“Whose Boat Is This Boat?” was essentially written in 24 hours and within six weeks was already on shelves, physical and virtual. (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Stephen Colbert: Trump spoof book ‘Whose Boat’ wrote itself

NEW YORK — For Stephen Colbert and his “Late Show” staff, the bestselling spoof “Whose Boat Is This Boat?” essentially wrote itself.

Because all of the words are by President Donald Trump, who is billed as the author “by accident.” The picture book’s title and contents were inspired by Trump’s disjointed response last September to Hurricane Florence, which struck North Carolina and South Carolina, where Colbert grew up.

“If you love Trump, you’ll love this book because every word in it is exactly what he said,” Colbert, for whom the president has been prime comic material, said during a recent interview with The Associated Press. “And if you’re anti-Trump you’ll love this book because every word in it is exactly what he said.”

“Whose Boat Is This Boat? Comments That Don’t Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane” has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and raised more than $1.25 million for such charities as Foundation for the Carolinas and World Central Kitchen. The contributions come from author proceeds and from the publisher, Simon & Schuster.

Books can take years from conception to publication, but “Whose Boat Is This Boat?” was essentially written in 24 hours and within six weeks was already on shelves, physical and virtual. It began after Trump visited New Bern, North Carolina, and was preoccupied with a yacht that had landed in a resident’s backyard.

“To see what we’re seeing — this boat. I don’t know what happened, but this boat just came here,” he said. Other comments included “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal” and “Have a good time!”

“Late Show” staff writer Emmy Blotnick heard Trump’s remarks and said, “That sounds like a children’s book.”

With illustrations by Andro Buneta and John Henry, “Whose Boat Is This Boat?” looks like a bedtime story, albeit one that ends with the message “There is no moral.” Defining it has proved challenging: On The New York Times bestseller charts, it appears under “Advice, How-to & Miscellaneous.”

“We should be on the nonfiction list,” Colbert said. “I smell a rat.”

According to a Times spokesperson, “The book was placed on the advice, how-to and miscellaneous list where many books that defy easy categorization have ranked. It’s a great achievement being on this highly competitive list for six weeks, including a week at No. 1, and we wish Stephen were happier about it.”

Colbert said the book is for “children of all ages,” one that appeals to kids because it’s “pretty to look at, no nudity, no violence” and one that shows adults how “our president responds” to natural disasters. The book is billed as “an excellent teaching tool” that lets readers learn “about empathy by process of elimination.”

“Whose Boat Is This Boat?” isn’t the first picture story to mock the Trump administration. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” is a bestselling parody of “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of a Vice-President,” a tribute to the family’s pet bunny written by Mike Pence’s daughter, Charlotte Pence, and illustrated by his wife, Karen Pence. The vice-president is known for his conservative social views; in Oliver’s book, Marlon Bundo has fallen for a fellow male bunny.

Charlotte Pence herself bought a copy of the Oliver edition, noting that proceeds went to charity. Colbert senses he may have similar luck with Trump and his family.

“What I’m hearing, from the voices inside my head, is that he enjoys it,” Colbert said, mimicking the president’s own fact-checking style. “Everybody is saying he likes it.”

By The Associated Press

Just Posted

Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson hosts 7th annual Toy Run

Bikers jumped on their motorcycles this weekend to help make Christmas better… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP locate drugs during traffic stop

A Rocky Mountain House man is facing charges after Innisfail RCMP located… Continue reading

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

CALGARY — A law professor says the acquittal of an Alberta couple… Continue reading

Take Back the Night rally marches through downtown Red Deer

Dozens marched through the city’s downtown chanting, “Red Deer unite, take back… Continue reading

Houston area sees relief, rescues after Imelda leaves 4 dead

HOUSTON — Emergency workers used boats Friday to rescue about 60 residents… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Missing hiker found safe after spending night on North Vancouver mountain

VANCOUVER — Rescue crews have found a missing female hiker safe after… Continue reading

Trudeau was only one in dark makeup at 2001 party but nobody took offence: attendee

VANCOUVER — A man who attended an “Arabian Nights” gala held by… Continue reading

McKenna defends Canada’s climate credibility amid Trudeau controversy

OTTAWA — Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna says Canada still has credibility… Continue reading

Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette trying to “be smart” with head injury

NEW YORK — Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette says he’s feeling… Continue reading

Climate activists step up protests in Britain and France

PARIS — Environmental activists in Britain and France stepped up campaigns Saturday… Continue reading

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — A hiker has been found dead in Banff… Continue reading

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May are continuing on the campaign… Continue reading

Most Read