John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight Trump clip helps drive kids’ book sales


John Oliver’s advice to Donald Trump on Last Week Tonight has made a 20-year-old kids’ book into a bestseller.

John Oliver’s latest segment centering on Donald Trump on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight has yet to produce the intended results of the Republican nominee stepping down to avoid two potentially disastrous results, but it has helped a kids’ book from 1996 see a surge in sales. During the episode, the host compared Trump’s campaign strategy to that of the 12-year-old protagonist of the The Kid Who Ran for President, who runs on a platform of eliminating homework, and is shocked to find that adults are actually willing to vote for him despite his age and use of empty rhetoric.

According to the New York Post, the children’s book has gotten a large boost in sales, rising to No. 108 on Amazon’s bestsellers list by Monday and ranking higher on the list of children’s books, after typically staying around No. 25,000 over the past decade, causing the tabloid to liken Oliver’s influence to that of the book club created by Oprah Winfrey, whom the comedian previously bested by breaking the record for TV’s largest giveaway.

“This is better than being on the bestseller list,” the book’s author Dan Gutman told the Post.

The two-decades-old novel, which spawned a sequel titled The Kid Who Became President, previously sold over a million copies in the past 20 years. Gutman admitted that he was unaware that his fifth-grade level book was being featured on Last Week Tonight, and was pleasantly surprised by the subsequent surge in sales.

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In Oliver’s latest takedown of Trump, he actually gives the businessman credit for exposing some of the flaws in our electoral system, but argued that the alleged billionaire could avoid the prospect of either losing to Hillary Clinton or having to undertake the rigorous duties of being president if he stepped down and revealed to the American public that the whole thing has been a rouse, becoming a “legend” in the process.

The host went on to point out the parallels between Trump’s candidacy and the work of fiction, which finds a sixth-grader developing a devoted following by using slogans like “No more homework!,” which Oliver likened to the “Build that wall!” chant heard at Trump rallies, and by claiming that the top responsibility for the leader of the free world is to “come up with good quotes.” He also uses the Trump-like phrase, “first babe” to describe his potential spouse. However, he later becomes disillusioned and resigns after becoming president, urging voters to “get it together and find some qualified people to run this country or we’ll all be in big trouble.”

Oliver enlisted actor Will Arnett to read excerpts from the book that seem oddly predictive, such as the following passage: “Are you expecting me to enforce the Constitution? I never even read it. I was absent from school that day … America must be in really bad shape if you elected me as president.”

Watch the full segment below:

During the episode, Oliver also blasted “America’s idiot sea cow” Ryan Lochte for fabricating a robbery story at the Rio Olympics, and exposed some of the issues involving the lack of oversight and regulation of charter schools.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver returns with new episodes on Sunday, September 25 at 11 p.m. on HBO.