One of the world's most famous rabbits was absent at his own book signing Sunday at Fort Carson. But whether Marlon Bundo is around or not, what he does for the Trump administration continues to turn heads.
His stardom rose after Vice President Mike Pence's daughter, Charlotte, penned a children's book called "Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President." With illustration by second lady Karen Pence, the book - released last week - follows Marlon as he shadows the vice president during a typical day on the job.
Marlon got even more famous after John Oliver, the host of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," published a spoof of the children's book called "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo," in which a gay Marlon falls for another male bunny and defies a "stinkbug" to marry his love.
Oliver's version is a response to Mike Pence's opposition toward gay and transgender rights.
But Charlotte has supported the satire book from the start, even going as far as buying her own copy. Proceeds from both books go to charities. The Pences have said money from sales will go to the pediatric art therapy program Tracy's Kids and the anti-human trafficking nonprofit A21.
Oliver has said proceeds from his book will go to AIDS United and The Trevor Project, which aims to prevent suicides and provides crisis intervention within the LGBTQ youth community.
"I think that book is about Marlon as well, that's a parody," Charlotte said in an interview following her book-signing at Fort Carson. "I think there's important charities that I support as well."
Her mom, Karen, also was at the security-heavy event held inside a room at the post's Exchange shop. In a span of about two hours, they sold dozens of the books and talked to military members and their children. The Pences said Marlon, also known as Bunny of the United States, or BOTUS, couldn't make it, only saying that he was "back home" at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
About 220 people showed up to Sunday's event, organizers said.
"They all just like the bunny," Charlotte said, referring to the younger readers. "Even if they can't read yet, they point out the bunny."
As the story goes, Charlotte was a freshman at DePaul University five years ago when she found a rabbit on Craigslist for a student film project. Her roommate suggested naming him after Marlon Brando, and Charlotte changed it to "Bundo" as a play on the actor's name.
Not long after her father was elected vice president last year, Charlotte created an Instagram for her pet rabbit. It took off. Today, it has nearly 30,000 followers and documents Marlon Bundo's journey toward stardom, which includes meeting Whoopi Goldberg.
Eventually, Charlotte and Karen decided to provide an education about the vice president's duties through words and pictures, with Bundo as the star. She spent about six months working on the book, rated at a second-grade reading level.
And now, they're on a book tour across the country. The mother-and-daughter duo said they plan on a sequel.
"We hope Marlon will go on lots of more adventures," Charlotte said.