting ridiculous,” Oliver said. “I just found out, I just got the latest figures this afternoon, it sold 180,000 copies so far, which is definitely more than we were prepared for.” He admitted that all the books they had printed are already gone, but they are in the process of making more to fill the orders that continue to come in.
Later, Meyers brought up the unique way Oliver’s fans are trolling Pence’s supporters, who were hoping to see the rival book fail. While Oliver’s book still has an impressive 4.9 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, fans have been posting one-star reviews in which they are “trolling the people they’re thinking are going to give it one-star reviews,” as the host put it.
For example, one reviewer wrote, “Love this book. Posting one star to annoy all the homophobes who will read this and find out I think the book is absolutely fabulous.”
“That is some high-level trolling there,” Oliver responded. “That’s very good. Well done, internet. The internet doesn’t always act particularly well, but that’s rather nice.”