In "Undecideds," Santos gives a speech meant to uplift and inspire, but Josh and Hrishi are "Unconvinceds." Plus, we look at Toby’s apartment, Godwin’s Law, and Will’s butt.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/708
How did Santos and Vinick do in the debate? To help us judge the candidates on both substance and style, we’ve enlisted the people in charge of debate prep on either side of the 2012 Presidential election. Ronald Klain led President Obama’s debate prep, and Beth Myers was in charge of Senator Mitt Romney’s prep. It was fascinating to speak to both of them together for this bipartisan episode of our podcast.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/707-part2
In our first of two episodes on "The Debate," we talk to Lawrence O’Donnell, who took on the challenge of writing a live episode — one that takes place entirely in the context of a Presidential debate.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/707
At long last, everyone is ready to unleash their negative ad campaigns. Here's one Hrishi came up with. JOSH MALINA—he's not nearly as mean as he makes himself out to be! He says he "ruined The West Wing," but even Richard Schiff says 'Arctic Radar' is one of the best episodes of the series. What else is Josh hiding? JOSH MALINA—actually pretty nice. (My name is Hrishikesh Hirway, and I approve this message.)
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/706
Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway (collectively, “The Hosts”) have been served a subpoena to appear on this episode of the podcast, to testify in regards to the above television episode. Pursuant to this agreement, you (“Listener”) are required to listen to our nonsense. Failure to do so may result in missing out on some dumb thing that gets called back later, like a reference to a 2004 movie about dance battles.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/704
At long last, West Wing director and executive producer Alex Graves joins us to talk about his time on the show. From "In Excelsis Deo" to "17 People" to our current episodes in Season 7, we discuss some of the big moments in the series that he helped shape.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/015
In this mother of an episode, Alex Graves cranks the style up to 11. We’re introduced to the character of Louise Thornton (played by Janeane Garofalo). We get real-time text answers to our quests from the unstoppable Eli Attie. So get ready cuz, as Steve Miller says, "we go down Carolina!"
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/702
It’s the Season 7 premiere! Which begins, naturally, with a scene from the Season 10 premiere! Suspense hovers over this episode, like a space station in need of maintenance—or a baker about to be sent home from the tent—as Josh and Hrishi sort through both the wise and foolish acts of our heroes.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/701
We wanted to honor the end of Vice President Bob Russell's storyline in The West Wing with Gary Cole, who played Bingo Bob. Gary also plays Kent Davison in the brilliant, vicious, hilarious Veep, so we decided to celebrate two great(?) Vice Presidents in one episode. It's a Veep special! We're also joined by Veep showrunner David Mandel, a huge West Wing fan, to talk about where these two very different, political, Emmy-winning shows intersect.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/014
We wrap up Season 6 with a live taping from Washington, DC, joined by special guests Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) and Lawrence O’Donnell (@lawrence). Cue the balloons! Go balloons! Uhhh, where are the balloons?!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/622
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the DNC,
The delegate tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of democracy is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
With special guest, Jennifer Palmieri.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/621
The legendary Alan Alda joins us this week to discuss Arnie Vinick, the Constitution, and eating ice cream. Plus, we speak to Reverend Katey Zeh, the executive director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/620
"Ninety Miles Away" really takes us somewhere, and we're not talking about Cuba. Josh and Hrishi try to navigate their way through wigs, termites, and Hemingway.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/619
When you’re running for President, how you present yourself to the public is crucial. The West Wing often underscored that it’s not just what one says, it’s how one says it. So in this special episode, we look at what goes into designing a Presidential campaign – both fictional, and non-fictional. Michael Bierut designed Hillary Clinton’s ubiquitous 'H' logo, and Leslie Wah designed the logos and signage for all of the West Wing candidates in Season 6. This might be the nerdiest episode of the West Wing Weekly yet!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/013
Eli Attie joins us again to talk about his third episode in the trilogy of Santos campaign episodes that he wrote for Season 6. We also hear from Angelica Salas of CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights) on the real story behind California’s fight over driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/618
This week, we’re joined by Debora Cahn, to talk about her script for "Drought Conditions," and by Richard Schiff, to talk about his heartbreaking performance in it.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/616
"Tell me about Barack Obama." That's what Eli Attie said to David Axelrod in 2004, while searching for inspiration to help flesh out the character of Congressman Matthew Santos. In this episode, we talk to both of them to find out what Eli learned and how it shaped the sixth season. And David Axelrod tells us about his own experiences as the guy behind the guy, and what The West Wing means to him.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/012
We have so many great guests for our discussion of “King Corn” that you’re going to look at this podcast episode the way Will Bailey looks at an ice cream sandwich. We talk Ned & Ronna with Evan Arnold & Karis Campbell, we talk Turkey with West Wing writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, and Politico senior writer Michael Grunwald walks us through the political maize of supporting ethanol.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/613
You sent in your queries; you know we've got answers—it's a feta compli. In the queso one or two questions, we got a little help from Allison Janney and Bradley Whitford, who sent us some really gouda answers of their own. We're always fondue these episodes, and we hope you'll think this one's grate, too.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/011
There’s only a year left in the Bartlet Presidency—and only 9 months left in the TWWW Podcastency!—and it feels like the last chance to make history. We’re joined by Tony Blinken who once held the same NSA position as Kate Harper, to talk about how hard it is to make long-term plans while you’re putting out little fires everywhere.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/612
We’re joined by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Presidential hopeful, for our discussion of “Opposition Research,” in which Matt Santos travels to New Hampshire to introduce himself to the electorate.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/611
Bradley Whitford joins us this week to discuss "Faith Based Initiative," which he wrote! Incredibly, his first time writing for television was this episode of The West Wing. He tells us how it all came together, as we pick it apart.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/610
We’re joined by Paul Redford, who wrote for West Wing Seasons 1–5, as well as Sports Night and The Newsroom. He’s responsible for some classic West Wing storylines, and we’re long overdue for a chat with him, so we’re making up for lost time with this bonus episode.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/010
We’re joined this week by Season 6 newcomer Ben Murray, who played Curtis Carruthers, the President’s new body man. He tells us the hilarious story of auditioning to be the guy who had to pick up and carry Martin Sheen.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/609
Join us in the room to discuss "In the Room," in which the President’s need to be 'in the room' in China is the central topic of discussion in the room—President Room—the Oval Office. We’re joined by magicians Penn & Teller, who light a flag on fire in the (East) Room in this episode. Or did they? (They didn’t.)
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/608
Mary McCormack joins Josh and Hrishi to discuss "A Change Is Gonna Come," recorded live in San Francisco. Plus, Roman Mars, host of 99% Invisible and noted flag expert, drops some vexillological knowledge. Special thanks to Professor Rebecca Nedostup for shedding light on Taiwan and China.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/607
In this special bonus episode, we learn about what it’s like casting The West Wing. Our guest is Tony Sepulveda, who was the casting director for Seasons 3 and 4.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/009
Wait a second: Is Annabeth Mandy 2.0? Plus Donna pushes Josh away, CJ pushes Toby away, and Santos pulls Josh in with his wily political moves. We need a bipartisan summit with Red Vines families and Twizzler families so we can discuss all of this and more.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/606
Everything about “Liftoff" feels like a new era is beginning, so we’re welcoming the new year by welcoming Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) to talk about CJ’s new job as the new chief of staff.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/604
Big changes are getting announced: CJ is the new Chief of Staff. More importantly, Josh and Hrishi announce "Melon Day" as an official West Wing holiday. Grab a muskmelon and a plate of brownies, and hit play!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/603
Hello Mother, I'm elated
Here I am at old Camp David
I'm respectful, all due deference
But I don't really get the Macbeth reference
Plus, former ambassador Jacob Walles tells us about the years he dedicated to brokering Mideast peace, including his time at 2000 Camp David Summit, and he tells us what this episode got right about those conversations.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/602
It took a lot of diplomacy behind the scenes, but Josh and Hrishi have agreed to come together to negotiate our feelings on Season 6, Episode 1. Pull up a chair and join us for the discussion at Camp Josiah.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/601
Introducing the folks behind the scenes of our podcast.
You can help us make our show, too, by supporting Radiotopia's annual fundraiser, going on right now! radiotopia.fm
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/008
We literally cannot wait for you to hear how much The West Wing influenced Parks and Recreation. We spoke to the co-creator of the show, Michael Schur, and two of the stars, Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, to learn about the parallels between the Bartlet White House and the Pawnee Parks Department. Stop pooping! Just listen.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/007
We're wrapping up Season 5 with screenwriter Josh Singer, whose first writing credit was "Memorial Day." We also look back at the past 22 episodes to ask: what kind of season has it been?
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/522
We’re joined by three guests for our discussion of "No Exit." Former Senator Tom Daschle tells us about what it was like getting sent anthrax in the mail; Wilson Cruz tells us about playing Jack Sosa for his two episodes on The West Wing; and Eli Attie tells us about the writing of the episode, specifically the Will and Toby scenes, which he co-wrote with Peter Noah. But first, a poem that this episode inspired Hrishi to write:
Cried, "What do we do?
We're all stuck here in a cell!"
So Samuel Beckett
Got totally nekkid.
"Let's go!" he started to yell.
But Jean-Paul Sartre
Just let out a fartre
And said, "Other people are hell."
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/520
We're joined by Richard Schiff to discuss this episode, his television directing debut! Hear what it was like for him to step behind the camera for this story about power and labor and international trade.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/519
In "Access," we're given a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to work inside the West Wing. …wait a second, what have all these other episodes been about? Let's discuss.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/518
They tried to get us to renounce The West Wing, but Eppur Si Puodcaste! Josh and Hrishi investigate some of the real world mechanics behind NIH grants and the federal judiciary with help from cancer researcher Dr Muller Fabbri and political journalist Jason Zengerle.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/516
Full disclosure: you’re going to hear the words 'full disclosure' a lot in this episode, as we discuss "Full Disclosure." Lawrence O’Donnell joins us to discuss how he wrote this episode, how Richard Schiff changed its meaning without changing a word, and how Josh Lyman’s plot line landed him in Hillary Clinton’s crosshairs.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/515
In this episode, the past is laid bare like a nude portrait, or at the very least, like a photo of your ex in a bikini. Grab your copy of Latin Phrases for Awkward Situations, and parachute in with us.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/514
A potential nuclear threat looms on the horizon, so let’s head down to the Situation Room to discuss The Warfare of Genghis Khan. We’re joined by former congressman and nonproliferation advocate John Tierney, who catches us up on nuclear politics then and now. And Josh and Hrishi manage to listen to the arguments of NASA analyst Jacob Keaton without him even having to take them stargazing or anything.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/513
Sleep in! We'll wake up the President for you to tell him about our great idea to record a podcast about the Slow News Day episode of the West Wing. Joining us in this historic endeavor is returning guest Eli Attie, who shares his memories about real and fictional West Wing attempts to build a legacy. Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, also drops by to tell us just how Toby's efforts compare to the real history of Social Security reform. PS: we had a data glitch while recording and lost Josh's mic audio, so his side of the conversation is not up to our usual standards. Sorry about that!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/512
This week, we discuss "The Benign Prerogative," and the not so benign aspects of Presidential pardons. We're joined once again by Janel Moloney to talk about Donna's moving storyline in this episode. Plus, Lin-Manuel Miranda makes a little cameo (#Hameo) to help us with the original text by Alexander Hamilton from which this episode takes its name.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/511
It's the 100th episode of The West Wing! Our guest this week is Bellamy Young, who made her first appearance in a TV White House here, some years before joining Josh on Scandal as PRESIDENT Mellie Grant.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/510
Shut! It! Down! Josh and Hrishi are walking right up to the hallway outside your office to talk about “Shutdown.” Gene Sperling, former White House Director of the National Economic Council, joins them to compare Bill Clinton's shutdown game plan to Jed Bartlet's apparent lack of one.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/508
The Supreme Court is looking at a case that relates to Korematsu v. United States, while the White House starts to make their moves towards appointing a new justice. But ai yai yai, we aren’t talking about last month’s headlines—we’re talking about “Separation of Powers,” from November 2003. And this week, we’re joined by special guest Michael Hyatt who plays Angela Blake. She gave us a wonderfully candid interview about how she got the role—and why Angela didn’t stick around for longer.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/507
We're joined this week by Alexa Junge and returning guest Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. They co-wrote "Disaster Relief," and together, we try to propulgate the backstory of this episode onto the frontstory. Like President Bartlet in Oklahoma, you'll never want to go back to work!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/506
What is a “Constituency of One”? You know, it’s all about that boss, ‘bout that boss, those troubles. It’s all about that boss, ‘bout that boss, those troubles. Toby and POTUS. Will and Bob Russell. Amy and the First Lady. Plus, we speak with Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, whose list of bosses includes Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/505
Listener beware - like the episode we're discussing, Han, this installment of The West Wing Weekly has more sad piano music than all previous episodes combined. When they're not lost in a sadness so deep no tears will come, Josh and Hrishi interview Paula Yoo, the writer who came up with the story of a would-be North Korean defector who visits the White House.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/504
Jefferson lives, but the President's dreams for a strong VP die—killed by committee. But Josh and Hrishi, pilgrim detectives, are on the scene to investigate. PS: Jefferson is also dead.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/503
Friends, Romans, people in other places, lend us your ears. We come to dissect this episode, and to praise it, or at least the parts we liked. So cry "havoc!" and let slip this podcast into your downloads.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/502
Josh and Hrishi take a deep breath and dive headfirst into the post-Sorkin years. They're joined by guests Bradley Whitford and Ronald Klain to discuss the suspense of the Season 5 premiere — a fateful moment for the characters, and the show itself. Recorded live at Georgetown University.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/501
We’ve reached the end of the fourth season, and the end of Aaron Sorkin’s tenure on The West Wing. For this special farewell, Aaron himself joined us on stage at the historic Town Hall in New York to teach us how to say goodbye. He surprised us with his candor, and we surprised Aaron and the audience with special guest Emily Procter, as well as heartfelt messages sent in by the cast and crew.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/424
Live from the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, Josh and Hrishi discuss the penultimate episode of Season 4—and all its trip-hop-laced anomalies—with special guests Bradley Whitford, Ronald Klain, and Melissa Fitzgerald. Plus: a surprise guest who’s surprised to be part of the podcast.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/422
We’re live in London! Josh and Hrishi discuss Life on Mars with guests Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) and Eli Attie (@EliAttie). Plus some special West Wing-themed musical performances from Debbie Fiderer’s favorite a capella group, The Swingles (@swinglesingers).
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/421
We’re live in Dublin to discuss Evidence of Things Not Seen with special guests Richard Schiff, Marlee Matlin, her interpreter Jack Jason, and a pint of Guinness that is like an angel crying on Richard’s tongue.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/420
AARON BURR: How does a podcast, web thing,
Recap and chat on The West Wing,
Dropped on the internet by nostalgic pals
On a fake President—it makes no sense!
How do Josh and Hrish, on balance,
Manage to land two major Broadway talents?
The two gallants, Lin-Manuel and Tommy Kail,
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter, by being self-starters
By watching Bartlet, who's based a bit on Jimmy Carter
Well, the word got around that they’re like, "Sorkin is insane, man"
So we sent a lot of emails till we got into their brainpan:
"Do a special episode, lend us some acclaim and
Let's talk about the napkin in the frame."
Roll the name, son:
West Wing Weekly Hamilton
This thing is West Wing Weekly Hamilton
There's a million things these guys have won
So just hit play, just hit play…
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/006
Please set your cell phones to airplane mode, it’s Angel Maintenance time. In this episode we’re joined by former Acting Secretary of the Air Force (and former Secretary of the Army) Eric Fanning for lots of juicy details about Air Force One, including the fact that there’s more than one Air Force One. And Josh looks back fondly on filming this episode, for reasons involving Vaseline.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/419
Privateers has a special place in our hearts because we love the scene where Allison Janney can’t stop laughing - and she’s here with us to talk about the fugue state necessary to create such memorable giggles. We’re also joined by Josh’s Scandal costar Jeff Perry, and Helen Slayton-Hughes, who played Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead. And we get the final word on the privateer question from Bren Landon of the DAR.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/418
The Laurens make good! West Wing writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich joins us to recap Red Haven's on Fire and share stories of the real world Lauren confusion behind this episode. And Senator Tammy Duckworth tells us what to expect when you're a senator who's expecting.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/417
Ah, Miss Hamantaschen! It's the California 47th. Josh and Hrishi discuss the linguistic nuance of Rice Krispies and what one calls the treats made from them. And, Mrs Hottentot, Hrishi introduces a handy online tool for President Bartlet: the Debbie Fiderer nickname generator.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/416
A live Big Block of Cheese Day from San Francisco Sketch Fest! Hrishi and Josh are joined by Dulé Hill to answer questions from fans - including a semi-surprise guest. Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace (@thememorypalace) podcast tells the history of the big block of cheese, and Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist (@AllusionistShow) gets VERY salty with her language as she explains the origin of the word “sh**hole.” Saltiest of all, though, is the 50 pound wheel of Pecorino Romano that we actually had delivered to the Marines’ Memorial Theater to feed our hungry questioners.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/005
For our discussion of Inauguration: Over There, Josh regales Hrishi with tales of shooting in his underwear and throwing snowballs at Janel Moloney. Plus, we’re joined by West Wing writer and former Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling (@genebsperling). He tells us how the Clinton administration's regrets over the handling of the Rwandan genocide led to the Bartlet administration's doctrine for the use of force.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/415
Inauguration: Part I is the first part of our two-part series about a two-part series of West Wing episodes. Josh and Hrishi dig up fun facts about presidential bibles, and cast a critical eye on CJ's flirting and Josh's mean sass about Jack Reese. They also talk with Danica McKellar (@danicamckellar) about how a character named Tracy became Elsie Snuffin.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/414
As the West Wing takes a trip to Dayton, OH, for The Long Goodbye, Josh and Hrishi talk to playwright Jon Robin Baitz, who playwrought the episode. He talks about how his own father's illness informed the script in ways he didn't realize at the time, and gets props from our hosts for finally letting C.J. get some.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/413
For our discussion of Guns Not Butter, Josh and Hrishi go on a hunt for Hrishi’s Hebrew name that is almost as intense as Donna’s quest to get Josh’s phone into the hands of Senator Hardin. Tom Hart of ONE (@OneCampaign) makes the case for foreign aid, and MAZON’s CEO & President Abby Leibman (@MAZONusa) backs Charlie up on the subject of food stamps on the military, but not one single person sides with poor Josh Lyman on the remote prayer issue.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/412
On the West Wing, it’s Toby’s birthday (December 23), and his father visits. On the West Wing Weekly, it’s Josh’s birthday (January 17), and HIS father visits. We turn to Mr Robert Malina for some Yiddish info and some Joshish insights. Plus, we’re joined by a couple of the Yale Whiffenpoofs who appeared in "Holy Night" to tell us about how they ended up singing for President Bartlet.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/411
One of us! One of us! Will Bailey finally arrives in the West Wing and we've got a trio of guests to welcome him. Former Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) talks about the (nonexistent) precedent for cabinet resignations; director John David Coles breaks down his unusual camera choices; and Richard Schiff (@Richard_Schiff) reveals what song Toby had stuck in his head the first time he met Will.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/410
Eli Attie (@EliAttie) and Kevin Falls (@KevinFalls) are our guests to talk about the “break glass in case of emergency” writing that went into “Swiss Diplomacy”, a rare episode without a Sorkin writing credit. These guys have stories! And they’ll tell you why, when in doubt, you should always run for president.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/409
Stock up on Cheetos, because Joanna Gleason (@TheRealJGleason) is our guest and she’s got a drinking game - sorry, an eating game - for anyone who loves to pick apart Bradley Whitford’s acting technique. Needless to say, Josh is on board. It’s a probable impossibility that by the end of this episode we’ll all understand what an improbable possibility is, and why Sam is so down on it.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/408
As the characters anxiously await election results and Donna tries to swap votes with Christian Slater, Josh and Hrishi interview Clark Gregg (@ClarkGregg) about how everybody wants to call him Agent Something. And, Josh looks back fondly on the mighty superpowers that allowed him to summon rain from a clear sky.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/407
Hrishi and Josh welcome special guest Joshua Malina to talk about Joshua Malina’s first episode as Will Bailey. [fanfare] With special appearances by Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, and Joshua Malina.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/406
To discuss the Bartlet Administration's debate camp, we're joined once again by Ronald Klain, who has been in charge of debate prep for every Democratic presidential candidate since 2004.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/405
Our discussion of Season 4 begins! We’re joined by John Gallagher, Jr., who made his Sorkin debut in the premiere, years before he would go on to star in The Newsroom. Here we go, cuties!
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/401
Before we dive into Season 4, we're answering some pressing listener questions like: why hasn't Martin Sheen been on the podcast yet? Plus questions about music, musicals, and underwear. (Don't be scared.) And to go along with our new Bartlet's Army challenge coin, we present an episode of 99% Invisible that explains what challenge coins are, where they come from, and what to do with them.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/004
To discuss the Season 3 finale, we traveled to San Francisco to record a live episode at the Castro Theatre. We'd announced the show would be with a special guest: Aaron Sorkin. But what we didn't tell anyone was that we'd also be joined by a couple of surprise guests: Allison Janney (@AllisonBJanney) and Melissa Fitzgerald (@MaffyFitz). You can hear the audience go crazy when they come out; you wouldn't believe how thunderously loud it was in the actual theater. This one was so much fun to record. Thanks to our guests for joining us, thanks to Sketchfest for hosting us, and thanks to you for continuing to watch the West Wing along with us. Okay, what's next?
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/322.
Josh and Hrishi discuss a few conflicts central to this episode and its making: Amy vs Josh, President Bartlet vs moral absolutes, and script deadlines vs directing schedules. For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/321.
We’re joined by Mark Harmon to discuss all things Simon Donovan. Our interview with him spans the rest of Season 3, so if you're watching The West Wing for the first time, be warned that spoilers abound during that part of this episode. For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/320.
A correction: Eli Attie's teacher, Mrs Morello, is alive. A reminder: Paxton Whitehead, who played Bernard, is also alive. Josh and Hrishi discuss Russians being played by non-Russians, Tom Lehrer, and the Sorkinism of having nothing to do. Plus, to accompany the story of the letter that gets sent to the President, we're thrilled to present one of our favorite episodes of 99% Invisible, “Ten Letters to the President.” It’s a perfect companion for this episode of The West Wing. Big thanks to Roman Mars (@romanmars) and the folks at Slate’s Working podcast for letting us share it with you.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/319
This week we're joined by Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44), who served as the White House Cabinet Secretary during the first term of the Obama administration and the Deputy Secretary of Labor during the second term. He gives us some real-world insight into Presidential Proclamations. Plus, we use the special West Wing Weekly Hotline to call Eli Attie (@EliAttie) to get the inside scoop on the writing of this episode.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/317.
We’re joined by two of the co-founders of the website Television Without Pity, Tara Ariano (@TaraAriano) and Sarah D. Bunting (@TomatoNation), to discuss the lemonlyman.com plotline—inspired by Aaron Sorkin’s own posts on TWoP. We’re also joined by David Wade (@davideckelswade) who was national spokesman for then-Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign and who later served as Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff. We compare President Bartlet’s hot mic moment in this episode with a famous one from John Kerry when he was a candidate.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/316.
In light of Donna's brief time as a Canadian in “Dead Irish Writers,” we’re honored to be joined this week by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau). (We know. We can't believe it either.) The PM discusses political idealism – both on- and off-screen – and gives us his thoughts on what The West Wing got right, his father's tenure as Prime Minister, how he feels about President Bartlet, and more. Plus, Josh and Hrishi talk about the parallels between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and The Troubles, and the value of overcoming your fear of public failure.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/315.
This week, our discussion ranges from chess and poker games, to code switching, to West Wing Weekly themed fart machines. All this, plus Josh, the master prankster, ranks the pranks in CJ and Charlie’s prank war. For more, visit thewestwingwekly.com/314.
To get some real-world insight into the Sam/Ainsley/Celia scene in Night Five, we invited three West Wing Weekly listeners – Amy Carlson, Jamie Lynn Crofts, and Debora Verdier, employment attorneys in three different states, representing both plaintiffs and defendants – to give us their perspective in a panel discussion. It's our episode, it's about to become your episode, and we sleep…ehh, ok, not that well.
For more, visit thewestwingweekly.com/313