Donald Trump Is the Anti-Lorax in Michael Ian Blacks Childs First Book of Trump


Get a peek inside comedian Michael Ian Black’s new Dr. Seuss-inspired A Child’s First Book of Trump.


Michael Ian Black is rooting for Donald Trump. But dont worry, its for entirely selfish reasons.

Im hoping its good for book sales, the comedian says a few days after Trump took his place as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. 

Black has written a number of childrens books and multiple comic memoirs over the past several years, but the project hes talking about today is very different. Called A Childs First Book of Trump, its set to hit stores just before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, Black describes the book as a kind of field guide to the candidate. 

If you were a child and you were to spot a Trump in the woods, what would you do? he asks. How would you identify it? What are its characteristics? How does it behave? How do you keep yourself safe? Think of Trump as the anti-Lorax.

At the beginning of the illustrated, Seussian book, a narrator asks, What is this strange beast you keep hearing about? Together, I think we can figure it out Subsequent pages includes jabs at Trumps small hands (Its fur so complex, you might get enveloped. Its hands are, sadly, underdeveloped) and past failures (Trump this and Trump that, and Trump buildings and steaks. Trump airplanes and clothing and several Trump mates.) 

And of course, as in the exclusive page provided to The Daily Beast below, the Trump of Blacks book promises Americans they will be winning so much, you might get depressed.

I was in the childrens book section, because that is where the lavatory is located and I had to take a dump, he explains. On his way out, he spotted the unironic childrens book Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead, which paints Trumps likely opponent as an inspirational figure for young women.

It got me chuckling, thinking about what an inspirational book about Donald Trump would be like, because theres nothing inspirational about him, Black says. Hes the son of a millionaire who became a billionaire. Its not a very inspiring tale. He wrote the first draft at a nearby Starbucks and after a few revisions to make it more funny, less sad, hes ready to share it with the world. 

As for the books intended audience, Black admits that it is targeted at adults, not children, much in same vein as recent faux-childrens books like Go the Fuck to Sleep and Stephen Colberts I Am a Pole (And So Can You!). It actually is a book that parents could read to their children, he says. If the kids know nothing about Trump and politics, they would still find it funny. But, he adds, Im hoping theyre not terrified by it.

However, as much as Black is secretly hoping Trumps success brings him more readers, he says he is utterly distraught over the possibility of a Trump presidency.

While that type of serious rhetoric may be unexpected for those who know Black best from frivolous sketch comedy shows like The State or Stella, it will come as no surprise to his nearly 2 million Twitter followers, where he keeps up a near constant stream of political commentary and is occasionally forced to fend off right-wing trolls. I do spend a lot of time being political on Twitter, but its not that funny, he says. I wish I were more entertaining on Twitter, but Im mostly just annoying. 

This move away from the purely silly comedy of something like the Wet Hot American Summer film and serieshe says knows nothing about the just-announced Netflix sequel other than its happening and I seem to be included in itis more apparent than ever in the new stand-up special, which includes a material surrounding personal topics like fatherhood as well as politically-charged issues like abortion.

I start by making fun of pro-choice liberal assholes like myself, Black says of the potentially divisive bit. Theres plenty to make fun of about us. Were the worst.

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On stage, he proceeds to question the principle of viability that we have collectively agreed is a reasonable cut-off after which abortion is no longer allowed. That is a terrible way to determine when abortion should be legal, he says, because I know 25-year-olds who cannot live outside the womb without intervention.

I didnt want talk about it in an strident way, because my feelings about it arent particularly strident, Black says now. And I do have a lot of sympathy for the pro-life people. So I wanted to write a sort of balanced but funny take on it. And hopefully people will think thats what I did.

As a self-described liberal asshole, Black says he went back and forth between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over the course of the past several months. Ultimately, I would be happy with either of them, but I have fallen on the side of Hillary, he says, adding that he voted for Clinton in the Connecticut primary, where he lives with his wife and two children.

And hes not particularly concerned with the Bernie or bust crowd that has threatened to stay home if their candidate isnt on the ballot in November. While there will always be some malcontents among the Sanders supporters, Black believes the Democratic Party will eventually rally around their eventual nominee. Mostly because the alternative is unthinkable.

Even if it would be great for book sales.

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